What Happens If You Don’t Eat Enough Fat On A Keto Diet?
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A keto diet has been proven to help you lose weight. The ketosis process is triggered, amazingly, by a diet high in fat and protein, and very low in carbohydrates.
When the body does not have a ready supply of glucose in the blood from carbs, it goes into ketosis, whereby fat stores in the body are used for energy. This means burning fat from the body, without lifting a finger.
Counter-intuitively, the more fat you eat, the more you burn; as long as there are not a lot of carbs for your body to run on.
Ketosis is actually a way of tricking your body into “thinking” that it is starving. The body will then dig into the body’s fat stores for the calories to run all your physiological and metabolic processes.
Because of the high levels of fat in the ketogenic diet, it sometimes gets a bad rap in terms of perceptions of its nutritional makeup. Images of cheese melted on buttered bacon give the impression that a keto diet is, by necessity, an unhealthy lifestyle.
Additionally, many people fear fats. It’s hard to believe that basing a diet on 75% fat could help you lose weight.
However, if you do not have a high enough percentage of fat in your diet, you will feel really hungry, and may even suffer from a lack of nutrition. Following the keto diet properly means that you feel full, while your body keeps burning fat from ketosis.
If you don’t get enough fats, or if your protein intake is higher than it should be relative to your fats, your body will treat proteins as glucose, and you will not go into ketosis. And you will not lose weight.
If you are concerned about your health on the keto diet, we have some suggestions on how to choose “good” fats, so that you feel good about what you are eating, and can consistently keep your body in ketosis so that you are losing weight.
Related Article: What to Eat Before Working Out On A Keto Diet
Avoid trans fats and choose healthy fats, like monounsaturated and omega-3, which will help you to make sure that you are sticking to the diet and its weight-loss potential while taking good care of your body with healthy food choices.
One of the most common reasons people fail to lose weight on the ketogenic diet is that they are taking in too many carbs. Remember, to reach a state of ketosis, you need to drastically reduce your carb intake.
Otherwise, your body will run on the glucose produced by the digestion of carbohydrates, and fats you eat will stay where you don’t want them. A good general rule for keto is that your fat intake with be about 50-75% of your calorie intake. It must be relatively appropriate to protein and carb intake for ketosis to occur.
Often times people who are just starting out with a keto diet will not get enough fat, because they have come to associate fat intake with, well, fat. It can be counterintuitive to suddenly partake of “forbidden” foods; and on a daily basis.
The calories that you normally would be getting from carbs must be replaced by fat in order to stimulate ketosis and make sure that you are getting the nutrition you need. A lack of calories can negatively affect your hormone levels, metabolic function, and rob you of the vital energy you need to function.
It’s crucial that you get all the calories, vitamins, and minerals you need to keep your body healthy. In fact, beginners to the diet need to eat even higher levels of fat than do experienced keto dieters, as your body becomes accustomed to using ketones as a new energy source.
Not only is it important to eat enough fat; it’s also important to eat good fats. Animal fats, olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil and fat-rich coconut products are some examples of “good” oils that will benefit your body on the keto diet.
Avoid processed vegetable oils, margarine, and any kind of trans fat. Knowing that you are choosing healthy fats, that can actually improve brain function and mood, will help you feel good about a big increase in fat intake with your new diet.
However, do not stress. Not meeting your fat goals is not a huge problem. As long as you are keeping your carbs strictly limited and eating protein, you will probably keep losing weight.
But if your fat levels are too low, then, as mentioned above, protein can be turned into glucose in the body, and ketosis, and weight loss, can be compromised.
Another problem with insufficient fat intake is that you will feel hungry. Hunger leads to cravings, which can, of course, lead to bad food choices and lower energy levels.
If you follow the keto diet properly, you should not feel hungry, experience cravings, and want to snack. If you find the keto diet very difficult to follow, or start to crave foods that are not permitted, it is a sign that you may not be following the diet properly.
Perhaps your calorie deficiency is too large. If this is the case, it can interfere with your metabolic function, causing your body to hoard calories rather than burn fat for energy, and your weight loss goals may get farther away.
If you can’t keep your calories from fat up, we have some suggestions. Try adding butter and olive oil, heavy cream, and high-fat nuts and cheeses to your meals.
Add extra oil to sauces and soups, and use plenty of salad dressing to make your fresh vegetables delicious. But watch out for hidden sugars in store-bought dressings.
Make sure that you actually have a high-fat diet and not just a low carb diet.
Tahini, avocado, cashews, nut butters, full-fat dairy products, macadamia nuts, coconut oil, butter, cacao butter, and the always delicious coconut cream can be paired with flavorings like ginger, cinnamon, mint, orange, raw cacao nibs, shredded coconut, and lemon juice to make delicious “fat bombs” that will help you keep fat levels up and feel satiated throughout the day.
Sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, monk fruit extract can add sweetness to your fat bombs without add sugar, glucose, and calories.