To say I’ve made a few keto mistakes throughout my keto journey would be the understatement of the year. Even in my current round of 90 days on keto, I’ve managed to add more ketogenic diet mistakes to this list for you to learn from.
One man’s slip up is another’s lesson so don’t allow my stalls to go in vain, take all the lessons you can from these tips to avoid these keto diet mistakes.
New to the keto diet? Start here! This will help you to figure out how to stick to this diet and make it a lifestyle for you
If you’re new here, allow me to quickly remind you just what the keto diet is. On the keto diet, you’re only eating 20g of carbs per day or less. This is to place your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis where you are using fat for energy instead of carbs and sugar.
It’s what we all dreamed of when we wished upon a star that we could simply eat all the fat we want and our body would just burn it off naturally. Unfortunately, we have to relearn first what the best sources of fat are. Sugar is our enemy here.
Why You Should Try the Keto Diet
Now, why on earth would you want to restrict yourself from eating sugar and carbs instead of just restricting calories and sticking to a clean or low fat diet?
Well, it sounds restrictive on paper but ditching carbs is actually a good thing. You’re giving up rice, pasta, bread, cakes, sugar, ice cream, sweets, crackers, cereal etc for bacon, butter, nuts, avocados, cheese, eggs, fatty cuts of meats, green leafy veggies, zucchini, squash, cauliflower
I always hear that carbs are the vehicle that delivers fat and I couldn’t agree more. Get rid of the middle man with the keto diet and just eat the
So again if you’re keeping track, eating less than 20g of carbs per day induces ketosis where your body is starved of sugar and carbs and must use fat for fuel instead. This is not painful but in
So if the goal of the keto diet is to stay in ketosis so you’re always using fat for energy, what are some of the ways we sabotage ourselves and stall our potential keto weight loss? Glad you asked.
Keto Mistakes that May Stall Your Weight Loss
I’ve been through every one of these mistakes myself so I have added tips on how you can avoid these keto mistakes in your own diet. Lots of these tips I gathered from the wonderful keto community on Instagram. I always love how supportive everyone is there and willing to share tips and recipes.
Keto Mistake 1 – Being Afraid of Fat
All our life, we’ve been told that fat is the bad guy in our diet and we went all these years blaming the butter for what the bread did. We developed fat-free everything that uses lab ingredients instead of what mother nature offers up and now we’re in a diabetic and obesity crisis.
It’s going to be difficult to accept that fat is good. That we should eat fat to lose fat. That’s why I encourage you to read the science. Educate and inform yourself on how and why this diet works so you can make the best choices for you.
Just know that fat is your friend, but it has to be real fat from natural sources. Let’s get into that.
Ketogenic Diet Mistake 2 – Eating the Wrong Fats
The best sources of fat for our bodies are clean fat from nature. You’ll want to load up on the below sources of fat to meet your daily recommended intake of fat to fuel your body:
- fatty cuts of meat and seafood
- all types of cheese
- olive and coconut oils
- heavy cream
- sour cream
- cream cheese
- full-fat yogurt without sweeteners
See, pretty clean list. Don’t be afraid of natural fats. They are not our enemy. Sugar and carbs are. But how much fat should you eat?
Keto Diet Mistake 3 – Overloading on Fat Bombs and Snacks
A question I get asked often is about the need to eat extra fat to lose weight since our bodies carry so much fat already, as most beginner keto dieters are overweight.
This is an excellent question.
It’s important to understand that while you’re eating foods that are surely more delicious than when you’re on a low-fat diet, you’re still calorie counting.
You need to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight.
Fortunately on the keto diet this is easy because fat is so satiating that you’re often fuller for longer periods of time and your hunger cravings are greatly reduced.
This is why so many keto dieters also fast intermittently, since hunger isn’t what it used to be on the standard American diet and so it’s so easy to go for longer periods without a meal.
There’s no need to overdo fat in your meals or snack on fat bombs between meals. Whatever your body does not get from your diet, it will take from your fat reserves. This is usually the reason why people go through keto plateaus.
When you’ve reached your goal weight, it becomes more important to meet your macros so that your body is fueled adequately but generally by that time you know exactly what your body needs and what works for you.
Common Keto Mistake 4 – Trying to Replace All Your Favorite Foods
I get that. When you’re trying a new diet, you’re sort of in panic mode that you won’t be able to eat your favorite lasagna or dessert again and so you spend loads of time trying to find hacks and copy cats for your favorite foods.
While finding some copy cats can be comforting to help you manage the transition, I encourage you to approach the keto diet with an open mind. There are loads of seriously delicious keto recipes out there that are so yummy, they’ll completely knock your old faves out the top spots.
Check out my list of keto cookbooks here to find some seriously good recipes to make your keto diet journey all about having fun and discovering new dishes to eat.
Keto Mistake 5 – Not Keeping Things Simple
That said, it’s easy to get caught up trying all the new keto recipes in your new keto world that you get burned out quickly and rack up a high grocery bill.
Keep your everyday meals simple. This makes it easier to track your macros and also manages the day-to-day diet so you won’t get overwhelmed with cooking fancy meals.
My everyday breakfast is sausage, cheese and eggs with avocado and keto bread if I have any on hand. Having this as my default makes it easy for me to know what ingredients I need to never run out of.
It also makes my mornings a breeze cause I’m not staring in the cupboard wondering what to eat and complaining that it’s bare.
Of course, I occasionally whip up some keto pancakes or have some tuna on zucchini slices, but you get my point. Simple is easy.
Don’t forget to check out some recipes at the end of this article.
Mistake 6 – Eating Too Much Protein
This is coming from a place where we once believed a high-protein, low-fat diet was the best way to lose weight.
While this is still one way to lose weight, it’s not very sustainable because of the caloric restrictions most people would have to follow. It doesn’t take one thing into perspective: healthy fats.
It’s important to eat protein on a keto diet but you certainly should not gorge down on extra protein unless you’re a body-builder. Protein can broken down into glycogen just as carbs do and will trigger an insulin response.
It’s important to work out how much daily protein you should be eating if you really want to be strict keto and lose weight quickly or manage another lifestyle disease. If you’re not losing weight or have hit a stall, calculate your macros and track them for at least a week to see where you’ve been going off diet.
The rule of thumb on the keto diet is that your calories should be coming from:
75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbs. The app Carb Manager has been really great at helping me to figure out exactly what this looks like for my age, height and weight and to track what I eat each day to make sure I am within my numbers.
Mistake 7 – Not Knowing Your Sugar Sources
Sugar is everywhere. Sugar has been hiding in all our sauces, breads, snacks, and canned goods, even our beloved bacon comes in sugar varieties. It can be hard to figure out where sugar is hiding because it goes by a bunch of different names in ingredient lists.
This is why I like to keep my meals simple so I know exactly what’s going into my meals.
I know it can sound daunting to give up sugar altogether but there are some great natural sources of sweet that you can incorporate into your keto diet whenever your sweet tooth attacks.
Mistake 8 – Not Drinking Enough Water
You know already that you need to need lots of water but this is even more important on the ketogenic diet. This is because this diet is naturally diuretic in nature, flushing out lots of your own water since carbs are what used to store the excess water.
It’s why you lose so much weight on your first week of keto, it’s lots of water.
Dehydration is real on the keto diet. Keep a water bottle close to you at all times and sip from it throughout the day, making sure you get in your requisite 8 glasses.
Your body does not store any excess ketones it creates. One of the great things about this diet! Unlike carbs that were stored as fat, your body flushed out excess ketones in your urine.
You’ll need to keep your water intake up to help this happen.
Mistake 9 – Not Getting Enough Sodium and Other Electrolytes
Salt is easy to come by in the standard American diet so we’re actually used to avoiding salt to stay away from high blood pressure. On the keto diet, you’re eating more real foods most likely prepared at home so you’re not eating as much salt as you used to.
Salt contains sodium, one of the electrolytes that gets flushed out of our bodies along with excess ketones. You also need to ensure you get enough potassium and magnesium, the other electrolytes that can be hard to come by on the keto diet.
Salt your food and eat more green leafy vegetables or take a magnesium and potassium supplement to ensure your body has all the electrolytes it needs to function well.
Some keto dieters like to mix electrolyte powder into their water as a way to increase their water intake without the plain taste of water.
Mistake 10 – Not Exercising
While it’s not completely necessary to exercise in order to lose weight on the keto diet, you should get some daily activity in for several reasons.
For starters, exercise is good for your heart and other organs. Getting daily activity in supports your mobility and physical fitness.
Also, you may lose weight pretty quickly on the keto diet. What that usually leads to is a loss of muscle and sagging skin. To avoid that, hit the weights and encourage a toned physique to come through while you’re working on your weight.
Exercise will also help you to lose the weight faster so if you’re on this diet for the weight loss, then this is worth adding to the mix.
The keto diet can be a wonderful way to get into your best health yet, but with any lifestyle change there can be pitfalls to avoid.
If you stay away from any of these keto mistakes you’ll likely avoid the keto flu that comes with the transition from using carbs as fat for fuel. Take these tips into account and revisit them whenever you have a weight plateau.