I love the ketogenic diet. It is the first time I have been on a diet that doesn’t really feel like a diet. I see an amazing difference in my health and body.
However, when I first got started with it I made some big-time keto mistakes.
Studies have proven that low-carb diets are the most effective tool for losing excess body fat. Despite that, it’s not uncommon for many people to hit a weight loss plateau.
No matter what you do, the extra pounds of body fat is just not coming off.
I started on keto and expected to see results straight away. I saw results that others were achieving and I wanted the same thing.
When those things didn’t happen I became frustrated and thought that keto wasn’t for me.
However, after realizing what I was doing wrong, I made a few simple changes and saw the pounds come off.
In this post, I am going to share 15 of the most common keto mistakes that beginner makes when trying to introduce the keto diet into their life.
It’s important that you understand the basics of keto and how it works within your body.
The greater your understanding of things, the less likely you are to make mistakes.
Here are the 15 mistakes that you want to avoid if you are on the Keto Diet.
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1. Not Meal Planning
Several studies have shown that planning and tracking your diet will help you achieve your goals.
Yes, meal planning takes a bit of time and preparation but nobody said this was going to be easy!
When I didn’t plan meals I ended up falling way short of my daily macros or end up snacking and stuff that knocked me out of ketosis because I would be hungry.
Meal planning will not only save you a bunch of headache and frustration, but it’s also a great way to save money as well. When you meal plan, you know exactly what you’re going to put into your body on any given day.
It will also prevent excessive and boredom snacking.
That means you can make the right adjustments and understand what tweaks you might need to make to your diet.
This doesn’t mean that you will have to track your diet forever but it will help you avoid common mistakes, especially if you are new to the ketogenic diet.
The only way I have been able to stick to the Keto diet for so long is because I meal plan. I batch cook and freeze the food so that when I feel I need to eat there is something always available in the freezer. What helped me the most were these Microwavable containers.
I would label the outside so that I had a few options for Lunch and Dinner, having my meal prep done meant that I was unlikely to eat foods not allowed on the diet and saved me so much time when I would get in from work or the gym.
Related: 7 Day Keto Meal Plan
2. Obsessing over The Scale
The number on the scale is the least important metric you can use to gauge your success.
Unfortunately, everybody’s body is different so their body is going to react differently to keto. Some people drop weight quickly while others take a bit more time.
Enjoy the freedom of your new lifestyle; don’t worry about the number on the scale.
Aside from water, which can fluctuate many pounds in a short period of time, in order for you to gain or lose weight, it requires time.
While you do want to track your weight when doing keto, you don’t want to make it the only measure of success.
However, one thing that seems to always change for people is their body measurements. You may not lose as much weight but you may lose an inch or two in key areas of their body.
Taking your measurements once a week will help you see results that the scale just can’t show.
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
This was probably the hardest thing for me since I’m not used to consistently drinking water throughout the day.
It’s advised that you drink at least a gallon of water a day so that your body’s organs can properly function and do what is necessary.
Switching to a keto lifestyle usually means drinking more water than you’re used to so this can be a huge adjustment for some people.
You could also try adding different fruit to flavor the water, we have 15 detox recipes here.
So how much water should you be drinking? The general rule of thumb is 0.5 oz to 1 oz of every pound of bodyweight.
I used this bottle to help me keep on top of my water consumption. I also added ice and lemon to make it more refreshing.
4. Avoiding Vegetables and Fiber
A big misconception, that many who haven’t cared to read into ketogenic dieting make, is that people on the diet don’t get enough fiber and vitamins from vegetables.
They assume because it is a high-fat, low-carb diet that the keto diet doesn’t include vegetables.Non-starchy vegetables have their place in a healthy low-carb diet.
There is no reason to avoid vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers or fruits like avocado or berries. These foods are very high in micronutrients, low in carbs and won’t impair your weight loss efforts.
They’re completely and utterly wrong. Make sure you get a good serving of vegetables with your meals, you need them!
I found making things like zucchini noodles really helped me get in my veggies for the day. I use this spiralizer which I thought was excellent!
Related: Veggies that are safe to eat on Keto
5. Obsessing Over Macros
On the surface, this might seem a little contradictory to some of the other items on this list but hear me out for a second.
The mistake isn’t tracking your macros. The mistake is OBSESSING over your macros.
The biggest psychological benefit to keto is the freedom it provides. You’re free to live.
So don’t stress yourself by worrying constantly and obsessing about macros.
You aren’t eating macros, you’re eating food. Make sure your food is keto-friendly, and you’re going to be doing just fine.
6. Eating Too Much Protein
Protein is, probably, the most important macro, because it is essential as we cannot manufacture all the requisite amino acids. It is required to build and rebuild all of our muscles and organs.
However, too much protein can sabotage your efforts to reach ketosis. The reason for this is that for every 100g of protein, 56g can be converted to glucose. So if you eat way more than you need, the excess will be converted to glucose.
Another great thing about keto is that it is “protein sparing.” That means that nutritional ketosis will KEEP protein in your body, and not strip it away unlike high-carb foods.
7. Not Eating Enough Fat
Maybe it was all the years dieting and avoiding fat that this was a difficult concept for me to grasp.
Although the name ‘low-carb high-fat’ kind of gives it away, many people still fear the fat.
Going from a lifetime of low-fat to a diet of high-fat is a huge shift that isn’t necessarily easily achieved.
So a lot of people still feel strange about not restricting fat intake.
Trust the keto and enjoy the fat. Because of the unique biochemical responses your body has to dietary fat, it’s highly improbable that you can eat too much of it.
8. Eating the Wrong Kind of Fat
It’s not enough to eat lots of fat. It has to be the right kinds of fats.
In short, stay away from vegetable and seed oils, the kind in the plastic containers. They are extremely unhealthy and will sabotage all your efforts.
You should be eating saturated fats (animal fats, butter, coconut oil), fish oil, and monounsaturated fat (olive oil).
9. Eating too Many Nuts
One of the common mistakes I made on keto was that I overate nuts. I used to eat them as a healthy snack and ate far too many.
Nuts are particularly high in insoluble fibre which has zero effect on blood sugar. That’s just one of the reasons why you shouldn’t worry about their relatively high total carb count.
However, they are very calorie-dense
So it is quite easy to overindulge and to underestimate your actual consumption.
I experienced my weight stalling and friends on keto even had weight gain, this is not because nuts will kick you out of ketosis but because they are calorie-dense and easy to overeat.
10. Eating Too Many Low-Carb Treats
Anyone who knows me, knows I have a sweet tooth.
Although we all love low-carb treats, they are not suitable for weight loss, especially if you just started following a low-carb diet and need to get over your sugar addiction.
Keto treats and low-carb sweeteners can all increase cravings and your appetite levels and you should minimize or even completely avoid eating them when you are trying to lose weight.
If you have a sweet tooth, go for a piece of dark chocolate.
11. Eating Products Labeled “Low-Carb”
There is no way around it but to simply eat real food.
Avoid prepared meals full of additives and deceptive labeling. It’s no secret that low-carb products are often higher in carbs than they claim to be or contain unwanted additives.
12. Eating Hidden Carbs
Only 5 percent of your calories are coming from carbohydrates!
Your diet needs to consist of green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds, but you also have to watch out for the hidden sugars that are in processed foods.
It is only until I started to read food labels properly that I noticed all the hidden carbs. Even then food companies are notoriously good at hiding them.
They want you to be addicted to carbs. It’s what drives their profits!So, you need to become an expert at reading food labels.
Many carbohydrates are listed in the nutrition facts, but just as importantly, look at the ingredient list to see if you can see any different names for sugars.
A few include sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, lactose, barley malt, dextrose, rice syrup, maltose, agave, molasses, cane juice, fruit juice, honey, and malt syrup.
If in doubt, don’t buy it!
13. Cheat Days
Good old cheat days.
My vice was always a pizza, chip, mozzarella sticks and garlic bread on a Friday night!
However cheat days was the perfect way to sabotage my diet.
Think about this, do alcoholics have cheat days? NO!
I got stuck into an addictive pattern again and again and again and I would almost always be sick the next morning.
It was always so difficult to motivate myself the next few days and get into the right frame of mind. So I stopped and felt so much better for it.
14. Not Being Motivated
Keto is not for the half-hearted. You have to commit.
It requires real determination and grit. You’re going against the norm and you’re choosing a way of life that is difficult for the majority of society to understand.
You absolutely must be all in or all out.
The answer, of course, is to commit fully to keto and reap the rewards of focused determination and discipline.
15. Giving Up Too Early
Just because the scale doesn’t show the number you expect to see doesn’t mean this diet doesn’t work.
Just because you don’t see the result you want doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.
Most successful ketoers face plateaus and weight loss fluctuations.
They also experience the keto flu, leg cramps, and other temporary side effects but they decide to keep pushing through instead of giving up.
What would you do when you don’t see the outcome you want? Would you quit or still keep going? Your decision in those moments will determine your destiny.
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