Are you doing keto all wrong? Discover the Top 10 Keto Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)?
Whether you are an absolute beginner to the keto diet or have been following this new lifestyle for a while, you need to know these most common keto mistakes.
Top 10 keto mistakes (and what to do)
Being aware of these 10 keto mistakes as well as why the majority of beginners tend to make them will help you tremendously in avoiding them now and into the future, making the process that much easier and rewarding!
If you are new here, you may wish to read The Top 10 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight: Perfect for beginners to low-carb.
Top 10 tips
1. Tracking Progress Only With The Scales (the most common keto mistake)
First, let's begin with figuring out of you have actually hit a weight-loss stall?
The scales can be a great tool to track weight-loss progress, especially right at the beginning of the keto diet when there is a lot of water weight to be lost.
It is, however, only one of many tools or means for tracking weight-loss specifically. What you really want to know is your FAT loss.
Your bathroom scales never reflect your body composition from across different areas of your arms, legs, tummy and backside.
Many people start feeling discouraged when the numbers on their bathroom scales start decreasing at a slower rate than initially despite them still losing dress sizes or looking healthier in the mirror.
This can lead to a temptation to console themselves with a cheat meal and sabotaging further progress.
Rather, focus on using a variety of tools and methods for tracking your fat loss. These can include:
- Recording body area measurements using a simple tool such as the measuring tape. (there is a body measurement tracker in the Starter Pack and the Carb Tracker)
- Comparing full-body photographs that are taken on a regular basis i.e. once every 2-4 weeks and preferably in the same outfit as taken previously.
- Trying on clothes that used to not fit or were tight to see whether you can wear the items more easily.
- Using the bathroom scales at healthy intervals such as once every 2-4 weeks.
2. Eating Too Much Fat (the most common keto mistake, for beginners)
As tempting as it may be, eating too much dietary fat is not good for you or your progress.
It is so tempting to overindulge in yummy, tasty fat that is now back on the menu after so many of you have lived for decades on a low-fat diet.
When consuming too much dietary fat, the body will use this as fuel before it burns your body fat. We want higher healthy fat intake to keep us satiated BUT not to excess that our inner pantry (or body fat) is utilised.
This is why so many people can show they are in nutritional ketosis, they are a fat-burning machine, but it's the fat from their meal, not the fat from their body.
So if you have enjoyed plenty of fatty meals, and your appetite is finally under control, consider cutting back on the fat a little and stop those bulletproof coffee, fat bombs, and adding excessive cheese, mayo or creamy sauces to every meal and snack.
There are many helpful and accurate macro calculators that you can use online for free which will assist you in determining how much fat, carbs and protein to consume daily.
Just remember to update your stats regularly throughout your keto diet as your body composition may change which will require you to adjust your macro intakes.
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
Keeping hydrated at all times is important so that your body can function optimally. It is especially important for flushing your system clear of toxins released while adapting to a healthier diet and will help prevent the keto flu.
While drinking additional water may not directly help weight loss, if you are dehydrated, lacking in electrolytes, and feeling lousy, you are more likely to go back to some comfort foods just to feel normal again.
To keep things interesting, try adding some lemon slices into your water for flavor, make a jug of iced herbal tea. or add an electrolyte supplement mix. Another great way that will help ward off the dreaded keto flu!
Top Tip: If you are regularly exercising, you will need to drink more than your recommended water intake.
4. Not Meal Planning (the most common keto mistake for those who have been on keto for some time)
Meal Planning is a fantastic way to set your week up for success.
You can either meal plan by determining which meals you will prepare each day for yourself and the family or you could prepare your meals a few days in advance, and then either freeze or refrigerate until required.
Everyone has different preferences but the main goal of meal planning is to ensure that you applied your mind to the meals and their ingredients so you can stick to your daily macros with greater ease and not fall to temptation when you don’t have food at home.
If you don't meal plan, you may end up in a cycle of eating what is available, what is an easy (but not so great) option or worse, nothing keto compliant is available so you go for a high-carb option instead.
5. Not Exercising or Resting Enough
Both exercising and resting are vitally important for successful weight-loss and general health.
Our bodies need to be slightly stressed through regular exercise to promote lean muscle mass.
Sweating through exercise is also a great way to flush your system of toxins that are released.
Resting by getting adequate sleep is important for our body's repair processes. A lack of sleep impacts our hormonal balance and can result in greater hunger pains and cravings as our bodies seek that extra source of energy.
This can result in overeating or eating foods that are not
advised to eat on the keto diet such as processed sugars and carbohydrates.
6. Comparing Your Progress Against Others (the most common keto mistake for those whose weight loss has slowed down)
Call it human nature but we are often our own worst enemies when it comes to comparing our progress against the progress of others.
Our bodies are all different which means that some will lose weight faster than others.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that progress isn’t being made. Any progress is better than none even if slow.
"Imagine yourself in 1 year's time"
Comparing yourself to others may result in potential discouragement which leaves us less motivated to keep going and more susceptible to temptations and cravings.
Focus on yourself and keep adequate records of your progress through journals or spreadsheets so that you come back to remind yourself of your achievements.
7. Not Sticking To Keto Dietary Guidelines
Are you really following the keto food pyramid?
Are you dirty keto or clean keto?
You can’t expect optimal results if you cheat on a regular basis.
Cheating too often is a common keto mistake, it also quickly becomes a habit instead of learning to adjust to your new keto lifestyle.
Of course, there are a lot of people that relax their strict adherence to the keto diet during the holidays or special occasions but then very quickly return and maintain that clean way of eating for the majority of the time.
But make no mistake, you must be brutally honest with yourself and ask how many times a week do you eat off-plan?
Read more: What is a keto diet
8. Eating Wrong Fats
Although the emphasis is placed on eating higher healthy fats with your meals, there are specific fats that need to be avoided on the keto diet.
Processed trans fats and ultra-processed seed oils such as canola, sunflower and soybean oil which are low in Omega 3 may result in appetite dysregulation, changes in metabolism, reduced energy expenditure and of course, inflammation which is linked to heart disease and cancers.
Instead, select only healthy natural fats that are as unprocessed as possible such as extra virgin olive oil, lard, butter, macadamia oil etc.
9. Not Replacing Your Electrolytes
When you give up processed food, most of us, also give up the largest contributor of salt to our diet.
While water is always your go-to liquid, you also need to replenish electrolytes that will be lost on a low to zero carb diet.
One of the most coon keto mistakes is not replacing electrolytes or ensuring you get enough from real food.
You can look after your electrolyte balance by ensuring you are consuming salt, potassium, and magnesium.
10. Not Keeping Check of Your Daily Macros
Last but definitely not least is the importance of learning how to count carbs to ensure that your body is getting the nutritional value it requires to build and repair itself while burning excess fat at its new source of fuel.
If you aren’t in the habit of tracking your macros, then this may be a game-changer for you and see you achieve the results you’ve been struggling to get.
There are many apps and calculators out there to assist you with this and make the process simple and easy to follow.
Top 10 keto mistakes: Conclusion
These 10 keto mistakes to avoid are definitely not an exhaustive list but do cover what most battle with when starting with keto.
What would be your NUMBER ONE tip to someone who has hit a weight-loss stall? What mistakes did you make? How do you now avoid them?