Curious about common mistakes made on keto? Planning on starting a ketogenic diet? Or simply not seeing the weight loss results you expected while on it? Then you may have found yourself here to learn more about common keto mistakes. I’d be happy to shed some light! Here are the top 10 mistakes people make on keto:
Not Checking in With Their Doctor First
If you’ve been reading keto advice from my site, you’ll know I suggest before any lifestyle change or diet, check in with your medical professional first to see if they think it’s a good idea. Your doctor will know if the ketogenic diet is right for your specific needs based on your annual or bi-yearly blood work. There’s a good chance that they won’t see an issue with it at all, but it definitely can’t hurt to have an expert opinion weigh in, and make important decisions from there. A low-carb diet with a high fat intake may not be best for everyone long term.
Mistakes Made on Keto: Not Preparing for Keto Flu
If you’ve been doing your research on the keto diet (or as I like to call it—a keto lifestyle), then you’ll know about the term keto flu and how it can make you feel awful for the first one to two weeks when truly following a low carb diet.
This can look like nausea, fatigue, brain fog, trouble sleeping, irritability, etc. However, there are things you can do to help combat these strong symptoms. For example, ensure you get your proper water intake!
Mistakes Made on Keto: Not Drinking Enough Water
Even the most basic health tips, whether you’re on a diet or not, will emphasize how important your regular water intake is. According to this Harvard publication, “Water helps to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and the removal of waste. It helps to keep you from overheating, lubricates the joints and tissues, maintains healthy skin, and is necessary for proper digestion.”
Let that sink in: Necessary for proper digestion. You may or may not like water, maybe you simply forget about it, but it’s time to start finding ways to motivate yourself to remember to drink several cups a day (if not more). Whether you like it or not, your body will need a lot of water. Skipping out on this important step is a big mistake. If you don’t struggle with finding ways to ensure you have proper water intake, then you have nothing to worry about!
Not Eating Enough Proteins and Fats (Or Eating Too Much)
It might be confusing to hear that you don’t want an intake of excess protein but at the same time to make sure you get enough protein. Your doctor may be able to assist you in helping you find a moderate protein goal for your body weight and height. The same can be said for fat. You don’t want to consume too much fat but want to sort how and where to get enough fat (the good fat of course). Hearing the term “high-fat diet” may confuse a lot of people, but that’s only because they’re not aware that there is such a good thing as healthy fat, or at least know not where to find it. Learning about your healthy fats, which we will cover a little later on this list, will be a great way to see fat loss (if that’s your goal) on your keto journey.
Not Replenishing Essential Electrolytes + Vitamins
When following a low carb lifestyle, common mistakes people make are the fact they’re simply not getting enough electrolytes into their body. Lose too many electrolytes and your body just won’t work at its best. Essential minerals like potassium and calcium can be lost when you begin to change your diet, especially a ketogenic one, so you’re going to want to do research on how to best replenish those. You want to make sure your body is getting everything it needs!
Any normal blog might tell you to try drinking gatorade to get your missing electrolytes but because you’re on keto you’re going to want to avoid those sugars. So where else can you find electrolytes?
- Leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium and calcium. This also includes kale, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower (not green but healthy nonetheless!).
- For sodium, you’re actually encouraged to include salt to your food. For the average person who partakes in unhealthy food more often, sodium isn’t an issue because it comes in such high quantities. However, once you cut all of that out, you’re still going to need a certain amount of sodium.
- Avocado and fish are great sources for potassium. As I’ll explain later, avocados are hopefully going to be a new favorite friend of yours!
If you have any other tips about how to get your essential electrolytes and vitamins, let us know in the comments below!
Not Getting Enough Sleep
This is another one of those standard pieces of advice you’ll see on many lists of how to be overall healthier, whether you’re on a diet or not.
Here is one study one study on the impacts of not getting enough sleep when hoping to lose or control weight and its conclusion:
“[ ]…sleep loss has been shown to result in metabolic and endocrine alterations, including decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin, and increased hunger and appetite.”
If that doesn’t at least make you think twice, I don’t know what would! At the end of the day though, life can get busy and sometimes a good night’s sleep might just not be possible, but learning how you can make time for more sleep will only benefit you and your day-to-day more than not!
Cutting Out Vegetables and Fruits
Yes, cutting out carbs is important, however, you still need a well-balanced source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. There are most certainly fruits and veggies you should avoid—but there are some that are relatively okay.
For example, avocado is an acceptable option while on keto because avocados are a great source of healthy fat while also being low in carbs. As long as you’re not wanting starchy veggies, like potatoes and do your research about which to stay away from, then you’ll be good to go.
Other Keto-friendly fruit and veggies include: broccoli, kale, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, and raspberries.
Not Meal Prepping
This piece of advice can really be said for anyone attempting to lose weight or be healthier. When you don’t prepare meals and you get hungry out of nowhere, sometimes you just won’t have the patience to take the time to make yourself something healthy, or will be too busy too. This is when you’ll be more tempted and likely reach for something that isn’t good for you or won’t help you reach your goals.
Taking the time to “meal prep” will allow you to easily grab from your prepared meals or snacks when you find yourself in one of those unavoidable busy moments in life. You can rest easy knowing you don’t even have to think about what there is to eat because you’ve already prepared for that situation!
Focusing Too Much on the Scale
This is also a common issue for many in general, whether they are trying to live keto or not, because our society puts so much emphasis on the number on the scale. Many times the scales don’t accurately reflect all the hard work that’s going on inside. Often people will love several pounds in the first week or two—but then after that the progress significantly slows down.
And if your body doesn’t have those same results in the first two weeks, that’s also okay. If you’re doing something wrong and end up not seeing results after a longer waiting period, then you can begin to sort through what you may be doing wrong.
Our bodies can be hard at work, trying its best to relearn what’s happening when going into a state of ketosis. But if we don’t see immediate results like we hoped, or we do but then the scale pauses for a week or two, it’s easy to get frustrated. But give it time, accept there are some things you just can’t change overnight, and just do what you can in each moment until you hit your goals.
Mistakes Made on Keto: Not Cutting Out Alcohol
I know, this can be difficult for those who love to indulge in a beer or glass of wine after a long day. Of course treating yourself, or indulging may be okay on rare occasions, but ideally to see the best results you’d cut out drinking entirely.
As you’re likely aware, when we drink (especially too much), it can have a direct impact on our basic decision making skills. Many people will say, “just one glass”, and then three glasses later regret consuming those extra calories. It’s often very common to partake in a more generous drinking night than others, and start to reach for the bad snacks or order delivery pizza when you’ve had a little too much.
That being said, it’s generally just a good idea to cut it out entirely because it only stands to benefit you!
Has this article helped you learn more about the most common mistakes people make on keto? If you’re looking for more keto tips or recipes to help you along your journey to keto success, be sure to check out other articles here on my site, or check out my Youtube and Instagram!