The 7 Biggest Keto Diet Mistakes Beginners Make
If you’re new to the keto diet, here are the 7 biggest keto diet mistakes that we want you to avoid. Avoiding these keto errors will make your keto diet go a lot smoother and will help you see results faster.
Keto Diet Mistakes #1: Not eating enough fat
Of all the keto diet mistakes, this is without doubt, hands down, the most common – not eating enough fat! We’re taught our entire adult lives to fear fats, to be afraid of saturated fat, to cut back on fat and that’s one of the biggest no-nos when it comes to eating a proper ketogenic way. Fat is good for you. We know this is a big hurdle for many keto newcomers to get over. If you’re brand new to keto, the advice to eat more fat to lose weight is, er, hard to swallow. But it’s true – fat is good for you. Eat more fat. Every cell membrane of every single cell in your entire body has to have cholesterol and the other products of saturated fat in order to function properly. Without sufficient fat, your brain suffers, your heart suffers and every cell in your body suffers. You have to eat plenty of fat on the ketogenic diet.
Now, we’re not telling you to start swigging bottles of oil and eating packs of lard – there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats – but beginners need to get over their fear of fat. It’s not easy after decades of misinformation and brainwashing. You have to place that fear where it properly belongs which is a fear of sugars starches and unnecessary processed carbohydrates.
Keto Mistakes #2: Continuing to snack
The keto diet is quite forgiving in that it’s not a calorie-controlled diet. You can actually eat as much as you want of keto-approved foods, if that’s what you really want to do. But the absence of calorie-control doesn’t mean you should make the keto mistake of non-stop snacking.
One of the main things about the ketogenic way is that we encourage clearly defined eating windows. We sit down to eat a meal and then we stop eating until the next window. It’s an intermittent-fasting of sorts. (Many people choose a 16 hours fasting window and 8 hours eating window).
Understand human beings were never meant to snack all day. We’re not cattle. We shouldn’t graze constantly all day long. We should eat one, two or three discrete meals a day and those meals need to be separated by hours of time in which we don’t eat, That period of non-eating allows our insulin level to stay very low/normal and our blood sugar level to stay very low/normal. Those are very good things and they’re going to help you reach your goals by eating a ketogenic diet.
Keto Mistake #3: Worrying about portion size and calories
Yes, this is a keto mistake! (Imagine that, a diet that doesn’t beat you over the head to eat less). Under keto, we don’t worry about portion sizes or calories. What an amazing diet!
People have been trying to count calories as a method of weight loss for almost a hundred years now. How has that worked? We have the biggest obesity epidemic that humanity has ever suffered from. So it’s safe to say that counting calories is a bad strategy for long-term meaningful weight loss. The same goes for restricting your portion size.
Now, counting/restricting calories and/or portion control just seems to be a common-sense things to do if you’re trying to lose weight or trying to improve your health. is to eat smaller portions but one of the beautiful things about the ketogenic way is you don’t have to limit your portions. If you’re hungry, you eat and when you eat, you eat until you’re full. Yes, that’s right. The keto diet lets you do that.
So stop counting calories. It’s a terrible method for weight loss. It never works long-term. (If it did, Weight Watchers would have been out of business 20 years ago – but they’re going strong because calorie restriction doesn’t work). Limiting your portion sizes is only going to keep you hungry which makes you miserable and that’s just like the old way of dieting. In addition, when you limit your portion size you also take the risk of lowering your basal metabolic rates and when you do that it becomes much harder to lose weight.
One of the beautiful things about the ketogenic diet is you’re not left hungry. You don’t have to suffer anymore. When you’re hungry, you eat and when you eat, you eat until you’re full. Then stop. (Also see Mistake #2). That’s the ketogenic diet.
Keto Mistake #4: Not getting enough salt and electrolytes
Keto mistake #4 is not consuming enough salt and electrolytes. Human beings are mammals and all mammals need lots of salt in order to function properly. You may have heard stories about wild animals walking for miles to find a salt rich rock or mud that they can lick. They’re not doing that because they’re gluttons – they’re doing it because all mammals need lots of salt in order to function properly.
Now this is another thing that we’re mistakenly told when we’re learning how to eat as human beings is that too much salt is bad for you: “You should cut back on salt“, “You shouldn’t eat so much salt“, “Salt is bad for you“. Just like the old advice about fat, those are all salt myths – none of these are true.
You have to have lots of salt in order to function properly and the way to know how much salt to eat is to salt to taste. And so if something doesn’t taste salty enough, put some salt on it. If it tastes too salty then you put too much salt on it. That’s literally all your body needs for you to do. You don’t have to weigh, measure, calculate – just salt to taste because your body will tell you if it needs more salt. The way it’ll do that is if your food tastes very bland, you need more salt. If you’re having leg cramps in the night, you need more salt. And when we say salt, we’re not talking about just sodium and chloride. We’re also talking about magnesium and potassium.
Now many keto-friendly foods have lots of potassium and magnesium. The classic potassium advice we’re told is to eat a banana. Please don’t do that. That’s a terrible source of potassium. Instead, go for an avocado. Avocados are a great source of both potassium and magnesium. Fatty meat is another great source of both potassium and magnesium. There are many foods on the ketogenic diet plant that have lots of potassium and magnesium. Or, you can buy something called light salt which is potassium chloride and use that in conjunction with a good quality sea salt. You can also buy some magnesium drops or a magnesium supplement if you can’t get enough magnesium from your diet.
Keto Diet Mistakes #5: Trusting food manufacturers
The next big keto mistake that everybody makes when they’re first coming to keto is trusting food manufacturers whether it’s Big Food, the mainstream food manufacturers or whether it’s keto manufacturers or low-carb manufacturers. All of these guys – they can’t help it. It’s human nature. They’re going to play fast-and-loose when it comes to calculating the amount of carbohydrates in their food. Manufacturers will round up/round down figures on their labels. They’re going to pick very creative names for sugar, calling it things that you might not recognize. “Net carbs” will replace total carbs to lower the count, and so on.
Don’t fall for any of this. You need to count total carbs and you need to never trust a food manufacturer with your health. Ideally, the proper way of eating keto is to eat only whole, real foods that have no label at all. Or if they have a label, as few ingredients as possible on that label. That’s probably real food.
Keto Mistake #6: Going it alone
This is a huge keto mistake that many beginners make: they try to do the keto without any support, i.e. their family’s on board and their friends are not on board. The good news is, if you don’t have the support of friends and family, you can join a keto group on Facebook. There are thousands who are trying to do the ketogenic diet who are very friendly and very helpful. They’ll reach out. They’ll answer your questions. You may be able to even answer some of their questions! But don’t try to go this alone. That’s a recipe for disaster.
You can also check out Instagram. There are thousands of people on Instagram who are using keto to change their life. Stop thinking you’re on your own, you’re not. You’ve got friends out there waiting – you just have to reach out to them!
Keto Diet Mistakes #7: Comparing yourself to others
This is the final keto mistake – and it’s not just one of the biggest keto diet mistakes but a huge mistake in life! Stop comparing yourself to others. This is not a competition and your journey is different from everyone else’s and theirs is different from yours. If you’re a 60-year woman and you’re comparing your results to a 30-year-old woman, you’re going be disappointed. Your age matters when it comes to weight loss; gender matters; your medical conditions matter; what medications you take, what medications you don’t take, matter; how much sleep you get how; much stress is in your life.
Your life is uniquely yours and you need to own it and you need to live it and stop comparing yourself to other people. Your weight loss may be faster than some but slower than others. That’s okay because you’re headed towards your goals. You’re not trying to reach their goals. It can be very discouraging if you’re trying really hard and you look and your next-door neighbor has lost twice as much weight as you. Stop comparing yourself to others, that’s just the worst thing you can do. Just do your best and forget the rest!