Here's something we all can agree with: Keto diet is one of the most effective diets out there.
If you are following a ketogenic diet or you're just getting started by cutting, it's very important to avoid these keto mistakes because you don't really want to hit the plateau on a keto diet.
The worst thing about it that those are really simple mistakes. We all tend to overcomplicate things, even when they are extremely simple.
Without further due, let's jump right into it
What keto mistakes I'm making?
In order to understand why these things are mistakes, you need to remind yourself what actually is a ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet has a simple purpose to get your body in the state of ketosis – a state when your body starts using fat for fuel in the form of ketone bodies, rather than glycogen.
So you start following a ketogenic diet and in the beginning, your results are pretty good, but then a few weeks in, things start to slow down, or maybe things come to a complete halt.
If that happened to you or if it's happening to you right now I'm really glad this post is going to help you, because these are the keto mistakes you are probably making.
It's very important for you to understand that these mistakes not just can stop your weight loss, but you can end up in gaining body fat rather than lose it.
1. Thinking that the ketogenic diet is simply a low carb diet
I know that this doesn't sound too bad but this is one of the biggest mistakes because people are very quick to identify carbs as the culprit responsible for their higher body fat percentage.
Those of you that have been doing keto for even a little while now know how important eating fat is for you to get into ketosis and to maintain your energy levels while burning your own body fat.
However, the last macronutrient that most people would ever consider slowing or stopping fat loss is protein.
I mean, after all, protein is the all worshipped macro of the entire fitness and health industry.
So how can protein affect your state of ketosis?
Well, I'm here to tell you that having too much protein can and will take you out of ketosis.
The ketogenic diet is not a low carb diet. It's a combination of a low carb high fat and moderate protein diet.
The reason why your protein intake should not exceed a low to a moderate level is that if you have too much protein your body will turn the protein into blood sugar in your liver, through a process known as gluconeogenesis.
In this process not only do you increase your blood sugar, but you can also spike your insulin levels. Insulin is known to be your fat-storage hormone, and once your body has the option of using blood sugar of glucose for energy it will choose that over your fat stores and you'll stop burning fat.
So to prevent this you can go get a glucometer and ketone urine test strips and constantly test yourself.
That may actually help some of you but for some of you that don't want to be bothered, just make sure that you keep your protein intake below 20% of your total daily calories.
Many people following the ketogenic diet would say that you have to have even lower than that like 15% of your total daily calories and others will say that you can go a little higher and have 25% of your total calories coming from protein.
However, if you stick between a range of 15 and 20% you shouldn't really have any trouble getting into ketosis and staying there.
Remember, the ketogenic diet is not only lower carb, but it's also high fat and moderate protein and when this is done correctly that's when it helps you melt the fat from your body.
2. Eating too many hidden carbs
With this diet plan, you only want to 5 to a maximum of 10 percent of your total daily calories coming from carbs.
For most people, this is going to wind up being under 30 or even 25 grams of carbs per day, and let me tell you from experience even when you're trying not to it's so easy to accidentally eat 25 grams of carbs.
Very rarely will someone grab a piece of bread or make a bowl of pasta while filing this plan, however, there are many snacks and processed foods that might lure you in because it says sugar-free on the front of the box.
However, if you were to take a closer look you would see that they might have replaced the sugar with things like corn syrup or rice syrup or honey or even fructose. Most people know to check the nutrition label and if you don't then I highly recommend that you start.
But even if you check every nutrition label, with such a low allowance of carbs, even certain vegetables can easily bring your “total” to “over the amount” of the allotted carbs that you're allowed per day per day.
Higher carb vegetables that you want to limit or avoid are:
- carrots and
Some of the lower carb vegetables that you can use instead are:
- asparagus and
But even with those vegetables, you want to make sure you get an idea of how much of them you can have.
You can go over your total amount of carbs even with good vegetables if you have too much.
The same thing goes for fruit.
It's even easier to overdo it with fruit and end up going way over your totals. The only fruit I would stick to on the keto diet are small amounts of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and honeydew melon.
One last thing to watch out for is nuts that are higher in carbs.
The nuts with the most carbs are:
- pistachios and
…while the lowest carb nuts are:
- braises and
- macadamia nuts
Don't be afraid of enjoying a handful of your favorite nuts but the point is that carbs are hidden everywhere, so make sure that you plan ahead!
3. Mistakes with diary
Dairy is one of the favorite go-to food options on a keto plan.
Although milk and ice cream are clearly not allowed on the keto plan, dairy options like cheese and butter are high in fat and very low in carbs, so cheese and butter are both acceptable on the keto diet.
But the big problem that people have is that they don't realize how calorie-dense dairy food groups like cheese and butter are.
It's very easy to overeat and have too much fat from the diary. If you have too much fat from your diet then your body will only be burning dietary fat for energy rather than your own body fat.
It'll be difficult to burn body fat if you're in a calorie surplus whether that surplus is caused by high carb or high fat.
On top of that, there are only two types of protein found in dairy products that stimulate a large insulin response: whey and casein.
One study found that full-fat fermented milk products and regular milk products were about as insulin genic as white bread. Even though milk will have more whey protein in it, cheese mostly still contains casein which also stimulates the insulin response.
Like I said earlier, high levels of insulin will prevent fat loss, so just be aware that when a dairy source has protein in it, it will usually cause a rise in insulin levels. Since butter is mostly fat and has virtually no protein and no carbs it won't do much to promote insulin.
On a keto diet, you can eat some cheese but cheese is not something that you want to go overboard with.
Unfortunately, a lot of people do just that which leads me right into my next mistake:
4. Thinking that you could eat as much keto-approved food as you want
…and you'll still lose weight.
While for most people it's common sense that products like cheese and butter can make you fat when eaten in excess, a lot of keto dieters seem to forget this very simple fact:
Portion control has to exist on any diet plan for the plan to work. If you create a large enough surplus of calories even if they're all coming from high-fat sources, you will gain weight and body fat.
Now, I'm not advocating that you count your calories and macros every day for the rest of your life, in fact, I believe one of the reasons that you were originally attracted to the ketogenic approach is to move towards something that's more flexible rather than restricted.
However, I do recommend that when you first start you count your total calories and macros for a few days. This way you can get an idea if your portions are too big.
If they are too big according to your calculations of where they should be, then there are two things that you could do. You can:
- reduce the number of times per day that you're eating meals to have fuller meals when you do eat, or
- reduce the amount of food you're eating per meal to have smaller more frequent meals throughout the day.
The point is, keep in mind, that the rules of thermodynamics still apply to the keto diet, just like any other diet.
The last big keto mistake that people make, that is the exact opposite of having too much fat is:
5. Not getting enough fats
Most people that start a ketogenic diet do to lose weight and body fat as fast as possible, so they think by limiting fat intake as well as carb-protein intake they'll lose fat even faster.
However, part of getting into ketosis is training your body to use fat as its primary source of fuel, which means that your body will still need fat to serve itself as energy.
At least 75% of your total daily calories should be coming from fat and some recommend going higher like 80% of your total calories.
If you don't intake enough healthy fats then your energy levels will plummet and you'll start feeling sergeant.
When most people start they go through something known as the keto flu which is basically your body adapting to fewer carbs and more fat in your diet. The keto flu leaves you feeling tired grouchy and really low on energy and it'll be much worse if you're not giving your body enough fat.
Make sure you get enough fat in your diet to avoid plateau and keto flu!
Keto diet is one of the best diets in the world, but just like any other diet it's really easy to get off the track and hit the plateau.
Make sure to:
- have a proper balance of your fat, carbs, and protein
- avoid hidden carbs
- be careful with dairy
- don't overeat on keto-friendly foods and
- have enough healthy fats in your keto diet.
One of the best things to combine with a ketogenic diet is intermittent fasting, and if you have no experience with it, it's okay. We made a complete step-by-step beginners guide that will help you get started and lose weight even faster!
Posts you might want to read:
- Intermittent Fasting: Step by Step Beginners Guide
- 8 Honest Reasons Why You Should Start Keto Diet Now
- How To Make Money Losing Weight
Founder at Extreme Loser