common mistakes

Keto Screw Ups: Common Mistakes made and how to avoid them

Being that we help people transition to a Keto lifestyle, we have seen (and experienced ourselves) every mistake in the book.  Here are some common mistakes people make when transitioning to a Keto lifestyle and how to avoid them.

The biggest mistake people make is that they neglect doing any substantial research into the Keto diet. What most people do, is that they hear about a new fad diet or know someone who has tried it, they do a Google search, read about 10 sentences, then start the diet. This obviously leads to most of the time the diet is a total fail and the person throwing up their hands and saying "the Keto diet didn't work for me!".  Basing your behaviors on "what I heard" or a few sentences read on a random article online is not smart for any health-related decision. Do some REAL research!  Read at least 2 books based on the subject. You may find quickly that depending on the author, their take on the Keto diet may be different. There are several different versions of "the Keto diet" out there. You need to read up on your options and pick one version that you feel would work for your lifestyle. (Shameless plug for the Fire Team Whiskey Eating Plans! They transition a person over 30 day intervals into ketosis!) 

Another common screw up is not reading labels. For some reason, people are very resistant to this. Again and again, I have a client who is frustrated that they are not seeing results and when we examine what they have been eating, they are still eating foods that are high carb. Mainly they assume something is ok to eat because it seemed "healthy", "low carb" or "high protein" and it turns out it had just as many carbs and sugar in it as anything else (for example, check your "protein bar" label, you will be shocked to discover that most of these have more carbs and sugar in them than a Snickers candy bar). Shameless plug for our Fire Team Whiskey® FuelRation™ Protein and Keto Bars! Our Protein bars are 7 Net Carbs and our Keto Bar is 1 Net carb! 

Some people assume that they will become nutrient deficient when going on a Keto eating plan because of the elimination of fruit, breads and cereals from your diet. The only danger of nutrient deficiencies for someone doing a Keto diet is that they are not diversifying their diet enough. People get excited about the fact that they can eat bacon and cheese on this diet. People who are terrible at eating their vegetables are drawn to this diet. As on any diet, you will experience nutrient deficiencies if you are not including foods that contain vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. Leafy greens, peppers, non-starchy root vegetables, and fungi (mushrooms) should be a part of your daily meals. This also provides you the essential fiber that you need to keep your bowels regular. A major pitfall is that people starting a Keto diet will encounter constipation because of the significant increase in consumption of dairy products and meats and not balancing this with a significant amount of fiber in the form of vegetables.

Some people experience a significant drop off in energy for the first couple of weeks of eating a Keto diet. This is normal and as long as the person is hydrating and resting well, it should dissipate after 2-3 weeks. I would recommend anyone involved in a high-intensity interval or endurance training to scale back on those workouts until your energy level returns to normal.

Weight loss for most people who were eating a standard American diet before switching to Keto will be significant for the first couple of weeks, but just like any eating lifestyle change, your body will adapt and the weight loss will slow down. I caution my clients who are starting one of our Keto eating plans to focus on the "non-scale victories" more than the number on the scale. The argument being that after decades of abusing your body with carbohydrates and thus creating insulin resistance, your body is not going to magically heal itself from a measly 30 days on a low carb eating plan. Your body needs just as much time to heal, so if you are looking for a crash diet, you may need to reconsider the Keto option. There are also many hormone-related conditions related to weight loss difficulties and it is easy for a person to blame a specific diet for their failure to lose weight. The loss of just one hour of sleep can reduce your metabolic rate (your body's ability to burn calories for energy). If you have other factors in your life that are related to weight gain or difficulties to lose weight such as stress, poor sleep habits, hormone, thyroid or adrenal disorders, this will affect your ability to be successful on any diet, not just the Keto diet. I encourage clients to take body composition, pictures, and measurements at 3-month intervals during their Keto journey. It's amazing the differences that show up, even if the scale is not moving much! I have clients who look and feel 10 years younger, are several sizes smaller and have significantly reduced or completely dissipated nagging health conditions, all because they are following the Keto diet long term! Committing to the Keto diet for at least 3 months and focusing more on the non-scale improvements will help you make much more progress in the long run, not just on your weight, but your overall health. 

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