If you are looking into going on the keto diet (aka ketogenic diet) purely for weight loss, then this article is for you. It will help you avoid the most common pitfalls when it comes keto for weight loss.
Top 5 Keto Diet Mistakes
- Not understanding that mindset is everything when it comes to weight loss. Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated or super hard but it takes concentrated effort, discipline and focus. This only works if you sort out the way you think about weight loss and your own body. It helps if you embrace your weight loss journey as a journey of self-love and healing.
- Looking for a quick fix. Sure, keto works and works exceedingly well for weight loss but it only works long-term if you can make it sustainable and fit in with your lifestyle. This requires you to have a good think about sustainability before you start planning for your first keto shopping trip, or everything you lose on this diet will get piled back on as soon as you start eating that Standard American/Western Diet high-carb diet again.
- Not researching and tracking macros. This is a high fat, low carb diet, and only moderate in protein unlike the Atkins diet which was high protein. Some people really can’t wrap their mind around the high fat concept because most of us have been brainwashed to think that all fats are evil. Good, healthy fats are not only good for us but essential – unlike carbs. Did you know there is not a single carb that is essential to our survival? You need to get around 75% of your calorie intake to be from fats on a keto diet. You can’t cut down on fat or guestimate based on what your taste buds tell you, because in the beginning it will feel weird and even wrong to consume this much fat. However, if you don’t get 75% or more of your energy in fat, you won’t enter into ketosis.
- Which brings us to the next point: Not testing for ketones. Assuming you are on the keto diet because you want the weight loss results that you can gain from turning your body into a fatburning machine, I’m going to assume that you are aiming to be in a state of ketosis. Guessing on macros and not testing to see if you have flipped the switch from burning carbs to burning ketones, is a recipe for failure to meet your goals on this diet. The optimal range of ketosis is a blood ketone levels of between 1.5 and 3.0 mmol/L. You are in a light state from ketosis starting at 0.5 mmol/L – any lower than that and you are not reaping the benefits of this diet. Provided you stick to max 20 net carbs per day, it should only take a couple of days to enter at least a light state of ketosis. While I absolutely recommend a blood ketone meter as the most reliable method, you should at least get the urine strips to test with during the first week or so.
- Not tracking your weight loss/gain. You’re not in high school any more! If you’re the kind of person who gets really depressed from the slightest weight fluctuation that is not in your favour (even though you know that water weight can fluctuate rather a lot), you need to decide to take a more mature approach, so that you don’t get in your own way by not tracking anything. Track not only your carbs but all your macros (and micros!) for free with the Cronometer app. In this app, you should also enter your weight on a consistent (I suggest daily) basis. Just learn to ignore small water weight fluctuations. You are in this for long-term health and wellness so keep your eye on longer term trends but use the daily data to stay on track and understand how you are affected by what is happening in and around you. You won’t have to do this for life… only until you reach your goal weight – and then you’ll realise that it has been SO worth it!
Love & Light