15 Keto Mistakes You Need To Stop Now
It seems like most people have made some keto mistakes when following a ketogenic diet.
I am here to share my mistakes and tips how to avoid them.
1. Trust nothing, question everything
Just because the food wrapper says that it is sugar-free, it does not mean that it has no carbs. Or just because it is beef jerky, it does not mean that it has no sugar. I fell into this trap multiple times. The good thing for me is that my friends are not on keto so I can give them food that I accidentally bought.
There are not that many keto friendly foods in stores. Every time you go to the store, write down new foods that are keto friendly. In a couple of months, you will have a full shopping list of foods that you can eat at your store.
2. Take measurements when the scale is not moving
Progress pictures can give a visual representation of where you are in your keto journey, but I found it incredibly useful to track my waist, butt, and arm measurements.
During plateaus, you will be still shedding inches, but scale might not necessarily move as quickly.
3. Neglecting MCTs
By eating carbs, you can get quick boosts in energy, and unfortunately, it does not happen when you are on keto. That is where Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) come in. They are a special type of fats that take a shorter amount of time to break down and give you a quick boost of energy similar to carbs.
It made a huge difference for me when I tried to be active on keto. The only major food that has MCTs is coconut. So, please, buy some coconut oil or coconut milk. Try to have them with your tea or coffee. I noticed tremendous improvements in my energy levels, and I became a morning person just because of this stuff!
4. “Just one won’t hurt” trap
Let’s admit it, most people have cheat days on their diet. You are not going to die if you eat a donut. For me, it becomes a slippery slope, where a cheat day becomes a cheat week.
Practice self-control and create your keto meal plan. the trick that learned is to not trust my first instinct. If you are in the cafeteria, and you tell yourself that you want a donut, just say that you first voice is not correct when it comes to food.
Some people have pictures on their phone to remind them where they were in the journey a couple of months ago to help them not cheat.
5. Replacing old junk food with low carb version of it
One of the first things I did, when switching to keto is finding replacements for my favorite junk foods. Pizza, chips, pastries, cookies, fast foods. The problem I have with low carb replacements is that I would still overeat and not hit my macros.
I had to go back, change my lifestyle, and stick to ketogenic vegetables, meats, and healthy fats. Once I thought of it as a lifestyle change and not a diet, it became much easier for me.
6. Don’t get upset when your scale is not moving
There is a great phrase that is circling around keto community: “Keep calm and keto on!” Don’t let the scale determine your self-worth.
Like in anything in life, you gotta trust the process. Sometimes you will do everything right for multiple days and won’t see results. Just keep going for the sake of who you want to become.
7. Monitor your portion size (at least in the beginning).
I am sure this one is not going to be the most popular tip, but it helped me tremendously in the beginning. I grew up in Eastern Europe, where portion sizes are 2-3 times smaller than in the US.
I became so accustomed to portions here that I didn’t realize how many calories I was consuming. Having MFP (myfitnesspal) or any other app helped me to get a hang of portion sizes within a month or so.
Now I stopped religiously tracking portion sizes, but I still use a food scale for my meats.
8. Saying no to free food.
I have my regular office job. People bring food to the office about 3-4 times a week. It is tempting to have a donut or a cookie. I love sweets! It is hard to refuse free food.
The trick that helped me was to bring a quest bar or a snack that is similar to the food that people usually bring to the office. Another trick is to drink a glass of water, before taking free food.
9. Take progress pictures
I truly believe in the power of “before and after” pictures. It gives us a visual reference in time that is more just a number in pounds.
When you stop making progress, you can always look back at your progress to keep yourself motivated and accountable.
10. Not getting enough fiber
I want to talk about awkward things, like going to the bathroom. I have never been irregular in my life. But when I started keto, I have started having constipation on regular basis.
To avoid that, increase your fiber intake by eating fiber rich ketogenic vegetables and stay hydrated. If this is not enough, try fiber supplements. They really help!
11. Proper hydration
I have gone through a couple of keto cases of flu. All of the instances felt different to me. One time, I had horrible headaches.
Other times, I had weakness in my joints and wanted to take naps all day long. Most of my problems came from not properly hydrating. Here is a list of foods that have helped me with electrolytes.
Potassium: avocados, mushrooms, spinach, fish, yogurt;
Magnesium: supplements like magnesium citrate
Sodium: season all your food when cooking, eat foods that rich in sodium (e.g. pickled vegetables, salted sunflower seeds, deli meat, cheese, salted broth)
Powerade ZERO, LyteShow
12. Weight loss is not linear
Keto could be very deceptive. You can lose a bunch of weight in the beginning fairly quickly. In your mind, you will continue the same weight loss pattern.
The quicker you realize that losing weight is not a linear process, the better you are going to deal with plateaus.
Don’t worry about minor weight fluctuations. They happen all the time. Your body might be retaining more water than usual or you still have a bunch of food in your digestive system.
Water retention can play a huge role in weight fluctuations in women, especially during the menstrual cycles.
Stick to the process, look at long-term trends, and keto on.
13. Letting keto ruin your social life
I like to go out to eat and have beers with my friends. In a social setting, you share appetizers, sometimes pitchers of beer. Now I can’t do it. Nobody will agree to buy a pitcher of Ultra. Not because man don’t drink Ultra, but because all low-calorie beer tastes like piss for me. Some people can handle the taste, but I would rather stick to spirits.
For men, you look manlier when you are on keto. Pounding wings with bourbon on the rocks. Ron Swanson is your new idol. Hell yeah.
14. Hitting macros instead of eating just to satiety
We are all gone through the process of defining our macros. During the first a couple of weeks I have been trying religiously to hit my fat macros even though a lot of times I was not even hungry. So moving forward, my rule of thumb became:
Restrict your carbs
Hit your protein goal
Eat fat when hungry
Hitting specific protein goals are important because of my 6-7 times per week training regimen. For others, it could be important to not lose their muscle mass with extreme protein deficits. Keto Calculator is your friend here.
15. Becoming a keto nazi.
You have experienced ketogasm, and you want others to see the light and switch over to keto. You feel like you can save other people from eating carb-filled foods. Just don’t do it.
Don’t ruin relationships, because of your lifestyle change. Other people can still eat carbs. It is their personal choice.
If you start with keto it is inevitable to make mistakes along the way. When you made a mistake, just pick yourself up and keto on.