WE MADE THE MISTAKES SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO!
In this article, we will look back on all the mistakes we've made over the past two and a half years with the ketogenic diet, combined with all the questions and emails we've received from you, to countdown the Top 10 Most Common Keto Mistakes. We understand that switching to a keto lifestyle takes a lot of adjustment and a bit of a learning curve, but we're here to help you avoid those mistakes to save you time and get you started on the right foot!
The HUGE list of keto friendly foods.
1. Not Focusing On How You Feel
It's easy to focus exclusively on whether or not you are losing weight, but it's far more important to focus on how you feel. A positive mental attitude makes things easier and helps get you into the right mindset to fuel your body. Don't worry about all the small details such as whether or not what you eat today will change the scale tomorrow. Focus on the bigger picture: How do you feel? Once you make that your priority, the weight loss will come. Internal health equals external health.
2. Thinking It's Just About The Food
Keto extends far beyond just the food aspect. You can't just replace the bad foods you consume with keto foods; you have to change other habits in your life to succeed with this lifestyle. It's not that easy, but nothing in life worth doing ever is, right? Thinking that you can remain your same self and just start doing keto is not how it works. It's necessary to look at the bigger picture. You can't just watch Netflix and eat pork rinds instead of popcorn. Subtle changes as simple as taking a walk around the block every day in addition to starting a ketogenic lifestyle will make a drastic improvement to your life. Everything you do throughout the day, every decision that you make, plays into you becoming a healthier person. It's not just about the food. It's about everything.
3. Forcing Things
This may seem very general, but we as human often expect that if we force something, we will immediately see results. This applies to keto as well. There will be some discomfort along the way. You can't just stay in your comfort zone and expect things to happen. Try out different things such as intermittent fasting and other approaches to keto and a healthier lifestyle. There's no one way to conquer all. Try everything, force nothing. Avoid these keto mistakes by finding what works for you.
4. Being Afraid to Make Mistakes
One of the biggest keto mistakes is being afraid to make mistakes and overthinking all the details. We understand that keto can be very intimidating, especially when you compare it to what most people are eating nowadays. It's a pretty big departure from the norm. Thinking about doing something, researching it extensively, and having dreams and hopes about it isn't going to do anything. You actually have to start doing it and you can learn from your mistakes along the way.
Matt's favorite expression is "Ready, Fire, Aim." Fire before you totally calibrate in on what you're doing exactly. Even after 2.5 years of keto, Matt and Megha are still fine tuning their approach to keto and they continue to figure things out along the way.
5. Comparing Yourself to Others
This is huge for everyone. Whether or not we consciously realize that we are doing it, we are always comparing ourselves to others. Constantly comparing yourself to others only weighs negatively on you and never achieves anything. Always compare yourself to your previous self and no one else. Are you making progress? Good! That's where you need to be.
6. Picking a Side
People often decide on something and once they have, that's it. Nothing will change their minds. It's either their way or the highway. Don't do this. A lot of times people will compare what one health professional has said to what another advises. It's not black or white. This or that. There's no single right way. Try both. Try everything. Be open minded to other options and new information, and you'll be sure to find what works best for you. Doing otherwise is counter to progress and removes the possibility of you taking in new information in the future and will only stunt your growth and progress. You only stand to benefit by taking in all ideas and information to find your own path.
7. Working Around Your Problems
A big mistake people make is working around their problems, not through them. This is huge for everyone, but we see it happen a lot with people regarding food. A lot of people will try new things such as intermittent fasting, thinking they can eat whatever they want as long as it is within the 8 hour window. This is a recipe for failure as it does not address the problems. For instance, Matt and Megha love to snack. Who doesn't? They tried intermittent fasting and discovered that it is not quite for them, so they reevaluated and came up with a plan that works for them. Why do you do the things you do and how can you make this work for you in a ketogenic lifestyle?
Despite most people who do keto being very anti-snack, Matt and Megha are all about the snack life. Many will say that once you start keto, you'll never feel the need to snack again. This isn't the case for these two. You can make this work for you, too, but you have to change your ideas about snacking. You can't just mindlessly wander into the kitchen and grab some macadamia nuts or string cheese. You should be consciously aware of what you are eating at all times. You can't just pop open a bag of pork rinds while watching Netflix as that gets out of hand very fast. Make a plan. Pull out a plate, get out a specified amount that you have figured into your daily macros, and enjoy.
9. Perfection Over Consistency
Being consistent is far more important than trying to be perfect every day. This will make you tired, burn you out, and is not sustainable. Doing the best you can for as long as you can is better than doing two weeks perfectly, getting burned out, and quitting the diet. So what if you didn't exactly hit your macros every day this week? It's okay. Just keep going.
Think of keto mistake as the "New Years Effect". In January, you see people in the gym every single day doing high intensity work outs then they quit after a few weeks and never return. The only way to succeed is by doing small changes consistently. Doing the best you can without obsessing over perfection is the key.
10. Putting Pleasure Over Your Health
Everyone does this. You know you do. Everyone wants to carpe diem, but is it more important than your health? Is your health the sacrifice you're going to make for just the two minutes of satisfaction you'll get for eating that piece of cake? Your health, diet, and mental state all suffer for the extremely short period of pleasure you experience when eating those foods. You don't need those foods. In life, you're going to have to make certain sacrifices if you want to hit certain goals. If you want to have overall better health or full control over your relationship with food, you will need to pass up certain things. "Sacrifices" always come with a negative connotation, but it doesn't have to be that way. This is a huge positive for you, your health, and your life. The cake just isn't worth it.
Two Bonus Keto Mistakes To Avoid
If we say bonus, it makes them sound more fun, right?
11. Fat Phobia
A lot of people have a difficult time hitting their fat macros. They often ask, "How do I do it? Are you sure I'm supposed to be eating this much fat?" This attitude is usually caused by a negative perception of fat that simply needs to change. Once you move past your preconceived notions regarding fat, the quicker you will realize that a high fat diet makes you and your body feel so much better. Once your body starts to receive higher amounts of fat, the ketogenic lifestyle will become sustainable and you will have so much more energy and improved mental clarify. However, it is important to note that you can't just eat whatever fat you want as it needs to be a certain ratio of your diet. Regardless of how many calories you want to consume daily, 75% of your diet should come from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbohydrates.
12. Lack of Accountability
Be accountable with yourself, whether it's in life or keto. This is very important. Is there a disconnect between what you're actually doing and what you're telling yourself that you are doing? A lot of people will pass the accountability on to everyone but themselves. For instance, we once got an email from someone who was upset with an employee at GNC for telling her that a GNC lean shake was safe for a low carb diet to which they ended their complaint with "I guess he lied." This is not about him. It's about you. You bought the product. You could have flipped the product over to check the nutritional information. This is your fault. Don't expect anyone to do anything for you. You have to be accountable in all aspects.
If you can't do it alone, find a partner. Use your spouse or a friend. Log your food into MyFitnessPal. Find a Facebook group, make an Instagram account, or start a diet bet with your coworkers. All of these options (and so many more) can help you stay accountable. There are so many things that you can do or change in your life to set you up for success. Leave the excuses at the door, because you have a bright future ahead of you!
Let us know what your mistakes you've made in the comments below. We'd love to hear about the trials and tribulations you've experienced and overcome while on the keto diet.