Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
In this post, I’m going to cover the top 5 keto mistakes I have witnessed my clients make before working with me that was causing them to stall, and what you can do about them. Let’s get into it.
But first, I just want to let you know that along with creating super easy and delicious keto recipes and meal plans, I also work with people one on one to help you get to your goal weight, and learn how to maintain it long term.
It baffles me that nobody is talking about maintenance, as I think it’s possibly the most important part of any weight loss journey. If you’d like to work with me, there is a link to a book in time to chat with me down below. I don’t work with everyone, only people whom I can see are committed to change.
Book A Time With Aaron: https://calendly.com/fatforweightloss/15-min-session/
So let’s go through some of the top 5 mistakes to see if you’re making them, and let’s go over how you might be able to change them to kickstart your journey again.
Top Keto Mistake #1: Focusing too heavily on carbs
The first mistake I see so many people making is focusing too heavily on carbs and leaving the rest up to chance. Sure, just simply tracking carbs is a great place to start if you have over 20kgs to lose, but to see any meaningful body composition changes, you need to focus on energy balance.
There is this common misconception that fewer carbs equal more weight loss, and it’s a hard pill to swallow. Fewer carbs often lead to emotional eating or rebounds, creating a challenging mindset that can be unsustainable for most people in the long run.
Guess what? When I was on my journey towards my goal, I was eating “non-keto foods” such as fruit and sourdough bread. I went out to dinner with my family and didn’t need to research the menu the day before. As soon as you tell yourself you can’t eat something, all you do is crave that particular food, or your inner rebellion comes out to fight your every decision.
Weight loss and being in a state of ketosis are two separate entities. Ketosis means you’re able to very effectively burn fat for energy. Whether it comes from your body, or your food, keto is a metabolic adaptation. Weight loss is the purposeful use of your stored body fat as fuel.
It might feel like when you eat more carbs than usual you’ve gained all the weight back, and in fact, that’s not true. Carbohydrates are stored along with three times their weight in water. Ever heard the term “losing your water weight?” That’s the process of losing your glycogen storage. We don’t burn one source of energy exclusively, we can mix our energy sources which is often called metabolic adaptation.
So, how can we change this? Well, with my clients I often start with a higher amount of carbs and work down if necessary. I rarely go below 35g of carbs for anyone. I tend to focus more on protein than carbs and fats put together.
Top Keto mistake #2. Letting stress and external circumstances overwhelm your nutrition and having nobody to keep you accountable.
This one doesn’t necessarily apply directly to keto itself, this one can be applied to the general healthy eating mentality. You start meal prepping, or you purposefully buy healthy foods from the grocery store and begin your journey, but a stressful scenario or some sort of external circumstance causes you to throw in the towel.
You are probably someone who cares for other people, either at home, or at work, or within your family. What happens when they get sick, or they need your help? Well, your new healthy eating plan goes out the window because it’s easy to put other people first.
You’ve got a big to-do list, and your priorities tend to fall off that to-do list very easily. Putting yourself first doesn’t always work, and it’s much easier to put others’ needs in front of your priorities because that’s what you’ve always done.
Does this sound like something you’ve had to deal with in the past? You’re not alone….
The first thing I always ask my clients before we embark on any change is this. From 10% to 100%, how confident are you feeling about these changes? If it’s any less than 100%, then it’s either not easy enough, or there are hesitations. We work through worse case scenarios and reduce the changes necessary to still get to your goals.
Not everyone can get grass-fed, holy monk blessed foods and eat as clean as possible every single day of the week. It’s unachievable for most people, but for some reason, everyone seems to start at the top.
I preach sustainability. Can you do this for the next 6 months? If not, let’s make it bulletproof. There is always an easier way to your goal if you know what concepts matter when it comes to weight loss.
Top Keto Mistake #3 – The all or nothing mentality, or as I like to explain it as “I’m on a diet, or I’m off the diet”.
Why are these top 5 keto mistakes so common? Well, you might be someone who thrives on a plan. You are good with routines and structure and do well when someone is giving you parameters with which you can operate.
But, when you’re stressed out, you can go from strict discipline to unintentional rebellion or uncontrolled eating. Then the feelings of guilt or disappointment start to creep in, and you do it all again, creating this negative loop that self perpetuates until you finally decide to give up.
My job is often to help you find the grey area in between the all or nothing mentality. All or nothing usually gets us nothing. Something is better than nothing, so let’s just try to make something worthwhile.
I always see clients who have tried everything in the past. From certain types of fasting to eliminating specific foods from your diet to working out like an athlete whilst also trying to hold down a full-time job and a family.
You don’t have to be doing everything right all the time to lose weight. You just have to be using your precious energy to focus on what matters. There is no point in doing unsustainable fasting to lose weight. Fasting can be a great accelerator in specific circumstances, but it’s not the main driver of weight loss.
Instead, I work with my clients to create a positive space to grow. Honesty is key, and creating a mindset that allows you to keep trying again without guilt is the key to success. My clients often have nights out, or work functions, or birthday celebrations, Christmas, easter, new year celebrations, you name it. None of my clients put on weight during these times, and even if they did, they didn’t feel guilty about it because it was planned.
The negative loop happens when you don’t have a plan. You remove all the guilt when you have a plan, and automatically remove yourself from the negative loop that can destroy your mindset very quickly.
Another common mistake, and this is keto mistake #4, is to give up when you’re not seeing the results you expected.
This one can be hard to deconstruct, but usually, we have this preconceived notion that going keto will give you really fast weight loss. It also comes with the mindset that sounds like this:
“Once I get to my goal weight, I’ll be able to loosen up a little”
Usually that comment right there is a red flag for me. Do you know when people talk about keto being a lifestyle? Well, a lifestyle has no endpoint, it’s just something you do. You don’t have to be keto for the rest of your life to create a healthy lifestyle, it’s just something you do.
Trust me, it’s not a race to the bottom. Losing weight quickly often leads to unsustainable eating patterns or schedules that have no room for error.
Sustainable weight loss happens at around 0.5% to 1% per week. So if you’re 200lbs, that would equal 1 to 2lbs of weight loss per week. If you’re 100kgs, that would equal 500g to 1kg of weight loss per week.
You can’t lose weight indefinitely either. If you’ve been dieting for a long time and you’ve never sustained a period of maintenance, then this could be the source of all disappointment. It’s easy to want to get the weight off as quickly and effortlessly as possible because you just want it gone, but remember, it’s a journey.
You can’t be the same person you are right now and just weigh 25 kilos less. It’s also a mindset journey, which is often the first one to undermine your best efforts.
Periods of maintenance with increased energy are really important to maintain a healthy metabolism. Without them, it’s hard to continue dieting because your body just fights back with all its evolutionary power.
So what can we do about it? Well, periods of weight loss that span 8-16 weeks in length are all that is needed to get to your goal. Building in either maintenance or diet breaks are the best insurance policy against gaining that weight back again.
95% of most people who lose weight gain it back again within 12 months. Don’t be a statistic, keep it off for good.
And lastly, the 5th mistake I see many clients who come to me making is this: Not having structure.
Having structure is important, but we often fall victim to shiny object syndrome where we attempt to add in other methods or strategies that don’t actually work that well, and simply make it harder to stick to.
Should you be intermittent fasting? Should you be taking this specific supplement? Should I be doing X? I’ve read online that it’s something I should be doing.
Having someone who can objectively make these decisions for you is invaluable. When I first started, I worked with Frida, and she was my decision-making centre. Should I be using kettlebells? Should I be lowering my carbs? What do you think about these supplements? Often the answer would be… well, it depends. If you’re able to add that into what we’re already doing, great. If not, that’s the first thing you should drop.
I now work with renaissance periodisation with a doctor called Trevor, who can course-correct my wayward thinking. Even coaches need coaches right?
So if you’re needing the same kind of accountability and strategic direction, I help my clients lose 10kgs in 8 weeks using a low carb ketogenic diet without crash diet strategies. If you’re making these common mistakes that I’ve outlined today, then you might need someone who can give you some strategic direction and guidance towards the path of success.
There is a link below which you can book a time to chat directly with me and we can discuss the possibility of working together.
So, I look forward to speaking with you. Let me know in the comments which mistake you feel like you’re currently making, or have made in the past, and how you overcame the hurdles that often try to derail our efforts.