7 Common Mistakes People Make When Starting Keto (& How To Avoid Them)

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woman holding avocados in hands with mouth open

With any lifestyle change, there’s a bit of a learning curve.

Keto is no different! While its high-fat, low-carb nature is very approachable, there’s always room for error (or confusion). To set you up for success, here are the common mistakes new keto dieters make and how to avoid making them.

1. Ordering the wrong thing while dining out.

starbucks frappuccino inside restaurant

Dining out at restaurants can be overwhelming when you’re new to the keto lifestyle. Even our own team member, Angie, had a total Starbucks keto fail when she thought she’d been ordering a keto-friendly drink. Well, it was not. She realized on one of her regular Starbucks runs that there was actually a lot of added sugar hiding in her drink! 😬

Hip Dining Tip: When dining out, always skip the bread, potatoes, sauces, and drinks that are often filled with hidden sugars and carbs. Check out our Keto Dining Out Guides for ideas on what foods you should choose at your favorite restaurants.

2. Forgetting to add fat.

adding butter to coffee

You’re probably thinking, “um that is NOT hard to do—more bacon please!” but trust us, it happens! We’ve spent most of our lives believing fat is the enemy when, in actuality, it’s a wonderful and healthy source of energy.

Since we’re creatures of habit, it’s natural to overlook opportunities to sneak in a little bit more of those healthy fats to rev up our bodies to be fat-burning machines.

Hip Tip on Consuming More Fat: Add an extra spoonful of grass-fed butter (we love Kerrygold!) on top of low-carb veggies, protein, or any other keto vehicle. Heck, you can even add butter or heavy cream into your morning coffee as Lina does with her Bulletproof coffee!

3. Not adding enough protein (or too much).

woman holding package of steaks with cheese and avocados on the counter

The keto diet doesn’t have a focus on a high or low intake of protein—it’s simply just an adequate amount. It may take a little bit of tweaking to find the ideal amount specifically for your body, but it’s oh so important as protein can be turned into glucose when consumed in excess, essentially kicking you out of ketosis.

We love our keto cookie dough protein bars to give you the protein fuel you need to stay energized, while also providing plenty of healthy fat from almond butter.

Hip Tip on Protein Tracking: Remember to replace carbs with fat, not more protein. When starting out, it can be helpful to download a keto diet app to help you determine your macros and track your intake.

4. Skipping your sips of water.

mason jar with water and lemon slice

Dehydration is unfortunately all too common when starting out on keto, and it’s a major factor in the keto flu. Making sure you always have water at hand is a key strategy for keeping your body running like a well-hydrated machine!

Hip Water Drinking Tip: Always have a bottle of water nearby to keep track of your daily intake. If you’re finding that simply water isn’t keeping you hydrated, try incorporating electrolytes with either sugar-free sports drinks or a glass of water with a pinch of Morton Lite Salt Mixture or No Salt.

Better yet, you can make our Keto Citrus Water that’s not only delicious but also helps balance out electrolytes as well!

5. Relying on processed snacks.

lunch container filled with keto foods

You’ll come to find that pre-prepping meals and snacks will make all the difference on keto. Without having an eating plan in mind, you’ll find yourself rifling through the cabinets for something to eat, most likely landing on packages of processed foods.

While having some snacks that are easy to grab-and-go isn’t the worst idea, you’ll want your diet to focus more on whole, natural foods.

Hip Tip on Meal Planning: Plan your meals and shopping list in advance so you don’t find yourself caught off guard come dinner time. You can even prep keto snack boxes so instead of reaching for something over-processed, you have a fresh and healthy refueling option.

Oh, and don’t miss our post sharing a whole week of easy keto school lunch ideas!

6. Leaving temptation in the house.

garbage bag filled with cereal, crackers, and other non-keto food

Keto or not, no one needs sugar-filled, processed foods hanging out in their cupboards. Leaving these carby treats within reach can stifle motivation to stay on track and cause even more sweet cravings, which means more opportunity to be kicked right out of ketosis.

Hip Tip on Purging High Carb Foods: Perform a kitchen clear out of all the keto foods to avoid a week before you start. This gives you time to access the foods you have in your home and make a plan to use, donate, or dispose of them before embarking on your keto journey.

7. Letting outside sources measure your success.

person on scale with question marks appearing for weight

Following keto comes with a wealth of suggested health benefits, but your improvement in health should not solely be judged by tracking apps, ketosis strips, and the “all-mighty” scale.

The most important factor to whether or not you’re getting the most out of keto is, well, YOU! Listen to your body and let your brain measure how you feel without basing your judgment completely on an external source.

Hip Tip on How to Measure Your Keto Success: Smartphone apps, urine, and blood testing strips, and your scale can all provide some insight towards your progress, but after you’re comfortable navigating keto on your own, let your body make its own assessment. If you’re feeling good, physically and mentally, that’s the proof that keto is working for you!

man wearing recovering carboholic tee

Keto is a lifestyle that, when followed properly, can result in a happier and healthier you! If you find yourself caught in any of the situations above, simply adjust your habits to alleviate the issue and get right back into keto. You got this! 👊

Check out these 15 habits of successful keto dieters!

About the writer:

Angela graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and has 25+ years of experience as a writer and photographer with her work being featured in US Weekly Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, and more.

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