The #1 Reason Why People Quit Keto (& Why You Shouldn’t)

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non-keto junk food in trash bag

Thinking of throwing in the towel?

There’s a ton of reasons why one would try a ketogenic (keto) diet, and often when the reason is weighted by a chronic disease, syndrome, or illness, the motivation and success to stick with it are quite high. Previously, epilepsy was the primary reason someone would start a keto diet, but today, with over 70% of U.S. adults being overweight or obese, weight-loss as a driving motivator has taken the lead.

But, why then, do so many people who attempt to adopt a keto lifestyle struggle to stick with it? Does this mean keto is just another unsustainable “fad-diet”?

We live in a nation of chronic dieters, people perpetually trying to lose weight but consistently failing to keep it off. For over 50 years, the dietary prescription to lose weight was grounded on calorie-control and demonizing dietary fat as the culprit. People began counting calories, portioning food, and replacing dietary fat with carbohydrates.

Adherence was routinely measured by a test of the dreaded scale. A quick step atop the platform of compliance would critique your true commitment by a flash of a single, arbitrary number. So how did this nutrition advice pan out? With a continued inflating epidemic of obesity and chronic disease.

woman holding scale

Humans were not born with food trackers!

Or scales, or measuring cups, or an owner’s manual indicating the correct number and ratio of macronutrients to achieve your “ideal body weight”. But somehow, for hundreds of thousands of years in human history, mankind was capable of self-regulating their intake without tracking numbers. In fact, it’s only been within the last five decades that obesity has become a public health crisis.

What changed? Well, that’s a lot to unfold, but undoubtedly going from consuming fresh, whole ingredients to overconsumption of packaged, frozen, and processed foods didn’t help. Solely blaming calories for the cause of weight gain creates a tunnel-vision-like view that focuses on numbers rather than the quality of food.

The model of “calories in vs. calories out”, “move-more, eat-less”, and “if it fits your macros (IIFYM)” completely disregards any nutritional value of food in relation to how ingredients fuel, and nourish the body. The primary motivation and purpose to eat a certain way or follow a particular diet are driven by vanity, rather than viewed as nutrition to fuel the body.

So, what’s the #1 reason people quit keto (or any diet for that matter)?

sliced up steak on a cutting board

You’re probably hoping for me to say something straightforward like “too much protein” or “overconsuming carbs” but the truth is, it’s being trapped in the diet mentality! It’s time to stop viewing food as only calories, numbers, and macros and start seeing it as nourishing ingredients to fuel a living, breathing, human being.

Your body is starving for nutrition… care for it, feed it, nourish it.

Humans tend to feed their plants and pets better than they feed themselves. Pay attention to the food you eat. Think about the nourishing compounds from whole food sources like plants and animals vs. those that come from a package with a two-year expiration date.

Ask yourself why you started keto. If the first answer is to lose weight, it may be time to reframe your thinking. We get healthy to lose weight, not the other way around, and then you’ll quickly find that weight loss becomes a side-effect of a healthy body.

Keto foods on checkout at walmart

So… do you find yourself counting, measuring, and tracking every morsel of food you eat into a calculator? Are you obsessing with the number on the scale? Do you pay more attention to the macros on a food label rather than the quality of food you’re consuming? Then I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re on the fast-track to fad-diet failure.

When nourishment and health become a driving factor for changing one’s diet, then the likelihood of success and the ability to sustain the diet is much, much greater.

It’s time to stop memorizing the flashcards of dieting but instead aim to read, learn, and become educated about nutrition, food, and the ingredients necessary to keep your body healthy. Knowledge creates awareness, and in turn, a healthy mindset, which is imperative for sustainable outcomes.

Ditch the math and consider the quality of the food you eat. Then, the promise of health, longevity, and success will follow.

Here’s How Our Registered Dietician Came to Love Keto!

Join The Discussion

Comments 10

  1. Angela

    Such a great post.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yay! Thanks so much for the feedback, Angela! SO glad you enjoyed the post! 🙌

  2. lydiaking77

    My husband ands I switched to a keto lifestyle for his health and hoped for some weightloss benefits as well. Although we’ve been living this life for a while, he has started gaining weight. We are a little concerned and not sure what has changed to cause his weight gain. The other health benefits are great.

    • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

      Hi there Lydia! I can see why you would be concerned. Weight gain can be frustrating, however there are several explanations as to why it could be happening. Hang in there ❤Here is some information that may be useful. Hope this helps♥

  3. Momala67

    I started the keto lifestyle two years ago this April. I did it for heath reasons. I’ve lost some weight but just FEEL better! I had major surgery in October and slipped for two months and after going back “full force” have decided I will never ever slip again! I’m told almost everyday how healthy and how much younger I look!!!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Aww, SO glad to hear how much better you feel when on the Keto lifestyle. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us!

  4. NikkiLLM5

    I have 2 autoimmune diseases. I have 5 children and a busy life. So I’ve let myself go because it was easy. I don’t enjoy cooking. I’d rather be outside. I’m hoping with keto I can feel good again. I have chronic fatigue and I’m always exhausted. I used to be the person none of my friends could keep up with but now I’m the one always canceling. I just want to feel good again & feel like living life. Thank you for dedicating an entire app to this lifestyle! I used to diet. But after age 40 the middle age spread hit me hard! And I can’t seem to lose weight simply by restricting calories anymore. And even if I do lose weight I still don’t feel good. I’m truly hoping this will give me at least part of my energetic lifestyle back. With all the tips and tricks on here I’m hoping I can cater it so I don’t have to cook a lot and I can still reap all the benefits. Thanks for making this app!!!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      So glad you have stopped by! I have a friend with MS whose is in pain daily. She’s been doing Keto since Feb 3rd with me and all her pain has stopped. She used to have to wake up an hour before she wanted to get out of bed because she was stiff and in pain. This is the best she has felt in 20 years. So far she has lost 35 lbs which is also a bonus. It’s really an easy lifestyle that we enjoy. When you talk about restricting calories, I really encourage you to get this book called The Obesity Code. It will debunk the calories in/calories out myth and make you feel a whole lot better. We did do it for our book club last month and you can order it from this post. I’d love to hear any follow up after you start and absolutely encourage you to join our keto community page here. There’s so much support from others on that page!

  5. Melissa Caldwell

    I have been on keto for 5 weeks and have been on a plateau for a few weeks. Last night I was so discouraged that I ate 2 cookies, then beat myself about it, up of course. This morning I woke up, made my keto coffee and thought about giving up, but this post was in my email. Thank you!
    Not Giving Up

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