You’re not prepared
The keto diet will be unlike almost any other diet you’ve tried. That’s why going into this eating style without helpful strategies, plans, and ideas for making day-to-day food decisions easier can backfire.
“It’s a lot more involved than cutting out bread and pasta,” says Mary Weidner, cofounder of Strongr Fastr, a keto meal-planning app. “It requires planning and tracking just how many carbs you’re eating. Make no mistake, it takes effort and work—more so than other diets—and this can be overwhelming.”
Fix: Put in the prep work. “Fail to prepare, then prepare to fail,” says Lisa Davis, PhD, PA-C, CNS, the chief nutrition officer for Terra’s Kitchen, a food delivery service that caters to many different types of eating plans. “Meal prepping is crucial in achieving ketosis because the macros are so specific.” Before you begin prepping, make sure you check out the hidden dangers of a keto diet.
You eat too much protein
Yes, you read that right. While meat-lovers may approach the plan with gusto, digging into the steaks, burgers, bacon, pork tenderloin, and sausage—which are all keto-approved foods—too much can be a bad thing.
“Contrary to popular belief, a ketogenic diet is not a high-protein diet,” says Brett Osborn, board-certified neurosurgeon, anti-aging physician, and nutrition advisor to BPI Sports. “In fact, protein should make up only 15 to 30 percent of your daily calories. Otherwise, ketone production will stall.”
“Excess protein interferes with ketosis, and people who focus too much on protein may not achieve a ketogenic state,” says Kristen Mancinelli, RD, author of The Ketogenic Diet and the upcoming book Jumpstart Ketosis. “Remember, keto is mostly fat, low to moderate protein, and almost no carbs.”
Fix: Track your protein, carbs, fat, and more so you get a better picture of what you’re eating in a day. Then, try to plan your meals and snacks to better align with your high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb goals.