6 reasons why people fail on keto

Maintaining a healthy keto lifestyle can be a huge obstacle for some people. Sometimes you are excited to start and play by all of the rules initially and then you lose momentum. For some, curbing their cravings for sugar and carb-loaded foods is their Achilles heel. Whatever the case may be, we are here to help you by giving you the top reasons most people fail on keto.

First, what is keto?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that provides multiple health benefits. This requires a dramatic decrease in the consumption of carbohydrates and its substitution with fat. This lowering of carbohydrates puts the body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. In Ketosis the body is extremely energy-efficient in burning fat. It also converts fat into ketones in the liver which can provide the brain with energy.

How do I know if I’m in ketosis?

There are three main ways to test yourself to see if you are in ketosis. Each ketone test method tests something different: blood tests measure the levels of BHBS that are present, breath tests calculate the levels of acetone in your body and urine tests for the levels of acetoacetate. Since each procedure is different and there is no direct association between the different ketone measurements, parallels between the tests  are not possible.

Ketone Blood Test: When you use a blood ketone meter, you'll get a reading on how much BHBs (B-hydroxybutyrate) spreads in your blood. To take the test, you need a very small drop of blood for usually acquired by sticking a finger. It is fairly simple and easy to use.

Urine Strips: Urine strips work by dipping the strip into a urine sample for a couple of seconds and measuring the strip's color to the colors on the label to determine the amount of ketones in your urine. Urine strips are commonly available in the grocery stores and drug stores.

Keto Breath Tests: Keto breath tests work by deeply exhaling into a device to test your level of concentration of acetone in the breath. Acetone is the smallest form of  ketone body found naturally in the human body and is formed during the ketosis cycle.


Now that you understand the different ways to test for ketones, here are 6 common reasons people fail on ketosis.

1. Rushing into Keto unprepared

One of the main reasons people fail on the keto diet is because they fail to properly plan out their ketosis journey. Many are eager to get started based on preliminary google searches or hearing about the lifestyle through a friend. They rush to google all there is to know and while googling is helpful, it’s not the same as getting expert advice. Having someone to hold your hand and prepare you ahead of time is the best plan.

There is a lot to understand about the different ways keto works for different body types. Just because you start keto and are actively on the diet doesn’t guarantee that you will see the results you desire. It is best to outline a list of your body goals and note the reason why you are starting keto in the first place?

Most people start to lose weight and live a healthier, more active lifestyle. Others have found that keto provides other benefits that aren’t commonly talked about such as helping clear up psoriasis, control or manage diabetes or other underlying health conditions. 

2.Lack of accountability

Not having an accountability partner or group can really hinder your progress on keto. As with most things in life, doing it in numbers is better than going at it alone-- especially if you are new to keto. Having a group that will keep you accountable and remind you of why you started when things get rough can be extremely beneficial. 

Think about it: changing your diet and lifestyle is a learning curve. Just as you would need a teacher or group environment to learn a new skill or trade, having a coaching group can make your progress significantly easier. 

3. Minimal Nutrition knowledge 

One of the top mistakes keto enthusiasts make when they start their keto lifestyle is not truly understanding how many products contain hidden carbs and sugars that we don’t think about. The most obvious foods are grains, rice, bread, and pasta but what about the others? Did you know that there are carbs in your drinks, condiments, and other common foods? Knowing how to read and understand nutritional labels is invaluable on the ketosis diet. Learn more here

4.  Letting Social Activities derail you 

Perhaps one of the most challenging parts of any diet (not just keto) is managing how to stay on track when you're around friends and family. We have all been there before: we’ve been having the perfect week of counting our calories and macronutrients and then you get a call inviting you to dinner and drinks. You ponder if you should go, if you should make up an excuse or if the place your dining at even has enough options to keep you keto. 

Although having a cheat day every now and again is fine, don’t set yourself backwards by making it a consistent thing. The urge to give into temptation is very real and not having a plan in place for dining out socially can lead you on a dangerous path to over-consuming carbs.If someone else invites you out to eat, study the menu ahead of time so that you can understand your options before you get there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are at the restaurant about the ingredients in the meals you are interested in. Learn more here.

5.  The Scale Discourages You

There are a few things worse than putting in a lot of energy and discipline into ketosis and then seeing you haven’t lost as much as you’d like. This happens to a lot of people, regardless of the diet that they’re on. They may have been pushing themselves to the limits, just to see their weight is dropping painstakingly slow, or not at all. Don’t let the scale discourage you. 

Just because you don’t see the numbers dropping doesn’t mean you aren’t adding health and value to your lifestyle. There are ways to get over the “stalls” and “plateaus” of weight loss, especially on keto.

6.  Your workout routine isn’t sufficient

If you are seeking to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, it is important to integrate more physical activity into your lifestyle. Having a good workout routine is vital to see good results on any diet. Apart from promoting weight loss, the implementation of an exercise regimen has numerous benefits for the body. Exercising, for example, reduces the risk of medical diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety and obesity. Working out doesn’t just burn calories, it also helps to create muscle, that can improve the metabolism by increasing the amount of energy expended during rest times.

Find a reputable workout program that you trust that works with your lifestyle to increase the chances that you will stick with it. Every program is not created the same. A simple daily run may be all it takes for you to kick up your ketosis journey.

The bottom line

The ketogenic diet, along with other safe lifestyle improvements, may be an important method for weight loss.

As is the case with many other diets, there will be hiccups along the road and people will have setbacks. Knowing what to expect ahead of time, proper planning, and having accountability can make your keto journey significantly easier. Learn more about how proper planning can help you excel on keto here.

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