The keto diet has certainly surged in popularity over the years due to its variety of health benefits.

But, lets face it…

There are still a few things dieters are doing wrong which is keeping them from reaping the full benefits of this keto lifestyle.

Before diving into any diet, it’s crucial to have all of the facts as well as a solid understanding of what you’re getting into so you don’t fail.

In this article, we’re going to break down the top ten things people tend to get wrong on the keto diet so you can ensure you have a successful keto journey.

Let’s dive in!

#1 It’s just another low-fat, calorie-counting diet

Not quite!

While keeping track of your calories is important, that’s not really the point. The ketogenic diet is one that is based on the premise of being very low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and moderate in protein consumption.

In fact, doctors and researchers conducted a two-year study comparing the results of the keto diet, a low-fat diet, and the Mediterranean diet on three sample population groups.

While participants in all groups lost weight, those on the keto diet lost the most weight and those in the low-fat category lost the least [1].

Bottom line:

Unlike many other diets, this one is less focused on calorie counting and more upping your fat and protein intake while cutting carbs.

#2 The more protein, the better!

Keep in mind that while protein is an important component of the keto diet, it’s possible to consume too much which can kick you out of ketosis. Your protein intake should be moderate and never excessive.

Your diet should consist roughly of 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carb intake. This is known as the standard ketogenic diet (SKD).

There are different adaptations of the ketogenic diet, including a high-protein version which is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs. However, the SKD is the most researched and highly recommend version.

#3 You can eat any type of fatty food you want

Fats are a good thing on your diet.

But keep in mind:

The keto diet is about eating healthy fats, not sugary desserts or chips. The following foods are classified as healthy fats, in case you need a refresher:

  • Plant-based oils, such as olive or canola
  • Nuts, seeds, and avocados (eat in moderation to keep calories in check)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Tuna, Salmon, canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed
  • Yogurt
  • Meat and poultry
  • Cheese
  • Some butters and creams
  • Dark chocolate

#4 You can’t lose weight on the keto diet

Not quite…

Since you are getting nutrients from other sources besides carbs, following keto means reducing hunger and lowering food intake more than non-keto diets.

When you are reducing carbs and increasing healthy fat consumption, it induces a state called ketosis.

In this condition, the body turns fat into ketones, which are molecules that supply energy to the brain. After a few days or weeks following this type of eating pattern, the body will rely on fat and ketones instead of carbs for fuels.

So while it may seem hard to believe that eating more fats will help you lose weight, this lifestyle will help you drop pounds by keeping your body more satiated and overall, less hungry.

#5 The keto diet can’t help with health conditions

The keto diet not only will help you lose weight, but it has also been shown to have other benefits.

The ketogenic diet can cause fat-loss and boost insulin sensitivity which can help improve prediabetes and type 2 diabetic symptoms [2].

One study showed that the diet improved insulin sensitivity by as much as 75%. Additionally, the diet can improve a variety of other health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease by improving blood pressure and blood sugar regulation.
  • The keto diet has been used to help those who suffer from different cancers, such as malignant brain cancer.
  • Epilepsy in children: The keto diet has proven to be effective in controlling epileptic seizures that are difficult to control. The diet often allows the decrease or discontinuation of medication.

#6 You have to cut out carbs completely

The keto diet is low carb, not necessarily no-carb.

Overconsumption of healthy fats means consuming excess calories, which will defeat the intended health benefits of the diet.

However, particularly in the beginning, it is a good idea to significantly minimize carbohydrate intake. As stated before in #2, the standard keto diet means 5% carb intake.

Experts suggest consuming fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day in order to get the most out of the diet and achieve optimal results.

If you are an athlete or workout often, it might actually be a good idea to adjust your carb intake so you’re getting more than you normally would so you have sufficient energy.

#7 You will achieve ketosis quickly

Have patience…

It typically takes several weeks for the body to adjust to the keto diet and to achieve ketosis by relying on ketones as an energy source instead of carbohydrates and glucose.

Significant weight loss results happen anywhere from following the diet for three to five weeks and onward. So be patient and give your body time to adjust and change it’s metabolic state.

You can also reach ketosis more quickly through the use of exogenous ketones which are supplements to go with your diet.

#8 Athletes shouldn’t be on the keto diet

Endurance athletes such as marathon runners and long-distance cyclists can do relatively well on the keto diet, but it’s not recommended for those who participate in sports that involve short bursts of energy or high-intensity, like soccer and basketball.

This is because these sprint-type activities still involve reliance on carbs as an energy source. As mentioned early, if you enjoy working out, you can always adjust your carb count to get more energy.

#9 The keto diet is dangerous

Switching to the keto diet shouldn’t be a spur of the moment decision, since limiting carb intake is typically a big adjustment for many.

As stated above, this low-carb lifestyle has been proven as being a far more effective weight loss method than other diets.

Getting your weight under control will help you avoid a host of health issues such as prediabetes, diabetes, heart disease, and blood pressure problems. It can also reduce insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.

It is true that this diet isn’t for everyone, such as athletes who participate in sprint sports, as discussed in #8.

It will also be hard for vegans or vegetarians to follow, since it does rely significantly on Omega 3 sources such as certain types of fish, and consumption of meat.

Since following the keto diet will involve making a lifestyle change, it is advisable to consult with a doctor or nutritionist before embarking on this new health journey.

#10 The keto diet is a long-term solution

This actually depends on what your goals are. If you simply want to drop a few pounds, then the keto diet is a great short-term solution.

However, scientists, doctors, and researchers seem to favor the ketogenic diet as a long-term solution to really reap its full benefits and see more healthy changes in your body.

Consider this…

Everyone is different and we each have our own goals when it comes to dieting, whether it’s to lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle.

Now that you’re armed with more keto knowledge, get started today on aiming higher and hitting your health goals.

[1] Dr. Iris Shai and contributing authors. “Weight Loss With a Low Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet.” New England Journal School of Medicine, July 17th, 2008.
[2] Boden, G. “Effects of a low carbohydrate-diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.”, March 15, 2005.