The Ketogenic diet has been one of the most popular diets in America for years now.1 The promise of cutting carbs and sugars to enter the magical state of ketosis seamed by many the solution to finally cutting unwanted pounds and living a healthy lifestyle. But after several years of unsuccessful results people are rightfully wondering why the keto diet hasn’t worked for them. Below are 8 common reasons why the Keto diet isn’t working for you.
Real Ketosis Is (Almost) Impossible
Even under the guidance of a trained doctor or certified nutritionist actual Ketosis is almost impossible to achieve, let alone maintain.2 This is the big reason you aren’t seeing any results from the diet. The odds are stacked against anyone on the diet. This shouldn’t be a surprise. All the literature on the Keto diet even says that it is challenging to reach ketosis. Remember: ketosis is the physiological process from which the body gets all of its energy from converting fat into energy. And along the way you get so tired and lethargic because you are so low on energy! So now you are on a diet that makes you feel tired and maybe even gives you migraines (which is very common, more on that later). Then shortly after starting the diet you do lose a few pounds, because you cut out carbs like sugar, but then you just get tired and stop losing weight. Because it’s almost impossible to reach Ketosis.
Then, if you did briefly achieve ketosis, which is very unlikely, you end up with horrible bad breath. Which is the next reason the keto diet isn’t working for you.
You’re Addicted To Sugar
Most people don’t realize they are addicted to sugars. Some studies even show that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.3 Then when they go on the Keto diet they get horrible sugar withdrawal side-effects like irritability, headaches, sugar cravings, and more. You may think it is ok to sneak a sugary snack here and there but when you do you are resetting the Ketosis process. This makes you experience the other reasons below all over again in a dieting death spiral that only leads you away from true wellness.
You Aren’t Tracking What You Eat
Do you know how many grams of animal protein and vegetable protein you consumed yesterday? Do you know how many calories you consumed yesterday? How about how many grams of fat? Do you know how many calories you burned yesterday? Do you know what your daily recommended calorie intake is? If you don’t know the answer to all of these questions then there is no way to know if your keto diet is even working for you. But you can learn how to track your eating habits easily.4 Unless you have a daily plan for all of those numbers then you really have no guide to reaching ketosis. You might get close to ketosis but remember: close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades. If you are only cutting carbs and sugars out of your diet then you are only half the way to reaching ketosis. Heck maybe you are more than halfway to it. How can you know if you aren’t tracking what you eat and your caloric intake? Get started on your successful keto diet today!
You Haven’t Created a Meal Plan
Most people think that as long as they cut out carbs and sugar then they will lose weight with the Keto diet. Sadly, this isn’t how the diet works. If you don’t have a meal plan for what to eat each day based around your daily recommended caloric intake goal, then you may be over-eating every day. And no matter what diet you are on, if you are consuming more calories than you are taking in then, well, that is what weight gain is. If you want to lose weight on ANY diet, even the Keto diet, then all you need to do is consume less calories than you burn each day. The keto diet just has the added benefit of burning fat faster if you carefully follow your daily eating plan. So, if you don’t have a daily goal for your calorie usage and a plan to reach that goal then reaching ketosis will simply be luck. Hopefully you are luckier than me! But, if your not then its easy to create a meal plan to support your goals.5
You Feel Tired All The Time
One of the big reasons why the Keto diet doesn’t work for you is that you just feel so tired all the time.6 This is also why many people hate diets in general. When you eat mostly meat, cheese, and a few veggies your body is spending most of its energy on digesting those heavy foods. Imagine Thanksgiving dinner even without the carbs. It will still put you in a food coma because all of the blood in your system is in your digestive organs! When this happens there is no energy left over for you to feel energetic. There is also no energy leftover for your brain to work optimally. So while your stomach is digesting heavy complex proteins and storing all the animal and dairy fats you just ate with your meal, your body is also trying to burn the fat it has already stored. So your system is trying to store fat and burn fat at the same time just to stay even. The result is no leftover energy to make you feel great and energized. Indeed, this constant cycle of bad eating, based around eating (mostly) meat7 and cheese,8 is THE reason you are so tired all the time. Feeling like this makes people wonder why the Keto diet isn’t working for them. It makes you wonder why you still aren’t losing weight. It’s because you don’t have the right proportions of healthy food in your diet. Only a doctor or certified nutritionist knows how to do this right. And everyone’s keto diet needs to be customized. What works for someone else on the keto diet probably won’t work for you. It’s not a one size fits all diet. Get organic and keto-friendly produce delivered to your doorstep!
You Are Still Overweight
How is it that you’ve been on the keto diet for months or even a year and you still aren’t as healthy as you want to be? The most common reason for this is because you are still consuming more calories than you are burning each day. This goes back to your health and diet plan.9 You need to find your daily caloric baseline. That is the amount of calories your body will burn even if you do nothing all day. Is your heart beating? Of course it is! Every time your heart beats you burn 3 calories. Every time you sit up, walk, talk, etc, you burn calories. All bodily movements require energy. Heck even your brain is using energy as you think. Energy that is counted in calories. Whether you are on the keto diet or no diet, you have to track your daily calories burned and consumed if you want to gain or lose weight. If you are only cutting carbs and sugars out of your diet then that is only one aspect of the keto diet. That’s not how its done successfully.
You Get Horrible Migraines
One of the biggest complaints about the Keto diet are migraines. These are most common in people who don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits.10 If you are eating mostly meat and dairy (both of which have many health benefits) but you are hardly eating fruits and veggies, then you are not getting all the nutrients your body needs to work optimally. When I found out before that nitrates could cause migraines I eliminated the nitrates from my diet. And then my migraine stopped happening too. Nitrates are most commonly added to meats as a preservative. Remember, if you are getting migraines then there may be something wrong with your diet. This is especially true on the Keto diet, Atkins diet, and other meat centric diets. It makes me wonder if vegans get migraines. Get your keto-friendly produce delivered for free!
Your Brain Feels Foggy
Your brain has evolved over millions of years to efficiently burn carbs for energy. When you cut carbs out of your diet you get the dreaded “Keto fog” that happens until you reach ketosis. 11 And remember, it is extremely difficult to reach ketosis even with a customized nutrition plan under the best of circumstances. Because of this most people on the Keto diet feel like zombies without the energy their brain (and bodies) need to feel invigorated and energetic. When you eat a treat like a banana or doughnut and feel a great rush of energy to your body afterwards, you quickly burn through that energy and are back to feeling tired, foggy, and perhaps even guilty. That’s not fair to anyone.
You’re Eating The Wrong Foods
I’ve met tons of Keto dieters who are overweight, unhealthy, suffer from migraines & low energy, and still think the Keto diet is working for them. Well, it’s not working for them. In some cases they are in worse health than they were before. Not always, but often. And when I start talking with them it becomes obvious that they are eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the good foods.12 This is in addition to not tracking their calorie and eating goals. Regardless, it is extremely important to any successful healthy diet that you eat mostly fruits and vegetables. Even if you’ve committed to giving up fruit and tomatoes for the Keto diet that is ok. But you need to plan your meals around veggies as the main course to ensure your body gets all the natural life giving nutrients every human needs to feel well and optimal. If someone is eating mostly meat and cheese then it will be impossible for them to feel their best. They just won’t be getting everything they need. Let us help you achieve your keto goals with optimal nutrition!
What You Can Do
The best thing you can do to get the full benefits of the Keto (or any diet) is to talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to a nutritionist.13 It is often covered under your insurance too! Together you will determine your daily calorie intake and set a goal. Then they will give you recommendations on healthy well-rounded meals for you to use as inspiration to create your own meals to meet your nutritional needs. The easiest way to do this is with an organic produce delivery service like Golden Gate Organics in the Bay Area. Every one of their veggie boxes is Keto friendly. You can even sub out the non-keto items for more of the veggies you love to cook with. Additionally, all of our produce boxes have the added benefit of being organic. This means no toxic pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers all of which can cause long-term health issues like migraines. Don’t wait, use the coupon code KETO to save 15% off your first 4 boxes of keto friendly produce deliveries from Golden Gate Organics.
Corey Tufts is the Founder and CEO of Golden Gate Organics, a wellness services business in the Bay Area, California. When he isn’t spending time with his lovely wife and two amazing boys you can find him meditating, writing, riding his motorcycle, Jeeping, and occasionally substitute teaching at elementary schools. Corey is passionate about wellness, harmony, self-improvement, and enlightening others to truth.