Keto Mistakes That Everyone Makes [E02] was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.
Welcome to the Ketogasm podcast. I’m your host, nutrition educator Tasha Metcalf. Here to help women like you take charge of your keto eating habits without the self sabotage. Each week, learn simple but effective tips that you can put into practice to transform your body, health, and well-being.
We’re talking all things keto, nutrition, habit change, mindset, self-care, and the behind the scenes of what this all looks like in real life. Let’s dive in.
Welcome to Episode 2 of the Ketogasm podcast. Today we’re gonna be talking about the top keto mistakes that almost everyone makes. And I’m talking everybody! Not just the newbies, but loads of people who are doing keto or eating low carb for some time. Now, I hope you don’t feel personally attacked because these are things that I’ve been guilty of as well. Now my list of keto mistakes are probably a lot different than what you might hear others talking about. And that’s because they’re largely mindset based rather than logistical things that you’re doing wrong. These are more mental traps than something that can be measured like, “mistake number one, you’re eating too much bacon.” These are things that I think really actually trip people up. So while, yes, there are tons of dietary mishaps and misconceptions that we could explore, I think taking the opportunity to dig deeper and discuss what’s going on inside our heads when we adopt a new eating pattern has a lot more value. And it’s usually a missed opportunity. So hopefully this will give you something to think about.
The first mistake that I want to touch on is: not dealing with your other baggage first. Most of the people that find me or my website are interested in doing keto because they want to lose weight.
And understandably so! Keto is a really powerful dietary pattern as far as weight loss is concerned. And again, these are things I struggle with as well and have been 100 percent guilty of myself. But the thing that we almost always overlook when trying to lose weight is why we became overweight in the first place. Now the superficial answer to that is because I was eating too much crap… too often. I just eat all the time. Everything in sight. And yeah, that’s one layer of it. But why were we doing that? Why were we eating too much too often? All day long until the weight started to pile up. Something else is causing that. Maybe it’s stress and food is your way to unwind or get your mind off of things. Maybe your life has been flipped upside down and your usual routine is completely unrecognizable. Maybe you’re taking on a lot and priorities have shifted. Just getting by means managing with whatever’s easy and most convenient.
There are so many reasons we eat besides just being hungry. And this is where I think people struggle when they’re changing their eating habits. They don’t look at the big picture. The root cause of why they’re eating like an unsupervised 5 year old. Taking the time to step back and figure out what’s driving the overeating in the first place is really important to understand how you can navigate those things in the future. Because it really doesn’t matter what kind of dietary pattern you adopt if your default reaction to dealing with things that happen all the time in real life is overeating and indulging beyond your needs. Keto is not going to magically cure that.
Now you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react. And if you’re reacting to life with overeating, you can change that. You can take charge of your reactions. So this is going to require some soul searching and honestly answering some really hard questions. It may not be really obvious at first either, but if you do the digging, a pattern will emerge more often than not. And once you do find some clarity and have an awareness of why things are the way they are, why you overeat to begin with, you’ll have a much easier time making progress to fix those things and adopting changes that stick.
You’ll give yourself a good foundation to build off of rather than resorting back to old habits when something triggers that default behavior to overeat. Now, this is going to look different for everybody. Of course, because we all come from different backgrounds and experiences. But if you can identify those areas in your life and find a positive way to deal with them, a way that doesn’t involve food, you’re gonna be in a much better place to start manipulating your diet. We don’t want to add another stressor like changing your diet on top of all of the other things that you’re already dealing with.
Eating healthy is one of the ultimate ways to practice self-care. But I would really love if people spent the time upfront to deal with some of their food issues before trying to overhaul their diets. I know that might sound a little bit weird or even counterintuitive, but I think that’s a really good first step to set yourself up for success and one that’s skipped more often than not. As someone who Yo-Yo dieted all over the place for years, I can honestly tell you that I wasn’t able to stick to keto long-term until I dealt with some major mindset things. I wasn’t able to develop sustainable habits because they were competing with all of my old beliefs and coping mechanisms. Had I just done the work up front? I’m sure things would have been a lot easier for me. Even just taking some time to bring awareness to these things can help you navigate them. Once you realize that you’re in charge of how you respond to the day to day stressors, you’ll be able to take on pretty much anything.
Now, the next mistake that I see almost everybody making is trying to do too much at once–or overcomplicating keto. And really these are one and the same. You’ll read article after article about what you should be doing to master keto. So you think to yourself, “I have to do all of these things. I better do everything.” So when you finally jump in, you’re doing all of it, all at once. You calculate your macros, you drop your calories, you juggle carbs, protein, fat. You purchase a kitchen scale to make sure every little bite is precisely exact. You could get a gym membership and you sign up for multiple classes a day or spend hours at the gym. Maybe you download an app and you scan every single morsel that crosses your mouth. You purchase only the cleanest ingredients and toss everything out that’s processed. You’re cooking every single meal at home from scratch. You mix special electrolyte concoctions and stuff your cupboards with a wide range of supplements, etc etc etc. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with anything in this picture, you’re doing a lot all at once. And for somebody with maybe like a bodybuilding background who’s used to these types of activities where they’ve developed the habits over time. These things don’t really feel like a big stretch to that person and maybe it’s not too much of an ask because they’re already doing a lot of those things anyways. But for a lot of us who are just starting out, this is really overkill. And first of all, you don’t need to do all of these things to see results. Really, you don’t have to do that.
Secondly, and even more importantly, when the stars don’t magically align and you fail to eat what you expected or you miss a gym session or you drop the ball somewhere else in this really elaborate system that you’ve developed, you beat yourself up. And when this happens, you’re teaching yourself not to trust yourself. Every time you plan to do something and don’t follow through, you start to lose faith in yourself. You condition yourself to not believe that you’re going to do the things that you set out to do. And this starts to create a gap between what you want to do and what you actually do.
In my very first episode, I talked about tapering carbs and focusing on carb restriction alone as the easiest way to start keto. And if you’re just getting started or having a tough time juggling all the things, then I would suggest taking a step back and shifting your focus to that one thing for now. And then you can build from there when you’re ready to do that. Or maybe there’s some low hanging fruit that you can tackle first to start building up that trust and belief in yourself. Like what if you started planning your meals before you changed your eating habits? Like if you’d normally eat cereal, and Subway for lunch, or three slices of pizza for dinner, and ice cream for dessert. What if you planned to eat that cereal and sandwich and pizza and ice cream for dessert? You would start building the habit of thinking about your meals and build trust in yourself to actually follow through with what you’re setting out to do. So when you’re ready to improve your eating and plan out those keto meals, you believe in yourself and trust that you’ll actually follow through even if it’s not top of mind. Subconsciously, you’ve conditioned yourself to trust that you got this!
The next big mistake that almost everyone makes is the all or nothing mindset. And I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory because it’s such a common concept. You’re either dieting or you’re not. You’re eating keto or you’re not. And this is where a lot of people get stuck. They might be successfully doing something for a while. You know, they’re losing weight. They’re hitting their goals. But this way of thinking, this rigid black and white mentality doesn’t have any flexibility or exceptions. And believe me, there’s always gonna be exceptions. Now, in a keto diet or this is gonna look like somebody who’s like, “I can never eat above X amount of carbs because that’s not keto.” “I can’t ever have sugar because that’s not keto.” “Starches are illegal. I can’t even have trace amounts of starches.” “Grains are off limits.” “This ingredients good. This ingredients bad.” “This is legal. This is illegal.” OK? That’s the kind of mentality I’m talking about here. Giving yourself rules to follow and really rigid diet mentality often causes more harm than good. Because when you operate in this all or nothing mindset and structure, once you deviate from being on your diet, even just slightly, things start to crumble. Because if you haven’t followed things perfectly to a T by your black and white rules, then this mindset really leads to you thinking that if you’re not on your diet, you’re not eating right and you’re not doing things quote unquote “correctly.” I am using so many air quotes right now. I know you can’t see me, but the air quotes are flying everywhere!
Because this all or nothing mentality, it often leads to bingeing and anything and everything goes approach when things don’t go as you’ve rigidly planned. You’re either restrictively dieting or you’re eating as much as you can possibly get your hands on. There is not a middle ground. No, this is the case with a lot of diets. Most diets actually. I hate diets, actually. Now, now that I’m sitting here talking into a microphone about about these really restrictive diet behaviors, I really do hate diets. It’s not just keto that does this to people. But the middle ground, that’s really where people flourish. And even keto can have a middle ground, where keto is a dietary pattern that offers benefits and supports your goals. But there’s flexibility built in, it’s not arbitrary rules to follow. I’m a big fan of learning rules so you can effectively break them. Understanding the why behind these so-called rules of any way of eating can help you develop an approach based on evidence and logic rather than dogma. There’s always exceptions and conditional logic that come into play. So if you find yourself being pulled in one direction or another–diet perfection or eating everything you can get your hands on–I would really encourage you to try to find a good balance in the middle. Give yourself guidelines and general parameters with keto as a way of eating. So you know it suits you best. Don’t prescribe rules to follow and demonize foods that “aren’t keto.”
Which leads me to my next big mistake, of course. And it really does tie into this last one. This big keto mistake is demonizing carbohydrates. Thinking of food as good or bad isn’t helpful. Carbs are not evil. And food is not good or bad. It’s simply fuel. Just because you’ve chosen to use fat for fuel doesn’t mean that people who choose carbs are wrong. And if you’re choosing to use fat for fuel now, it doesn’t mean you can’t elect for carbs later. And also, just because you’re on a keto diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid every minuscule gram of carbs. You can still eat fiber, vegetables, spices, other carbohydrates without revoking your keto card. OK? You can dip in and out of keto without ever going to keto diet jail. You’re not breaking any laws. You’re not cheating the system. You’re just eating! How you fuel your body is all context dependent. So getting into arguments, trolling people with different dietary needs, and demanding that carbs are evil doesn’t do anyone good. It just makes us keto dieters look crazy! OK? Well, like I said, these are all things I’ve been guilty of too. I’m 100 percent sure I’ve said things about carbs that made people roll their eyes so hard they almost fell out of their heads. But if we focus less on making carbs the bad guys and more on how we can optimize our own diet, we’ll be on our way to demonstrating that keto is a viable dietary option and not an extreme fad or a carb-hating cult.
Thank you so much for tuning into this at the soda. The Ketogasm podcast. You are awesome! I really hope the show’s added value to your keto journey. Making big changes to your eating habits can be a little tricky, but if you’re taking the time to listen and learn about keto, you’re well on your way. You got this. Be sure to visit Ketogasm dot com for the show notes with full transcripts, references, and resources to help you out, including a totally free course called Hello Keto. It’s helped over seventy five thousand people start keto with confidence. I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye!
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