17 Mistakes to Avoid on the Keto Diet

Hi. I’m Lori Ballen. I shed 50 pounds in 6 months on the keto diet and wasn’t perfect. Some mistakes were more costly than others.

Here’s a list of 17 mistakes to avoid on the Keto Diet.

1. Not Tracking Carbs

One of the mistakes I see often in people beginning a ketogenic lifestyle is that they look at the food they can eat, foods they can’t eat and just go with that. For some, this strategy might work, for many, it won’t.

If your goal is to get into Ketosis, you’ll want to know that your carbs are low enough to begin producing ketones.

book cover with a report and an offer to get the report how i lost 50 pounds on the keto diet

2. Not Counting Calories

It’s easy to go overboard when you give your brain permission to eat all it wants as long it’s “keto friendly food”.

Have you seen the number of calories in a large, fat fueled meal? How about in those keto fat bombs we all love? A Keto Pizza could exceed your daily calorie spend in that one meal.  

My suggestion is to download your favorite food app that counts calories and macros and watch what you eat. If you are losing weight without it, keep going until you stall. Eventually, you may need to count calories.

If you eat more than you burn, or at the same number you burn, you may not lose weight even if you are in ketosis. 

3. Weighing Every Day

Your body can fluctuate several pounds in one day. Hormones, water retention, stress and a number of other reasons can have you up on the scale from the day before.

This can be very disappointing and could lead to a mental crash that causes you to spin out and blow your hard work. 

And, on the other hand, I’ve heard people yell from the mountain tops that they lost 2 pounds over night. And generally, these are the same compainers that gain it back 24 hours later. 

I get it. I too got on the scale more than I should have in the beginning. Once I found myself getting upset, I stopped and then focused on once a week.

4. Not Taking Measurements

Some people change body shape quicker than they shed pounds. It’s important to take before photos, weight in, and take measurements. 

I shed 8 inches on the Keto diet in 4 months just in the waist alone!

Lori Ballen Keto Coach

You may notice your pants are looser or dresses fit better in the first couple weeks just from the benefits of a flatter stomach that the ketogenic lifestyle provides.

An inch smaller in the hips may show up before a pound on the scale. They add up quickly!

5. Eating Keto Sweets

Red Velvet Keto Fat Bombs are lined up

I didn’t eat any special “keto sweets” or “fat bombs” my first few months on Keto. I didn’t know what I didn’t know so I didn’t want to get creative.

I found that small square of dark chocolate was plenty once I had gotten past my cravings for sweets. 

[Now I order Choc Zero Keto Bark and have it delivered to my doorstep. It’s Keto approved chocolate without the sugar]

It takes days to weeks to become Keto Adapted or Fat Adapted and remove those urges. If you allow yourself to get there, you will suddenly realize the cravings for sweets is gone. 

I’m not saying you can’t have them, I’m saying get through the phase of getting fat adapted first, and then test and measure how you respond to them. 

Today, I make a few fat bombs that are my “go to” sweets. My favorite is the peanut butter cookie batches.

I now add MCT oil, Collagen, and Chia Seeds as I’ve learned which fats and fiber my body responds to as well as which supplements are good for me at this phase in my life.

I added Collagen Peptides to improve my skin, hair, and nails. At age 47, I’ll take all the help I can get! -> Here’s what I use.

6. Not Preparing

When I do go “off plan”, it’s often because I’m not prepared. 

Lori Ballen Keto Coach

Keto Food prep is a pain. I totally get that. I just decided one day that the pain of being overweight, tired, and unhealthy was more of a pain than cooking and prepping was.

When I prep correctly, I have quick, go to items on hand to heat up, mix up, or grab and go. 

A typical Keto meal prep day might include:

Learn more about Keto Meal Prep Here.

7. Dwelling on Cheats

for the mistake remember the lesson is a sign hanging on a tree

“Cheating on Keto” or falling off the wagon is something that is probably going to happen more than once to you. I don’t personally like calling it cheating or having “cheat days”.

Instead, I call it “Going off plan”. And I do this sometimes intentionally which I’ll explain a bit later. 

No Regrets, Only Resets

Keto Coach Lori Ballen

I shed 50 pounds in 6 months and had more than one “cheat” time or as I like to call it: “time off plan”. Sometimes these were chosen, and other times. not so much. 

After I shed the first 20 pounds, I was alerted that my Grandmother was at home and could pass at any moment. I rushed to her bedside. And I was there for 5 days. It was one of the toughest experiences of my life.

Lori Ballen keto Coach is smiling next to an older lady that was her grandmother
Lori Ballen with her Grandmother

My family, quite broken as many families are, was stressed out.

Some people didn’t come at all. Others came and went quickly.

And a few of us stayed around the clock doing whatever we knew to do.

I decided to help with food. The first couple of days I did good. I fried hamburgers, breakfast foods, and stayed away from non-keto temptations.

Then the requests came for fast food, chips, desserts etc. and cooking the big meals was getting more challenging with guests coming and going.

I caved. By day 3 I was eating things I shouldn’t and day 4 and 5 it was Krispy Kremes and Coffee around the clock.

Then there was funeral prep and more stress and it became “pots of bread” at the family breakfast joint, hash browns and all the carbs.

At home, I binged on cookies, sodas, and chips.

This process lasted about 10 days. I gained a bit. And then, I simply reset and kept going. That was 30 pounds ago.

If you get “off-program”, for any reason – No regrets, only resets. And Go!

8. Listening to Others

Listening to others is often a good thing. Listening to others that are nay sayers, or negative, or giving the wrong advice can be dangerous. 

Leanne Vogel wrote in her Keto Bible that there are 50 shades of Keto.

What works for one won’t be the same as what works for another. Neither is one more “right” or better than the other. 

And what didn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. 

Choose your own program and stay the course. Ignore anyone that says you can’t maintain keto, that you are too skinny, or are eating too much fat. 

Ignorance is Bliss.

9. Getting Too Creative

In the beginning. It’s best to keep the keto way of eating stupid simple. In my keto coaching program, we offer up several meal plans, recipes, and grocery lists, and the favorite, by far, is the stupid simple meal plan. 

Consisting of bunless burgers, chicken fajitas, and bacon and eggs, the stupid simple keto meal plan makes prep as minimal as possible and keeps the guessing and hidden carbs out of the equation.

Even to this day, my meals are simple. I’ve made 2 fathead pizzas in 7 months and rarely try a new keto recipe.

When I do add in something new, I’m careful to calculate the calories, nutrients, and macros around the brands I’m using.

One brand to another can vary quite a bit when you are using a recipe that has listed macros such as NET 3 CARBS!

10. Being 1/2 Way In Or Out

I tried, more than once, going on vacation and “trying” to stay Keto while giving myself “partial” permission to indulge. 

It starts as “a drink” with dinner and is then a muffin with breakfast, and soon it’s a full-on hamburger and fries with a beer and a trip scoop banana split for dessert. 

What starts as “Just a drink” or “just a cookie” turns into “Well, I screwed up anyway, might as well go all in. 

Now, I either go all in Keto or let myself “break” and just do what I want. Here’s the deal with doing what I want: I start to feel cruddy quickly. My stomach swells up and energy goes down. So I have to accept that if I’m going off plan. 

And the deal with ALL in Keto means prep, travel items, and planning restaurants in advance. 

11. Not Taking A Break

It takes a lot of focus, willpower and discipline to eat right. When tracking, it can especially mentally exausting.

We all need a break now and again. Planning a nice meal out, a special occasion, holiday, or vacation can be just the trick for boredom, a plateau or the feeling that you aren’t getting any “treats”. 

The key is PLANNING the break, not letting life sneak in where you begin to cave. Those always end up worse than a planned “off-plan” meal.

12.  Giving Up

It’s so sad to see someone give up 5 minutes before the miracle happens. Many say they gave up because they were bored or it was too hard to plan or prep or eat keto when the family is eating other things. 

They give up because the weight loss “isn’t enough”. 

And then what happens? Certainly nothing good.

If you are close to giving up, plug back into the pain of what happens if you go back to your overweight, unhealthy life. Imagine and focus on what it will feel like to reach goal weight. 

What will you look like? What will you feel like? What will people say when they see you?

13. Not Hitting The Electrolytes

I can’t tell you how many times I see this. Someone downloads a keto meal plan and grocery list and starts dropping carbs overnight. Without realizing it, they immediately start not feeling good because they didn’t realize they needed electrolytes.

It’s important to get enough sodium, magnesium and Potassium into your diet and most keto diets lack many of these in the whole food quantities. 

If you don’t add the proper electrolytes, you may fall victim to the Keto flu, feeling tired and sick and suffering from leg cramps and headaches. 

I personally use Dr. Berg’s Keto Kit containing an electrolyte powder, wheatgrass juice powder (super high in potassium) and nutritional yeast (B vitamins). The Body type book is a great read!

14. Too Many Social Engagements

In the beginning, it’s wise to avoid triggers that may cause you to eat and drink too much or the wrong foods. 

When I was on my 50-pound weight loss journey, I had to avoid most social events. For the first few months, I stayed in as much as possible.

I knew that going out meant a couple of lemon drop martinis, and something deep fried. 

While you can find a list of Keto drinks, alcohol, any kind stops the fat burning process. The last thing you want to do is stop fat burning! So even if the drink is “keto approved” or a low carb drink, it’s still going to stop fat burning. 

If social engagements are a trigger for you, pass on them while you learn this way of eating and get strong in your plan. 

15. Getting Bored

This one is what often sends people back into the carb heavy world. They get bored with meat, cheese, and dairy. 

Boredom is a dangerous thing. As soon as you start to feel bored, it’s time to try on some Keto Recipes. You can cook, order keto meals from a delivery service, hire a chef, ask your family for help, or find keto friendly restaurants. 

Whatever you choose, break the boredom. Start small. Try one new recipe a week maybe. Get an instant pot or air fryer and a keto cookbook

Don’t get so creative that you get frustrated or stop tracking properly. It’s a new skill and will require practice. Baking with Keto flours and Keto Sweeteners will cause you to succeed through failure if you are like most of us. 

Start Small and Have fun!

16. Not Preparing Before Eating Out

Many restaurants now have their menus on line. Before hitting a restaurant, it’s best to plan what you will eat and drink before you go. 

Consider ordering deviled eggs or a crudite and hummus rather than winging it when everyone else starts ordering those potato skins and chicken wings!

A common keto mistake is opting for a chicken ceasar salad with dressing. Most don’t realize that dressing in a salad can be loaded with sugar and carbs. And croutons are a no go. 

Order REAL butter if they have it, extra. If you can eat a bit straight, go for it. If you need to order some celery or something you can butter (that doesn’t have carbs), go for it. Butter your meat, butter your veggies! As long as it’s real butter, you are going to get those fats in and find yourself very satisfied. 

Tip: Ask the restaurant for their gluten free menu. Many have one if you ask, and many contain keto friendly meals!

17. Going it Alone

I found Keto by accident. I was actually having an upper and lower blephoraplasty done. (surgery to remove eye bags and correct droopy lids). The doctor told me to avoid swelling, don’t eat anything out of a box or a bag. 

As I was “googling” foods like this and anti-inflammatory diets, I accidentally stumbled upon the ketogenic diet. 

I’m a self-learner and one of my natural skill sets is that I’m resourceful. I went to the web and started learning. I ordered a couple of keto books and spent time on Youtube. 

I also had a few friends that had lost weight on Keto that were guiding me along. 

I didn’t even know there were Keto Coaches or programs out there or I would have joined one rather than going it alone. 

I was able to succeed because of my “pain goal” and discipline. A natural goal setter, I set milestone goals and long term goals and went for it. 

Most people require more support than that and like to have more accountability and peer support during the process. 

I can offer you this in my Keto Coaching Program with 60-day quick start and/or 1:1 coaching.


Keto Guide

Keto Diet Explained
About Lori Ballen Keto Coach
Lori Ballen, who shed 45 pounds herself in 4 months on the Ketogenic Diet, is a Keto Coach helping others like her get healthy, feel younger, and lose weight.
One Comment
  1. You’re just so awesome. Thanks for the 17 tips!

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