By Michelle Borthwick

There are many common mistakes when starting Keto but here are a few I see quite often in my coaching practice that causes individuals to be frustrated and doubtful that they are doing Keto wrong or that they should be getting better results. At this point they are considering giving up because they simply don’t know what to do next.  They can’t seem to find the answers they are looking for online.

As a coach, I believe that keto coaches should make keto work for you.. instead of making YOU work for keto?   There are always solutions with Keto no matter what the situation.  Just don’t give up.  To give you hope and encouragement here are a few common examples and  how with   nuanced application they can  changed so that Keto is done properly, safely and with increased and faster results!

What are the most common mistakes people do when starting a keto diet? And, how can beginners   avoid them.


They aren’t sure what macros are or how to factor them into their new diet.

Let’s break this one down and simplify it.  First, we must know what Keto is. It’s High/Healthy Fat, Moderate Protein and Low Carb.  Keto is often mistaken as a low carb diet or like Atkins. There is a difference, and this is what makes Keto more effective for faster weight loss and improving overall health. A macro is simply how many carbs, fats and proteins are you eating per day. Each week, there is more to learn about Keto and macros but here’s where I start every client: 

CARBS –   Start with 30-total carbs daily. Keeping your carbs low is especially important to fast-track your results.

PROTEIN – Daily protein intake should be moderate, and it makes Keto easier if you choose the fattiest cuts of nutrient dense meat. It’s a win-win.  You get protein, plenty of fat and you’ll find the protein keeps you full.  To figure your daily allotment of protein take half your body weight and make that your goal for the number of grams needed per day.

FAT – Think Fat First. Plan your meal around fat and then add your other foods. This is a mistake everyone makes when they start Keto, and they don’t get enough fat.  This formula puts you into ketosis. Think of fat as the lever that opens the door to your weight loss. Eat LOTS of healthy saturated and unsaturated fat -Butter, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Mayonnaise, Coconut butter, avocado, nut butter, nuts, etc.)  Be sure to enjoy every single bite 😉

How much fat to start? At least 50% more fat than protein. This will be adjusted as you go along but 50% is a good starting point.

They don’t realize that even though cheese/dairy is Keto that it stalls weight loss.

This may seem daunting at first because we love dairy…especially cheese. Dairy causes inflammation and stalls weight loss. Here’s a great test.  Eliminate it for a minimum of 2 weeks. Weigh yourself and have dairy 3 x in one day. Weigh yourself the next day and if you are heavier, it’ not fat that’s showing on the scale, it’s water retention. Removing dairy has huge health benefits. It’s also an important tool to break weight loss stalls at any point in your keto diet.

They count net carbs and not TOTAL carbs – this is one of the biggest game changers a person can make for a well-rounded Keto diet.

Most people on a keto diet count “net carbs,” which is total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols. With this approach they’re severely slowing their progress.  And, if you have to deduct fiber or sugar alcohols it’s mostly likely someone wants to sell you a Keto product.  Go for the win and better results with TOTAL carbs and always read your labels.

They don’t understand the importance of using an app to track foods. This just isn’t all about macros but as an accountability and learning tool as well.

When you track your food daily you are learning about macros (carbs, fat, and protein) and doing your best to hit your established goals. As you are tracking your food you are learning accountability to yourself and your food choices. In addition, your app is a learning tool for planning meals and learning the macro breakout of a lot of common foods. What I love about Keto is we can use a tracker, but we never count calories or portions. This is a huge freedom from our old way of thinking about losing weight.

There is so much to learn about Keto and doing it properly. I will continue to cover this topic (Part 2) in the next issue. Keto can be easy when done properly. Follow these tips to be well on your way to a slimmer and healthier you! I encourage you to get in touch with me for support or questions or to set up a free consult at any time.

About Michelle Borthwick:

Michelle Borthwick, known more widely as Michelle Keto, is the foremost expert in living the Keto lifestyle and the go-to coach for Keto women. She loves the CA lifestyle and spends time between San Diego and Palm Springs, CA. Her 1:1 coaching, and DIY Keto digital programs have helped hundreds of women from 25 states and 4 countries lose over 6,000 pounds while eating foods they love. This foodie’s motto, and business name, is “Keto is Easy” and she’s one of the only Keto leaders who promotes full customization for long term success.  For a complimentary 30-minute coaching consultation please schedule at: