Why do so many people fail to “reach their goals” on keto/ LCHF?


Why do so many people fail?

The above are the results of a recent DietDoctor survey with my comments in red. This survey reflects what I am seeing among the people I know & the blogs I follow & I think it’s pretty obvious at what I’m driving at: If so many people claim that low carb is so easy then why do so few actually succeed? 

After 4 years of successful LIHF Living I think I am “qualified” (whatever that means?!) to cast judgement on this. Both my weight & waist have come down to below limits and most importantly, STAYED THERE! All other bio-markers are excellent. Hence, I must be getting something right.. right??!! Based on current observations, critics of low-carb have plenty of justification in calling it all just a “fad” and for me this is a sad reflection of where the LCHF movement is right now because it shouldn’t be like this! So, for what it’s worth, here’s why I think the VAST MAJORITY of people fail at keto/ weight loss and why, if things don’t change, this will continue to be the case.

Self-Reporting is notoriously unreliable

Firstly, let’s take alcohol for instance. There is a large discrepancy between what people say they are drinking and what is sold in the shops. People are naturally biased towards a “favourable”outcome which is what makes the above 4% claiming success even more disconcerting; is the ACTUAL figure even less than this?!

Carbohydrate Addiction

Without doubt, this is probably the greatest reason people fail. Even if they are initially successful, they eventually return to the carbs and end up in a “twilight zone” of yo-yoing weight and unfulfillment. In this podcast, I discuss how I “dabbled” with reducing my carb intake and got precisely nowhere. Folks, if you don’t get your carbs down drastically you won’t even get to first base I’m afraid and the older you are, the more true this becomes!

Conflicting & Contradictory Advice from the “Experts”

Back “in the old days” when I started, there was no such thing as “liberal low carb”. You were either fat burning (ketogenic) or not. Now there’s a whole “variety of low carbs”, including regular amounts of fruit (fructose) for the aspiring LCHF’er to choose from. Wonderful! Even the term “keto” itself has been completely detached from “lo-carb”. You can now literally have your cake and eat it! Again, I’m sorry folks but here’s the bad news.. If you’re gonna “have cake” and “eat it” you don’t stand a cat in hell’s chance! Just think about it.. Further, this advice is coming from the so-called “experts”, some of whom have made a complete 180 degree U-turn from what they were saying only a few years ago! So why are they doing this? It’s because LCHF has STRICT rules & is mostly a “mind game” and it’s because of this fact alone that most people simply can’t hack it and fail. So “the experts”, to suit their agenda, “shift the goal posts”, which brings me nicely onto my next point..

Populism – “Watering Down” Success

The recent explosion in LCHF/ keto awareness is fantastic. It’s a huge step forward. More & more people are waking up to the fact that the status quo simply “ain’t working” & are trying out LCHF themselves for the first time. Unfortunately however, more and more people trying LCHF also means more and more people failing, for all the reasons described above. “The Experts” are fully aware of this and so they change the definition of “success” to suit. For example, John who is 30kg overweight tries keto for the first time and immediately loses 15kg but plateaus from there on. He asks “the Experts” for advice.  When once they would have said, “great but you still need to lose that last 15kg. Suggest you try reducing dairy” they now say, “Well done John, you’ve cracked it! Can we have a selfie for our social media outlet?” Naturally John is over the moon and tells all his friends about his great success. Life is wonderful and John quickly forgets about his extra 15kg. After all “the Experts” didn’t think it was important so why should he? Unfortunately for John, 2 years later he drops dead from a heart attack. Poor John! Now long-forgotten “the Experts” have moved onto publishing their next “liberal lo-carb cook-book” leaving “dear John” to pay the ultimate price..

Dairy Intolerance & Addiction

This is a MAJOR problem with addiction issues almost as strong as carbs. Again, a few years ago the message was “dairy is OK in small quantities”. Now it’s “Limitless dairy is OK, fill your boots!”. Most people are completely unaware that dairy even has any inflammatory issues but it doesn’t stop clinically obese “Experts” stuffing their faces with hand fulls of butter on YouTube. It truly is a sight to behold! Exactly why this advice has changed I do not know.

My advice to Newbies

So,if you are new to keto/ LCHF and you want to become one of the “Four Percenters” here’s my advice:

Follow the rules TO THE LETTER. Trust your own instincts & research, NOT “the Experts”!

5 thoughts on “Why do so many people fail to “reach their goals” on keto/ LCHF?

  1. I was looking at the same graph a while back and thinking more or less the same as you, albeit you address it more eloquently and a little more aggressively (:grin:) than where my thoughts were going. There is something off on that graph…. And leniency might just be a big part of the problem. Agree.

  2. I often hear that there’s a difference between fermented dairy and fresh; ie eating a piece of old cheddar is very different than drinking a glass of milk. Is this true?

    • Indeed there is. In fermented dairy, all the lactose (sugar) is used up during fermentation. Hence, if you are lactose intolerant this is a good option. As far as I’m aware through, fermentation does not affect casein in any way which is still a major source of inflammation for many, including yours truly.

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