What was the greatest obstacle on your low-carb journey?

Keto, ketogenic diet, low carb, high good fat ,  healthy food

What was the greatest obstacle on your low-carb or keto journey? We asked our members and received more than 4,600 replies.

Here are the most common answers:

  • Cravings for sugary or high-carb foods
  • Eating out
  • Not losing weight or plateauing

So what can we do about these problems? This is our suggestion:

1. Cravings for sugary or high-carb foods

Breaking free from cravings is tough, but absolutely doable. If this is something you’re struggling with, then you should check out our sugar-addiction course:


2. Eating out

Many people have a hard time sticking to their low-carb or keto diet at restaurants or social events. I think the most important tip is to become comfortable asking for modifications to the menu.

But there are more tools you can use. Go to this guide for more tips:

How to eat low carb and keto when dining out

3. Not losing weight/plateauing

I know from personal experience that stalling or not losing weight can be really frustrating, but it is important to have patience and keep going in order to break through. Low carb or keto is about making a sustainable lifestyle change, so try not to get too frustrated if you reach a plateau.

However, there are tools you can try to overcome your plateau. Check out some of the videos below for some great advice:


You can also check out these popular guides to learn about our best weight-loss tips:

How to lose weight

Top 10 tips to lose weight on low carb for women 40+

What was the greatest obstacle on your low-carb or keto journey?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Earlier surveys

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  1. patricia
    My problem is insomnia
    Reply: #28
  2. Steve Ramsey
    Have to pay for everything. Noone can just give free advice or recommendations. Come on
    Replies: #4, #19
  3. Alice
    Free for 30 days
  4. Maha
    Um, most of these people are medical professionals who spent a boat load of time, money and brain cells learning what they know. They already give much away for free. Why shouldn't they be paid something? I would not give away my expertise for free, why should they?
  5. Debora Friedrich
  6. Bruce
    My biggest problem was sorting out the advice online. Dividing the actual useful stuff from the for profit monitization of something that is basically free. Fasting and eating ketogenically at a calorie deficit supplimented by your own bodyfat should be less expensive than the way of life that made people fat and sick in the first place. Memberships to websites and programs packaged to give out content that is found for free is pure hucksterism at it's worst.
  7. Esther
    Weight plateau. For months now. So frustrating!!
    This site says eat a lot of fat. Do not fear fat. Some experts e.g. Dr Westman say keep fat low to moderate.
    My clothes are a bit loose, but the scales are not shifting for me.
    Reply: #11
  8. Sandy
    My biggest obstacle is finding products that are low carb in local stores. I also have cardiomyopathy so not only do I need sugar free I also need low sodium options.
    I miss fruit too! Lol
    Reply: #14
  9. Karen
    No problems here. I have lost 30 pounds. Conquer constipation with lemon water, balancing my PH with Keto has worked well.
    When I consume vegetables they're high in alkaline. I am hypothyroid without medications and have busted through a plateau that I was in for three years. Taking 500 mg of magnesium an hour prior to bed time helped tremendously.
    Right now, I need to lay off the Fat Bombs and begin tracking my keystones.

    The menu here on Diet Doctor is wonderful.

  10. Silke
    Not losing weight is the biggest obstacle. My well-being has improved so much on Keto and I can continue just for that reason. I still slip ever so often in stressful situation and when I'm tired or board, but I'm working on that. At least the binge eating has subsided and that's a huge win.
  11. Debra
    I know exactly what you're going through! My clothes are looser, body feels different, and the puffiness in my face is gone; however, the scales aren't budging!! Deal with hypothyroidism so this may be a factor.
  12. Dora
    I struggle with hypothyroidism. weightloss is nearly impossible but yet I have lost 16 pounds in about 12 weeks but the constipation is real. In taking my probiotics and eating yogurt, I can manage the constipation somewhat. I fear plateaus because after 3 or 4 months or longer of a plateau, I give up.
  13. Myna
    KETO RASH!! The itchiness drives one CRAZY!!
  14. Jennifer
    Don't they sell meat/fish/poultry at your store? Together with a few above ground greens, oily dressing/mayo/seasoned butter and your good to go. Eggs for breakfast and voilà.
  15. Eleanor Gibson
    My biggest problem is Strawberries. The season will end soon and I expect to be back on track. But the peaches are coming on.
  16. Jane
    Alcohol. I love my gin and tonic and wine.
  17. Patricia
    Eating when I’m not hungry ( if it’s 5 o’clock It must be dinner time mentality). I need to find more hobbies, I guess.
  18. Monica
    Not being able run as efficiently as I did prior to Keto. Still struggling with this. Upping my pottassium and magnesium, Hoping this helps!
  19. Debra
    omg.....there is so much on the internet for free!!!! Just google your question and voila.....
    So far no obstacles....meats.... veggies... oils and butters, berries and nuts ....what more could you ask for in a diet :-)
    weight loss plateaus happen with all diets....we all have to maybe take a serious look at what our priorities are.
  20. Darryl
    Not loosing weight and perpetual diarrhea, have short bowel syndrome and when raising carbs enough to solidly drop out of ketosis, the diarrhea stops.
  21. Ellen
    I lost 85 lbs several years ago on low carb. It was definitely due to life style changes. 20 lbs snuck up on me in the last 2 years. I have tried to get back on track BUT NOW it doesn't work. I also get weak and lightheaded. Starting again. Trying Pedialyte for weakness.
    Reply: #24
  22. Anna
    My first big deal with keto and low carb was constipation, nothing helped (probiotics, flax seed, chia, psillium, more fibrious veggies - all these advices worsed the problem) and from magnesium citrate or lemon or vitamin C I had rashes like eczema. So I didnt know really what to do. Only after reading some blog, I found that magnesium chelate (glycinate) in 400-800 mg can help me in this journey. The dosage is the key, tried to increase dosage till worked. So, till now, without grains it is imposible for me to be regular if not take magnesium. I think its a big deal.

    The second deal are social events at job, where serve mostly carbs like cakes or pizzas or bread like stuff. And its uncomfortable to be different and negate such food, always people question why. I needed to acostume to only conversation without eating and other people needed also time to adapt.

    The third deal is family and children. Other children at school comment my child's healthy snack (fruits, nuts, veggies), so my child is shy and dont want to differ a lot from others children that mostly eat chips, sodas, cakes, sweets. Its a chalenge.

  23. Carolyn
    After 3 months I gave up as no change in weight. I didn't eat much carbs to begin with so reducing even further was no biggie. Didn't have side effects. was easy to shop and prepare but just no benefit to me by way of weight loss. Really disappointing. I find this diet extremely successful and works rapidly for men. Not so for women mid-40s. If your weakness was carbs then it will work but if it wasn't then what?
    Reply: #27
  24. Suzy
    try using more salt. Pink Himalayan Salt. Should help with the light headedness
    My big deal is not to be able to understand all the information of the videos, as some use very specific terminology, I am loosing weight slowly and I am going through the menopause which makes it more difficult, however I enjoy eating keto, other than that, no problems, sometimes a bit bored with cream and cheeses, but it has been a very good thing that I discover keto..
  26. Gretchen
    I started this LCHF/Keto way of eating on March 14. I did the 2 week challenge and lost 2 lbs.--both in the second week. Since then I have not lost a pound--no inches either. My clothes are still feeling as snug as they did when I started. My husband has lost 14 lbs and cheats. I have not had one bite of sugar since March 14 and have kept my carbs to the minimum. I am female and 55 and I already know I lose weight much slower than when I was younger. I have about 15 lbs I need to lose (according to my doctor and my clothes!) which I had dieted and exercised to keep this from happening--to no avail. I thought this plan would be the answer. It's obviously not, and I don't know what is. SO frustrated! It's difficult to read all the literature on here and hear success stories and be following everything so closely and not have success. I have researched and researched and can't seem to find the cause. I have tried adding intermittent fasting but I can't make it past 9:30 a.m. without being absolutely ravenous. My doctor has checked my thyroid extensively and it is fine. Hormones a little out of whack which is normal for my age and I am not going to take hormones. Frustrating!!!
  27. Joanna
    I have found that even eating no grains, pasta, potatoes or bread, I cannot get into nutritional ketosis. I eat lots of salads & green leafy veggies but it seems it is still too much carbs. But also, eating more protein that the body needs messes it up too as the body then converts the excess protein into carbs so I don’t know how to square this circle. All the foods they recommend are high fat but also high protein- eggs, meat, cheese, etc so I manage by intermittent fasting. Any tips please?
  28. Blanca
    Insomnia for me too is the worst! I get awake at 3 am!! and no getting able to sleep again...It happened while to while on LCHF, that I woke up in the middle of the night, but I could sleep again, now trying keto I can't sleep again, it happens every other night, because, of course, the day and night after the bad sleeping I'm so tired that I sleep...
    I've read that that happens basically to women...that we're not so well prepared for stay in keto as our body believes we're starving and keep us with high cortisol, what about that?
    I'm in my early 40's, 5 years ago with Paleo LCHF I dropped my weight very fast, my body wasn't used a such change! Now I gained some weight from the lost years ago and I'm trying with keto, as usually i'm LC, I do every day a fast from 12 to 14 hours (that's easy for me as I'm not hungry when I wake up)


    Reply: #37
  29. christine
    My obstacle is not so much the keto rules and permitted foods, including cutting back a little on protein as well as being strict with carbs max 20g, normally less. It is the medically diagnosed genetic condition of Lipodystrophy where by the body uses fat and lays down fat in an abnormal ways. It is soul destroying to see scale weight and inches not moving but at times creeping up, not to come down again. I am very swollen above the waist and arms. Below the waist is normal. The Professor whom I see, tells me I am not obese but scales and BMI say I am morbidly obese. Very difficult to manage.
  30. Karen
    My obstacle is my own fault I think!! I was reasonably successful with Keto a year ago but then it got to the point where I didn't want to eat anything, one tiny meal a day. Then I had to return to England to sort out family illnesses, bereavement and moving from house to house I didn't have a base to prepare my own food and bang! off Keto eating. Now the thought of going anywhere near so much fat, and the smell of so much fat makes me feel queasy! Would like to low-carb without so much fat!!
  31. Jamey
    Karen, what kind of fats are you thinking of that make you queasy? My mains are butter and coconut oil. Easy to pack/travel with and add to restaurant or take-away meals when required. Don't give up!
  32. nancy
    I am hungry all the time - I haven't had sugar or junk carbs since jan 5/18 and I am soooo hungry. 2pm hits (I can easily make it to 2 with a coffee) and I eat 2000+cal in 4-6 hours following the 75-20-5 macro rule. no true wt loss and no inches - maybe 5lbs up and down. I find the lack of loss frustrating and I try and eat less but am so hungry. Being an overwt person all my life the only positive is that I am not gaining and I can eat steak and salad every day without guilt.
  33. anthony
    I’m 57 male and type 2 diabetic since March 25 I have tried the two wk challenge and have now joined. To date I have lost 13lbs but more than that my mmol has gone from 16.2 to 4.7 I have not had a reading like that since before being diagnosed diabetic. I follow the menus to the letter have not really been hungry also my cravings for breads and chocolate seem to have vanished so all in all to date it’s been quite successful
  34. Edna
    My obstacle is on this diet we don't have a variety of fish
    We love fish and eat at least 3times a week. On the recipes is always same fish
  35. julie
    I am good with low carb all week but like my wine on the weekend and unfortunately it's a sweet wine. What could I replace a late harvest wine with?
  36. Rachel
    My downfall is alcohol and socialising. I am okay on plan at home but if I go out to a restaurant with friends/husband I feel deprived that I can’t order the pasta and wine everyone else is having. I also find restaurant meals aren’t as satisfying as my own cooking at home. I am coping with this by keeping nights out to a minimum and meal-prepping at home. It’s taken me a while to accept that I just can’t drink alcohol and lose weight.
  37. Carolyn
    Blanca, I recently saw a functional medicine chiropractor. I was waking at night like you and waking with morning anxiety. He said my cortisol is high, and when your blood sugar drops, your cortisol goes up, causing wakefulness and my anxiety. He said a way to "cheat" that is upon waking have an ounce or two of orange juice or some carb to raise your blood sugar. It works like a charm. Of course, you have to count this into your carb allotment. When I wake during the night to use the bathroom, I grab a little carb. Just a bit of info!
  38. mira
    Insomnia seems to be a problem indicated in several posts. Can we have a couple videos dealing precisely with this issue. We need to know scientifically why is this occurring and several strategies to combat it, as not 'one size fits all'. Thank you in advance.
  39. Everton
    My problem is plateau, i lose 5 kg in 2 weeks,but now nothing, stopped in 104 kg. :(

    I´m from Brazil, 31 years


    Reply: #40
  40. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    My problem is plateau, i lose 5 kg in 2 weeks,but now nothing, stopped in 104 kg. :(
    I´m from Brazil, 31 years

    You may find this article helpful!

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