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How To Maintain Weight After Keto Diet? 4 Methods To Try In 2023
If you have tried the keto diet to lose weight and have accomplished your goal you may be wondering: “What next?” You are not alone in asking this question. Following the ketogenic diet long-term can be very challenging.
It is a restrictive diet that many people have difficulty following, and there are some health risks that make following the keto diet a poor choice for some people. Transitioning from keto to a less restrictive diet can be tricky.
Thankfully, there are many ways to accomplish this with some careful planning!
How To Maintain Weight After Keto Diet?
A keto diet meal plan provides structure, which can help some people thrive. How to maintain weight after keto diet? Maintaining a healthy weight requires a healthy balanced diet. It is also helpful to be aware of potential difficulties when transitioning off the keto diet.
We will discuss potential pitfalls and ways to avoid gaining all the weight right back!
How To Maintain Weight After Keto Diet With 4 Tips
Gradually Increase Carbohydrate Intake
Moving from ketones to glucose as a primary fuel source can cause stomach discomfort including bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, and can lead to blood glucose highs and lows, with associated cravings.
Gradually adding one serving of carbs every 2 or 3 days to keep carb intake moderate initially can help minimize the impact of this transition. Continuing to monitor total calorie intake long-term is crucial for weight maintenance.
Follow A Keto Plan That Is More Flexible
For many people who have difficulty adhering to a stricter keto diet, “keto cycling” has been a useful alternative. Some individuals who use this approach believe it makes “keto flu” symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea less likely to occur.
There is no strict definition of “keto cycling” and the approach can be much more forgiving so that you may enjoy a weekend with family or a night out with friends. This can make it easier to adhere to the diet over the long term.
An example of this approach would be a 5 or 6-day keto stretch with a day or two off each week.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Increasing protein intake can boost satiety, meaning you will feel less hungry throughout the day. This can make it easier to maintain a balanced diet. Finding ways to introduce protein into snacks can be particularly helpful.
Make The Switch To A Low-Carb Non-Keto Diet, Like Paleo
Paleo diet weight loss is fairly well established, but the diet is generally less restrictive than a ketogenic diet. They do have some key similarities, however:
- Removal of grains
- Removal of beans and legumes
- Removal of many dairy products (keto is less strict in this regard)
- A focus on unprocessed whole foods
The key differences between the two diets lie in the incorporation of fruits and starchy vegetables. The ability to incorporate more of these into your diet may allow for improved sustainability long term.
The Way Keto Diet Works
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that provides more calories from fats and protein than a standard Western diet. It has had an interesting history before its contemporary use, including being used as a part of the treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s.
It differs from many fad diets in that it is meant to shift your body’s primary fuel source from glucose to ketones. Ketosis is achieved by mobilizing and breaking down fat stores to produce ketones, often resulting in weight loss.
Why Do Individuals Gain Weight After A Keto Diet?
Sugar And Processed Food Cravings
Many people do manage the cravings for carb-laden foods a bit while actively dieting, but these kinds of foods tend to create even more cravings once they are allowed into the diet.
If your mindset shifts completely from “diet mode” to a completely relaxed approach it can be all too easy to slip into old eating habits. How to maintain weight after keto diet? Eating highly processed foods, or “junk food” makes it much more difficult to maintain your weight.
Blood sugars can become much more variable, and these foods are associated with increased inflammatory markers, which are significant predictors of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
Planning meals can help you limit your intake of sugars and highly processed foods, but it is equally, if not more important to be mindful of your choice of snacks.
Gaining Water Weight
Increasing carbohydrate intake too quickly can impede weight loss efforts. This occurs in part because of water retention. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen, which retains about 3 grams of water for every gram of glycogen stored.
Monitoring salt intake is important for avoiding bloating as well.
The ketogenic diet itself can lead to a fiber deficiency, so it is important to ensure a proper balance is maintained. Increasing carbohydrates in your diet can help improve your fiber intake.
If a fiber supplement is being used it can be helpful to continue use initially while slowly increasing the amount of carbohydrates. This will help lose weight, bloating, and constipation, and improve blood sugar control.
Eating Too Many Calories
It’s no surprise that consuming fewer calories than you expend results in losing weight, while the opposite leads to gaining weight. Ceasing a diet plan can result in increased calorie intake, potentially hindering lose weight.
To maintain weight loss success, it’s crucial to maintain the right balance of calorie intake and physical activity.
Make A Plan Before Quitting The Keto Diet
Awareness of potential pitfalls allows for better planning. There are ways to minimize or avoid some of these problems. We will discuss some helpful methods and why they work.
5 Foods You Can Eat After Keto Diet
Some of the best early additions to use when introducing more carbs for a healthy balanced diet are sources of complex carbohydrates. These include unprocessed whole grains such as brown rice.
Complex carbohydrates take longer for your body to break down which will lead to fewer spikes in blood sugar. Brown rice is also an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants.
Quinoa is another excellent example of a source of complex carbohydrates which has additional benefits. Not only does it provide fiber, but it is also a great source of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and several B vitamins.
Introducing potatoes, peas, corn, squash, and many other starchy vegetables offers a nutritious way to provide additional variety to your diet while keeping a focus on healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Oatmeal is a source of complex carbohydrates and has been associated with many health benefits including improved gastrointestinal health and a potential lowering of cardiovascular risk by decreasing cholesterol. Keep an eye out for oatmeal products with added sugar.
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants and has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Given that green tea does have caffeine, it is important to monitor the amount of caffeine ingested, but many people can safely drink up to 5-8 cups in a day.
Maintaining a healthy weight after stopping the keto diet can be challenging. With proper planning and a slow introduction of healthy carbohydrates back into the diet, this process can be much more successful!
Frequently Asked Questions
This may be trickier than it sounds! Many products marked with “whole grain” actually contain a mixture that includes refined grains. Reading the packaging and looking for the term “100% whole grain” can help you better identify good sources of healthy carbohydrates.
+ 6 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
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- Menno Veldhorst, Smeets, A., Soenen, S., Ananda Hochstenbach-Waelen, Hursel, R., K. Diepvens, Lejeune, M., Luscombe-Marsh, N.D. and Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S. (2008). Protein-induced satiety: Effects and mechanisms of different proteins. [online] 94(2), pp.300–307. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.01.003.
- Masters, R., Liese, A.D., Haffner, S.M., Wagenknecht, L.E. and Hanley, A.J. (2010). Whole and Refined Grain Intakes Are Related to Inflammatory Protein Concentrations in Human Plasma ,. [online] 140(3), pp.587–594. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.109.116640.
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- Swain, J.F., Rouse, I.L., Curley, C.R. and Sacks, F.M. (1990). Comparison of the Effects of Oat Bran and Low-Fiber Wheat on Serum Lipoprotein Levels and Blood Pressure. [online] 322(3), pp.147–152. doi:https://doi.org/10.1056/nejm199001183220302.
- Kuriyama, S., Shimazu, T., Kaori Ohmori, Kikuchi, N., Nakaya, N., Nishino, Y., Yoshitaka Tsubono and Tsuji, I. (2006). Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan. [online] 296(10), pp.1255–1255. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.296.10.1255.