What Happens When You Stop The Keto Diet

This Is What Happens When You Stop Doing Keto

What Happens When You Stop Doing Keto?

It’s high in fat but low in carbohydrates. And while it may have worked for you, your body may be telling you that it’s time to get off the keto diet. No one is likely to judge you for wanting to stop grazing on fatty food, and there are several reasons you might want to do so.

“One reason a person may want to stop keto dieting is if their lipid panel worsens,” registered dietitian Haley Hughes tells Shape. “If a person who is at a high risk for heart disease is eating increased amounts of saturated fat and sources of cholesterol while consuming less fiber from whole grains, beans, fruits, and starchy vegetables, they may see increased cholesterol levels.”

So how will your body respond when you say it’s time to quit keto?

So How Long Should I Follow The Keto Diet

As is true for any diet, you should only begin to follow it if you can maintain it as a lifestyle change. All it takes is 28 days to see a huge transformation.

If you want to keep the weight off, youre going to have to eat well. You cant go back to your old ways, Lynch says. A diet has an endpoint, and thats the problem. With a lifestyle, theres no end point. You have to put the work in.

Salter echoes that sentiment, adding that there is no finite limit as long as someone knows how to properly navigate carb-infested situations like social gatherings, vacations, and holidays, or are OK with the ramifications if they do rapidly introduce carbohydrates in a short period of time. Any diet needs to be something that can you do and maintain for far longer. certainly is. You just have to be diligent and educate yourself.

What Happens When You Cheat On A Keto Diet

Here are all the things that go down when you add carbs back in with a ketogenic diet cheat day:

  • Your blood sugar will spike, making an abundance of quick energy available and causing your body to switch back to glucose as a source of fuel.
  • Ketone production will stop.
  • A majority of the sugars you eat will likely be used to replenish glycogen stores. This may cause a temporary gain in water weight.
  • Your body will continue to use up available glucose and glycogen stores until you run out.
  • Ketone production will resume.
  • Going off a keto diet is likely not detrimental. Just because you start eating carbs again, especially just for one day, doesn’t mean you will store a bunch of body fat.

    Carbs do not cause weight gain or increased body fat. Only eating too many calories can do this.

    And while you may have a slight adjustment period with blood sugar levels and water retention, as long as you are maintaining calorie control, you shouldn’t end up gaining any weight.

    Because of the blood sugar spike, it is common for some people to notice an intense sugar crash after cheating with a carb heavy meal.

    And depending on how long you’ve been cutting carbs, you might also notice some repeat symptoms of “keto flu” when resuming your keto diet.

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    Bump Up Activity Levels Fiber Intake And Keep Protein At A Healthy Level

    If you want to ditch keto and counting macros, there are other easier ways to maintain weight loss. Jethwa’s recommendation is: “Find exercise you enjoy! This could be anything from walking around the block each day to taking dance lessons or joining a local soccer club.” Sleymann recommends: “Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day and making sure you are eating an adequate amount of protein , which helps promote fullness.” And rather than relying solely on animal proteins, opt for more plant-based protein sources, like beans, lentils, tofu and edamame.

    “And eat vegetables at every meal as they add volume on your plate and are low in calories and high in fiber,” adds Sleymann.

    It’s also important to make changes to your diet slowly. If you all of a sudden start eating 30 grams of fiber a day after not eating much at all, your stomach is going to go crazy and likely cause some pretty intense constipation. Add in one or two servings of a high-fiber foods per day, like oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, beans, chia seeds or berries, and if your stomach tolerates that, bump it up a little more the next day. And remember, whenever you add more fiber to your diet, you also need to add more water to prevent constipation.

    Phase : The Keto Flu And Getting Used To Things

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    I started keto on Jan. 1, and throughout my first week, I experienced a slight decrease in energy that felt a little bit like getting a cold. This is called “keto flu” within the ketogenic community, and it’s a pretty common experience that stems from a withdrawal of sorts from sugars . Maybe it’s because I am already a pretty healthy eater, but my keto flu lasted only about a day and a half, and then I was back on top of my game.

    Because I was committed to eating only healthy fats, my diet consisted largely of vegetables, fatty seafood, and free-range eggs and nuts, with a smattering of grass-fed meats. On a typical day of keto, this is what my diet would look like:

    Breakfast: Either fasting or two eggs over easy cooked in grass-fed butter.Lunch: A big salad with romaine, kale, onions, cucumbers, and an entire avocado, topped with Primal Kitchen Caesar Dressing.Dinner: Salmon with the skin on alongside a bed of broccoli and cauliflower drizzled in extra virgin olive oil.Dessert: A fat bomb made with organic coconut oil, cacao powder, almond butter and a couple of drops of liquid stevia.

    You’ll notice that my meal plan didn’t include any snacks. After the keto flu was over, one of the first differences I noticed was that I was suddenly never hungry. Like, for real.

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    Keep Up Your Fat Intake On Keto

    The majority of your calories should come from fat when you’re eating keto. When you first start the diet, slowly transitioning to eating more fat can be helpful. Some high-fat foods can taste rich if you’re not used to it. If you’re losing weight, it’s important to get a good balance between having enough fat and having too much.

    Your Weight May Fluctuate

    Often the weight loss from this diet simply isn’t sustainable, says registered dietitian nutritionist Erica Christ. In fact, many people see a rapid increase in weight gain when they return to regular eating habits again, she says.

    When you first begin the keto diet, you may experience some weight loss that’s due to water weight, per the MD Anderson Cancer Center. This is due to the body using up those glycogen stores. Glycogen holds a fair amount of water, so once carbohydrates are reintroduced, that water weight will return.

    And it’s not just water weight that people gain after they break from the keto diet guidelines. In her experience, Christ says, “those who have lost weight on a ketogenic diet actually gain back more than what they originally lost.”

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    What Happened When I Went Keto For 30 Days And Then Went Off It

    Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio

    I’m not exactly new to dieting . What my boyfriend affectionately refers to as yo-yo dieting, I prefer to call “my nutrition hobby.” I love the science of nutrition and have tried many different eating styles over the years, from veganism to Atkins and everything in between. So when the ketogenic diet started to boom in popularity last year, I was intrigued.

    It took me a while to commit to going full-on keto. My nutrition philosophy has always involved eating relatively low to moderate levels of carbohydrates. I lost about 40 pounds when I was a senior in high school by adhering to a low-carb diet and have kept the weight off for all of my adult life.

    But while eating low-carb isn’t particularly new to me, adding in fats obscene amounts of fat, actually definitely is. As a self-proclaimed nutrition nerd, I approached keto with a balanced philosophy. My goals were:

    • To increase my energy levels and regulate my blood sugar by eating a diet that doesn’t trigger an insulin response.
    • To lose a little bit of weight .
    • To eat healthy, wholesome fats on the keto diet .
    • To obtain the benefits of the keto diet without tracking calories.
    • To eventually add carbs back into my diet, having by then “adapted” to ketosis and therefore being able to simply burn through carbohydrates before reverting to fat-burning mode.

    Your Stomach Might Get Upset


    A byproduct of drastically cutting down on carbs is limiting your fiber intake. When it comes to your GI system, that’s bad news: Fiber helps ease constipation, and fiber-rich foods also often contain prebiotics, which in turn help fuel probiotics, the good-for-you bacteria that reside in your gut, per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Eating low-carb, high-fiber options like nuts and avocado can help while you’re in ketosis, but when you go off the keto guidelines, you may find yourself eating all sorts of fiber-rich foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables and so on. While these are healthy, good-for-you foods, the sudden influx of fiber-rich food could cause tummy issues since your system grew used to not having this nutrient, McGown says.

    To ease symptoms, take it slowly when it comes to adding fiber back in your diet if you’re taking a break from keto guidelines. A gradual approach with fiber will reduce unpleasant GI symptoms such as gas and diarrhea, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine .

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    You May Lose Weight Easily

    Once you get past the initial dramatic water weight, you will start to burn fat, since ultimately, that’s the goal of keto. As Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN explains, you will likely drop pounds when you increase your utilization of body fat stores for energy. And with a low-carb diet, your body releases less insulin into your bloodstream.

    “While insulin is necessary for the absorption and utilization of carb, a high amount of circulating insulin can make weight loss more challenging,” says Rifkin. “Therefore, a very low carb diet will require less insulin, which may make weight loss easier.”

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    What Happens During A Fast

    This Is What Happens When You Stop Doing Keto

    To really understand what happens when you come off the ketogenic diet, you have to understand what goes on during and after a fast .

    Your body has at least two types of fuel: glucose and ketones. When your blood sugar gets low enough, your liver starts converting fat into fatty acids and ketones.

    Those ketones are used to make acetoacetic acid, which can be converted into energy in the brain and muscle tissue.

    The longer you keep your glucose low enough, the more ketone bodies will accumulate in your bloodstream and urine.

    Researchers have shown that athletes who work out after an overnight fast develop significantly more ketone bodies in their bloodstream than athletes whove eaten a carbohydrate-containing meal. All that extra fat burning, just by not eating carbs.

    What about those people who fast all day, every day? They get even more ketones circulating throughout their bodies.

    Studies have seen that among an assortment of diets , the highest ketone values were seen in people who followed a very low carbohydrate diet.

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    Remind Me What Is The Keto Diet

    On the keto plan, your diet is composed of 70 percent fat, 25 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates, says Samantha Lynch, R.D.N.

    The goal of following a mostly fats diet is to put your body into ketosis. Studies show that its easy to get this wrong if youre not following a proper plan.

    When the body uses carbs as its primary source of fuel, it turns those carbs into a form of energy called glycogen. Ketosis slowly switches the bodys source of fuel from glycogen to ketones, thereby using fats as the bodys primary source of energy.

    When your body is relying on fat, there are a lot of ketone bodiesthats the basic fuel source in the bloodstreamand the brain uses those very efficiently, says Paul Salter, R.D., M.S., founder of Fit in Your Dress. As a result of this shift, the body enters a stage called ketosis. It now burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. The weight melts off quickly, and the results are often dramatic.

    Want some fun workouts to go along with your new diet? Try Aaptiv. The app features hundreds of exercise programs designed for all interests and skill levels.

    Find Your Desired Carb Range

    The number of carbs recommended is different for everyone, and differs depending on things like your goals and activity levels. Since theres no one-size-fits-all amount, aim to get back to a number of carbohydrates that allow you to eat a greater range of foods so that you dont feel restricted but can maintain your weight and feel good, says Keene. If youre not sure what range is right for you, find a registered dietitian in your area who will be able to help you meet your personal goals.

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    Signs That You Are Making Progress On Keto Diet:

    • Your clothes fit you better
    • You talk about yourself more positively
    • You have become more confident
    • You lose inches
    • You have developed a better relationship with food and experience lesser cravings
    • You have become regular at exercise and don’t have to push yourself for a workout
    • You see visual changes in your body in the mirror
    • You have increased body strength and stamina

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    You May Experience The ‘whoosh’

    Once you get through the transition period, you may experience what many call the ‘whoosh’, according to Rami Abrams, author and co-founder of Tasteaholics and the Total Keto Diet App. This is when you lose a surprisingly large amount of weight in the first two weeks. It’s important to remember this isn’t fat loss, but rather water weight.

    “Many people get discouraged when this miraculous weight loss rate doesn’t continue√Ębut you should know that rapid fat loss is not healthy,” says Abrams. “Keto allows you to lose pounds in a healthy, steady way that won’t negatively impact your health.”

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