Why Am I Gaining Weight On The Keto Diet

Mental & Emotional Habits

Why Am I Gaining Weight On A Keto Diet? (And How To FIX It)

Although losing weight or maintaining a lean physique is a common goal and there are clear health benefits to not carrying excess body fat, it’s important to recognize that theres more to life than looking a certain way.

Striving to live up to an unrealistic ideal appearance thats largely determined by the media is a surefire way to feel bad about yourself. In fact, as stated by a report by the Mental Health Foundation :

Higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviors and eating disorders.

If you tend towards negative thoughts and behavior patterns around weight loss, or you have an unhealthy relationship with tracking metrics, you may benefit from switching the focus to more health-centered measures.

Through daily or weekly journaling, you can keep tabs on:

  • Your energy levels throughout the day.
  • Your daily activity levels.
  • Your overall mood and self-esteem.
  • How many pieces of fresh fruit and veg you consumed per day.

You may find that focussing less on the outcome and more on the process, and how you feel day to day, leaves you with a greater sense of satisfaction long-term.

Youre Consuming Too Much Protein

This is a mistake that is very commonly made, especially among those who are brand new to the keto diet. With so many protein bars, powders, and supplements on the market, it can be easy to focus on protein when arranging most of your meals and snacks. But this can cause some problems in the long run, with weight gain being a big one.

For starters, protein supplements are super high in calories, which is an obvious problem if theyre consumed in excess.

Another big issue with too much protein is you run the risk of entering gluconeogenesis, which is a state in which your body has so much protein, and so few carbs, that it starts to process the excess protein into glucose, which can lead to huge spikes in blood sugar, and can definitely contribute to knocking you out of ketosis.

For the keto diet, youll want to stick to fat macro intake of around 70% of your total calories, with a moderate amount of protein, and a very small amount of carbohydrates. Following this ratio will make it much easier to avoid eating too much protein, and risking things like gluconeogenesis.

You Need To Exercise More

Your body cant burn fat in ketosis if you arent moving enough. Ketosis can make you feel weak you shouldnt be doing high impact training while losing weight quickly. However, there are several ways to increase your activity .

  • Walk more – while you talk on the phone, listen to a podcast, or are heading to work
  • Stand at your desk instead of sitting – this also helps with the after-lunch drowsiness
  • Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators – Ive made this my policy .
  • Yoga – when I dont have time to go to the studio, Ill pull up a video on YouTube at home and follow along at my comfort level. The best part is no one sees when I mess up!

This post has three underlying themes that will help you lose weight while eating keto and stay healthy long-term: awareness, communication, and consistency. Beaware of how many calories youre consuming, your body, and what we know about processed foods. Communicate with your doctor, your mental health professional, and your loved ones. Beconsistent in how much you eat, when you eat, and how much you sleep.

Eating keto is excellent. You’ve made a great decision. With small tweaks, you will start to see the results you want!

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If You Are Moderately Or Very Active

If youre more active, lets say you workout 4 times a week lifting weights. I would go with a 10% deficit for weight loss.

So the more exercise you do the fewer calories you cut because you want those calories to give you energy for your workout.

If you want to maintain your weight you eat your full BMR calories and exercise. If you want to lose weight you cut 10 to 15 percent deficit from your calories.

For example, if I need to eat 1500 calories to maintain, I would subtract 10% to get 1350 or 15% to get 1275 calories.

Dont worry about losing muscle, The Ketogenic preserves your muscles, so youre not going to lose your muscles. Youre only going to lose your fat from eating less fat.

Just remember, you have to burn more calories than what you are ingesting. You have to use more calories than what you are giving your body.

So the lighter you are the fewer calories you can eat.

How To Avoid All Of This

Why Am I Gaining Weight Even Though I

So, there you have it. If youve been weighing yourself regularly and wondering why youre gaining weight in the short or long term take a really good look at everything this article just covered.

Youll find your unexplained explanation somewhere within it.

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I designed it to greatly minimize or completely prevent everything that sucks about losing fat and all of the problems that screw things up along the way. See for yourself: Superior Fat Loss

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Lower Your Fat Raise Protein

So what I do is I lower my fat intake to 60 to 65% at the most, and then I raise the protein. You can try o raise the carbs a little bit also.

So that is a good example of why sometimes were not losing weight.

Adjust your calories and adjust your macros. Your macros maybe too high in fat. Thats why youre not losing fat.

You Are Consuming Too Many Calories

When you are consuming a high-fat diet, it’s very easy to go overboard on the calories, board-certified clinical nutritionist Sunny Brigham told Insider.

To make sure you don’t overindulge, she suggests tracking your food intake for a few days to see where the caloric level is, and adjust accordingly from there.

“Some will say that you don’t need to have a caloric deficit in order to lose weight, but that’s simply not the case for everyone,” Brigham added.

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You May Be Sensitive To New Keto

Even though you might be following the ketogenic diet strictly, you still may be consuming foods that simply arent good for you personally. A lot of low carb, high fat foods can still cause sensitivities in large populations of people.

That doesnt necessarily mean that keto isnt right for you, but you may have to adjust which types of foods youre eating in order to avoid these sensitivities and unwanted weight gain.

Food allergies are heavily linked to bloating, swelling, and increased weight gain. Additionally, a lot of food allergies dont go fully noticed until one starts a diet as strict as the ketogenic diet, because the lack of carbs and other foods can help shine a spotlight on whats actually causing the problem.

Also, when on the keto diet, its likely that you might be eating more of the foods youre sensitive to than youre used to, in order to compensate for the lack of calories that youre getting from carbs.

Some common keto-friendly foods that cause insensitivities include:

  • soy or whey protein powder
  • wheat starch

If you think you may be experiencing an allergic reaction, you should talk with your doctor about getting screened.

Eating Too Many Carbs

Why Am I Gaining Weight On Keto? With Health Coach Tara & Jeremy

Since typical diets contain 4565% of calories from carbs, decreasing that intake down to 5% for ketosis is a rather steep drop. Its normal to have difficulty cutting out carbs when first adjusting to the ketogenic diet.

To help you reach your keto intake goals, consider tracking your carb, fat, and protein intake with an app like MyFitnessPal, Cronometer, or Carb Manager. After 1-2 months of doing this, youll develop a better sense of what you need to eat to lose weight and promote ketosis.

If youd like to learn more about tracking carbs on keto, weve created a comprehensive guide thatll help you get started.

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What Are You Doing Wrong When You Are In Ketosis But Gaining Weight

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If your sole purpose of following a keto diet is to lose weight, it can be too disheartening when you are in ketosis but gaining weight.

The ketogenic diet is popular as one of the most effective weight loss tools that can also provide several other health benefits.

However, sometimes, you may not notice any weight loss, or to make matters worse, may start gaining weight while on this diet.

Consider this as the sign that you are doing something drastically wrong!

What exactly?

Read on to find why you may be in ketosis but gaining weight still. But before that, we will learn why you should be losing weight in the first place when you follow a ketogenic diet.

Reviewed By Briana Rodriquez Rdn

Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Brianas philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.

Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water


This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.

Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.

This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.

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Eating Too Much Protein

Many low carb diets allow for a moderate amount of protein. Some people mistakenly think that a low carb, high protein diet is a keto diet. However, this type of diet is unlikely to cause ketosis because the body can break down excess proteins into amino acids and convert them to types of sugar.

A person who is on the keto diet will get most of their calories from fat, which should represent about

On the keto diet, several types of carbohydrate are acceptable, including nuts and dairy. These foods are typically high fat, nutrient dense foods that make a great addition to a keto diet. However, they also contain carbohydrates.

Eating too many of these foods will keep a person from achieving and maintaining ketosis.

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Youre Eating Too Much

If you want to stay at a healthy weight on the keto diet, you still have to be mindful of your calorie intake.

There are a lot of factors that can affect how your body turns food into energy and stores fat. Those factors range from your stress and activity levels to the type of food you eat. If youre in ketosis but not losing weight, it could be that youre eating more than your body can burn.

Fat has twice the number of calories per gram than protein or carbs do. It can be tough to stay within your maintenance calories, or even eat at a calorie deficit, if youre regularly eating more than your body needs. As youre adjusting to keto, its a good idea to log what you eat in a food tracker app until you can eat more intuitively.

If a patient asks to go on keto, I calculate their basic calorie needs to sustain their body and lifestyle, says Davoodi. Its a myth that everyone can eat the same amount and not be affected differently. , its true that a 200-pound person and a 150-pound person should not eat the same amount.

As you manage your weight, you wont need as many calories to sustain you as you once did, says Davoodi. Its helpful to reassess your needs after every 10 to 15 pounds lost. Otherwise, its possible youll hit a plateau.

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G Of Fat Has 9 Calories 1g Of Protein Has 4 Calories And 1g Of Carbs Has 4 Calories

So youre eating the same calories but your eating more fat. So, of course, youre not losing weight and gaining weight on keto because youre not in your deficit.

People think if Im eating fat and not carbs Im losing weight. No, it doesnt work like that. Also youre not in ketosis yet, youre not adapted, youre not using your ketones to burn fat.

If theyre gaining weight you can lower your calories by 200 calories or 10% less. If youre not losing weight after cutting 10 percent of your calories you but you are maintaining your weight, that is fine until youre adapted.

Sometimes you have to gain weight in the adapting process before you can lose weight. So just be patient, dont weigh yourself every single day. Maybe every 2 weeks or weekly.

Make A Slow Transition Off Keto


First and foremost, when transitioning to a post-keto lifestyle, think slow and steady. Any major diet change can impact your digestive system and weight, so you want to be sure not to swiftly go from keto to a standard American diet, which is extremely high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients. If you go full force into carbage, side effects may include regaining the weight quickly and struggling with digestive distress from the carb overload. You dont want to go into a diet that will make you feel worse than when you were starting keto, do you?

Your best bet is to slowly reintroduce carbs into the diet for the first week and beyond by continuing to mind your macronutrients and modestly upping your grams of carbs. Start by adding in starchy vegetables or fruit, one serving per day, and slowly work your way up to more veggies , maintaining a healthy diet and considering calorie restrictions to keep yourself in check. See how adding one serving back into your diet feels for a couple of days, and then slowly increase, if desired, continuing with your usual fat intake and lean proteins, if you like.

Remember, even off keto, theres no need for copious amounts of processed carbs or any carbs at all most of them dont provide great health benefits. Keep in mind: low and slow.

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