Man in pumpkin patch ready to take a bite

... Without Putting on Weight

If you’ve been following the Keto Diet for a while, or even for just a short time, and you decide to stop it, it’s important that you realize there is a right way and a wrong way to do so. Simply going back to eating however many carbs you want is not a good idea - you are going to shock your body, pile the weight back on, and probably feel terrible as a result. No, you need to know how to do it safely and effectively.

There are a few reasons why someone might want to stop following the Keto Diet. It could be because they simply don’t want to do it anymore, or perhaps they have a health issue and their doctor has advised them to eat in a different way. It could also be that life interferes and they’re finding going out and socializing on the Keto Diet (and sticking to the keto macros) is just too difficult for them. It’s a personal choice. We should point out that if you can follow the Keto Diet for life, you’re going to grab some health benefits, but if you choose to remove yourself from the Keto way, it’s important to know how to do it properly.

Simply stopping eating in the way you would on the Keto and going back to a ‘normal’ way of eating is not the way forward. Remember, you had to change the way your body burns fuel for energy in order to start the diet, e.g. your body went into ketosis. If you think back, you probably had a period of a couple of weeks when you experienced some side effects, because of the big change your body was going through. Reversing this means you’re probably going to have a few short-lived side effects too. If you simply start eating carbs quickly, you’re going to shock your body - never a good thing.

Ask Yourself Why And What Now?

You will probably already know your reason for coming off the Keto Diet, but if it’s simply because you want to eat more carbs, you need a plan B. Most people start the diet because they want to lose weight — they were over their desired weight at the time. Remember, if you simply start eating the same way you were before, you’re going to be back where you started. You need to think about how you’re going to eat now.

Are you going to simply watch what you eat? Are you going to exercise more? What are you going to do? Always put health first and have a backup plan to ensure that you stay fit and healthy, and within the normal weight range.

Stick to Portion Sizes

You will have learned a lot of lessons about health and wellbeing whilst following the Keto Diet, so always remember them as you move forward. The biggest one to remember is portion sizes. It’s likely that after a time of cutting back on carbs, you’re going to want to run free and over-indulge - again, never a good idea. For the first few weeks after stopping your Keto way of life, stick to small portions - small and often.

Use Unprocessed Carbs First

It’s best to introduce carbs back into your diet slowly and that means beginning with unprocessed carbs, rather than processed. You might want to jump into the cakes and pasta dishes, but rein yourself in!

Stick with carbs that come from plants first, so we’re talking about fruits and whole-grains, and then slowly work up to processed foods if you really want to. It’s a good idea to restrict yourself, however, because you’re only going to pile the weight back on if you go back to your old ways. If the Keto has taught you anything, it should be that eating clean foods is always best and that moderation is key.

Work Slowly

Slowly and carefully is the way forward. On the first day you come off the Keto have carbs in just one meal, and stick to those plant-based carbs we just mentioned. If you move faster than this, you’re going to give yourself stomach issues, such as bloating and constipation/diarrhea, as your body is shocked by what has just happened. Work slowly over the coming days and weeks, and then when you feel like your body has adjusted to the carb amount you’ve added in, you can increase it just a little more. Again, remember that moderation is key here.

What Will Stopping the Keto Diet Do to Your Body?

There are certain things you will notice when you stop the Keto Diet, and the slower you go, the less impact these effects will have. Just as when you started the Keto Diet, remember that your body is adjusting, and perhaps there is even more emphasis at this point on going slowly. Your body has been used to less carbs now for a period of time, so too much at once is just going to increase the chances of noticing stomach upsets and other side effects.

The most common effects you might notice are:

Blood Sugar Ups And Downs

It’s possible that your blood sugar might fluctuate a little when you stop the diet and start eating carbs again, especially in the first meal you eat carbs. You’ll know this is occurring because you might feel hyperactive and then exhausted, jittery, or notice changes in your mood. This is something to keep an eye on and if you are noticing symptoms, have a chat with your doctor.

Bloating

You will probably notice some bloating at first, but this is not something which is going to last, and it is your body simply getting used to the carbs you’re starting to eat more of once more. This should pass after a few days or a week or so, but again, if you’re noticing this lasting for much longer, have a quick chat with your doctor.

Increased Appetite

The whole reason you don’t notice much in the way of cravings or hunger when you’re on the Keto Diet is because of the high fat content, and when you go back to eating in the ‘normal’ way, you may notice your appetite increases and you experience cravings. It’s important to try and control this and not act on those cravings too much - just because you’re craving a doughnut doesn’t mean you have to give in!

A good way to get through this is to make sure that when you eat carbs at a meal, you add in some protein and a little fat too. This will make you fuller for longer and help regulate blood sugar.

Coming off the Keto Diet can be done without weight gain, but you’re sure to notice a few effects. Knowing what to expect will help you navigate this time more easily.

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About The Author

Lorna Frances's picture

Lorna Frances is a nutritional medicine graduate and health and wellness writer at azhealthyfamilies.org. She is an advocate of natural medicine and is passionate about finding natural solutions to common health issues. Connect with Lorna at https://www.facebook.com/atozhealthyfamilies/ or www.azhealthyfamilies.org

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