Blog Diets Keto How To Maintain Weight After Keto: Reintroducing Carbs Without Canceling Out Your Results

How To Maintain Weight After Keto: Reintroducing Carbs Without Canceling Out Your Results

Perhaps you’ve been on the ketogenic diet for a while now and have finally achieved your results. Your weight is where you’d like it to be, your body looks how you’d always envisioned it, and you generally feel healthier, but you now want to get off the meal plan.

How do you safely do this and not mess up all the progress that you’ve already made? Transitioning from keto to a more healthy and balanced diet can be rather tough if you don’t know where to start. In this article, we shall be showing you just how to move from this predominantly fat diet and reintroduce carbs to your everyday meals as well as give you tips on how to maintain weight after keto.

How Does the Keto Diet Work?

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that restricts the amount of carbohydrates you can consume to less than 50 grams a day with some versions reducing the intake to just 20 grams a day (3, 14). In this way, you get most of your calories from fat, forcing your body to use different energy pathways. Instead of using carbs for energy, your body burns fat, entering a state of ketosis (5).

How to Maintain Weight After Keto

Despite the fact that the ketogenic diet is hailed for its weight loss results, most experts recommend it as a short-term diet and not a long-term one. As this diet limits the intake of carbs, limiting the intake of all whole grains and some vegetables as well as legumes and most fruit, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies when used in the long term. 

Research has also found this diet to increase the likelihood of other long-term side effects, including hepatic steatosis (aka fatty liver disease), kidney stones, and hypoproteinemia (lower than normal protein levels in the body) (1).

With this knowledge, it’s clear to see that, despite the success of the eating plan, it’s smart to get off it before too long. But what if you do and suddenly gain all the weight back? What will you do then? 

This is certainly a legitimate fear, but luckily, there are some things you can do to ensure that your transition from keto doesn’t have adverse effects on your weight loss journey.

Recommendations are as follows:

1. Gradually Increase Your Carbohydrate Intake

As previously stated, the ketogenic diet drastically limits the amount of carbs you should consume a day to around 20 to 50 grams (14). The first step in transitioning out of this eating plan is to reintroduce carbs. Rather than diving head first into this and dramatically increasing carbohydrate intake, we suggest taking some baby steps. 

You can do this by gradually increasing the daily amount of carbs by approximately 10 grams each week. This amount is small enough not to shock your system that has been carbohydrate-deprived for a while. Please also note that it’s best to only go for the complex carbohydrates, generally those from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, in this process. 

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Is Quinoa Keto-Friendly?

For example, you can eat a bit more fruit, an extra spoon of beans, and opt for whole grains such as oats, rice, or quinoa. Don’t go for unhealthy carbs such as white bread, cookies, or donuts. Healthy carbs are generally better for you and they’re also fiber-rich, which takes longer to digest, leading to longer satiety and a reduced likelihood of overeating.

As you increase your carb intake, remember to track your weight and how your body generally feels.

how to maintain weight after keto  

2. Add More Protein to Your Plate

Through the keto diet, you’ve learned that more fats can help with weight loss, but as you phase out of this diet, it’s time to learn about the incredible benefits of protein for the same.

For years, research has continued to prove that protein is an incredibly effective macronutrient for weight loss. The increase in protein consumption has been proven to help with a reduction in triglycerides, blood pressure, and waist circumference, and also helps with greater perceived fullness, elevated satiety hormones, and elevated diet-induced thermogenesis (6, 22).

Adding more protein to your diet will help boost your satiety and increase your metabolism, which will help with maintaining a calorie deficit and more calorie burning. 

When it comes to making your macro food list to help you transition out of keto, we suggest adding foods such as skinless chicken, fish, lean cuts of red meat, tofu, and some legumes. They’re all incredibly rich in protein and will help with all the above-mentioned benefits.

3. Add Resistance Training to Your Routine

If you’ve not been working out before, now is the time to seriously consider it. Resistance training, also known as strength training, is a type of workout routine that’s designed to improve your muscle strength and endurance. Research continues to show this type of workout routine to be incredibly effective for weight loss, particularly in obese or overweight people (19, 7).

But why should you do resistance training if you’ve already reached your weight loss goals? 

For one, resistance training is a form of exercise like any other, and we all understand that when you work out, you’re able to maintain your weight – it’s not just a weight loss tool. By working out as you transition out of this diet, you’re able to expend a greater number of calories each day, which will help you maintain your weight loss after keto.

Secondly, resistance training helps with muscle growth. Increasing your muscle mass has a slew of benefits, including improving balance and flexibility, strengthening bones, and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses. Beyond this and related to the topic at hand, having more muscle increases your resting metabolic rate.

The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you’ll burn when working out and even more so while at rest. It’s said that every pound of muscle you have burns an extra 5 to 6 calories a day and a resistance-trained muscle can burn up to 9 extra calories a day (4).

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With this in mind, it can be seen that when it comes to how to maintain weight after keto, resistance training is a great tool that can help make the process easier.

If you struggle to even flirt with the idea of giving up your favorite foods or working out till your legs give way – BetterMe app is here to breathe a fresh perspective into the way you view the weight loss process! Check out the app and experience the fun side of fitness and dieting with BetterMe!

4. Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

If adding more whole grains to your diet to increase your carb intake seems a little daunting, try adding some fruit and starchy vegetables instead. The ketogenic diet doesn’t allow fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges, or peaches, or vegetables such as corn, sweet potatoes, squash, peas, or turnips as they’re high in carbohydrates and sugars.

If you want to leave this diet behind but still maintain your weight, then such fruits and vegetables should be part of your meal plan. Not only are they lower in calories than a serving of whole grains, they’re also high in antioxidants and other nutrients, which positively impact every system in the body, and they’re a much better source of both carbs and natural sugars than heavily processed, high-sugar “junk foods”.

Remember that fruits and leafy greens make some of the healthiest and best juices for weight loss due to the fact that they take up a larger volume in the stomach with relatively fewer calories. These juices can be used as a snack or even as meal replacements when made with a particular balance of ingredients as you transition out of the keto diet and look to maintain your weight.

5. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time before regularly eating again. The main idea behind IF is that you have an “eating window” during which you don’t limit your food intake and periods of fasting during which you refrain from eating. 

Research has shown that intermittent fasting offers a wide array of benefits, such as fat loss, lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood sugar, better cardiovascular and general health, lower risk of chronic illnesses, and increased longevity (2).

There are multiple ways to do IF, including:

  • Fasting for 12 hours a day
  • Fasting for 16 hours
  • The 5:2 diet
  • Alternate day fasting
  • A weekly 24-hour fast

As eating in this way limits the number of hours you’re allowed to consume food in a day, it helps reduce your overall caloric intake, thereby helping with efforts to maintain your weight loss after keto, particularly if you remember to track your intake during the feeding window. 

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It’s important to remember that eating too much healthy food can lead to weight gain. Just because it’s a food with several health benefits, like a fruit or vegetable, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically lose or maintain your weight. You must make sure that you’re not in a caloric surplus or the number on the scale will start to go up.

That being said, please note that not everyone should participate in this eating plan. If you’re under the age of 18, are a pregnant or breastfeeding mother, have type 1 diabetes, or are a person with a history of eating disorders, IF is not the alternative for you (13).

6. Keep Moving

You should adopt a more active lifestyle to maintain your keto diet weight loss. This will help keep the weight off and will also improve your general well-being. Practice regular movement throughout the day by taking frequent breaks, going for regular walks, and stretching or doing yoga during the day (12).

The benefits of regular movement cannot be overlooked. In fact, maintaining regular activity throughout the day has been proven to have a much more significant impact on your overall health than one heavy exercise session.

Read more: Is Pho Keto? The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Pho on a Low-Carb Diet

Will You Eventually Stop Losing Weight on Keto?

Ordinarily, you should continue to lose weight as long as you follow a weight loss diet and remain on a caloric deficit while on the eating plan. However, it’s not unheard of that people suddenly stop seeing progress on their weight loss journey despite doing everything to make the opposite possible. 

This is known as a weight loss plateau (16). A weight loss plateau can happen on the keto diet too. Let’s look at some reasons why you may be experiencing stagnated weight loss while on this eating plan

how to maintain weight after keto

Why Are You Not Losing Weight on Keto?

Very few things are as demotivating as putting all your effort into something and not seeing any results. Being on a diet, following it to the letter, and not seeing the results you had hoped for can really be soul-crushing. If this is something you’re currently experiencing, don’t be disheartened – yes, it can be frustrating, but the problem is not unfixable.

According to a scoping review published in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, these are some reasons why someone may not lose weight despite being on/following a weight loss program (24):

Undiagnosed Medical Issues/Prescribed Medication

According to the review, medical issues such as PCOS, hypothyroidism, and even having an underactive thyroid are some of the reasons why someone could be following a weight loss diet/program and still not seeing any positive results (24).

Other medical-related causes of lack of weight loss could be medication. Medications such as antidepressants and even insulin therapy in diabetic patients have been linked to weight gain (24).

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Lack of Dietary Adherence

According to the review, failure to follow dietary rules is one of the factors that can interfere with weight loss. According to the researchers, regardless of the diet followed, those who stuck to the rules and showed higher adherence experienced better results than those who did not (24).

Weight loss generally has one major rule – you need to eat at a caloric deficit, i.e. eat fewer calories than your body expends in a day, in order to lose weight. The keto diet also has one major rule – don’t exceed an intake of 50 g of carbohydrates a day. If you follow these two rules, you should see results.

However, if you’re not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and look up the following:

  1. How is your carbohydrate intake?
  2. How many calories are you eating in a day and are they within your recommended intake to induce a caloric deficit?

We recommend using a reputable calorie-counting app such as the BetterMe App to help you figure this out. By inputting all that you eat on the app, you can track your calories and macro intake to help you see if you’re consuming more than 50 g of carbohydrates a day.

Whether you’re a workout beast or just a beginner making your first foray into the world of fitness and dieting – BetterMe has a lot to offer to both newbies and experts! Install the app andexperience the versatility first-hand d!

You’re Not Eating Nutritious Foods

In addition to limiting your carb intake, the ketogenic diet doesn’t have that many other rules. Because of this, most people opt to do “dirty keto” – a version of the diet that’s still low in carbs and high in fats but rich in many processed foods.

While dirty keto may be high in fats, these processed foods often have too many calories, too much sodium, and very few micronutrients, i.e. minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants (23). Instead of eating such foods, we advise that you stick to “clean keto” by focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods, which also have much less salt and saturated fats.

Unrealistic Weight-Loss Expectations

You may be losing weight at a healthy rate, but because you have the wrong information or expectations, you end up thinking that you’ve made little to no progress. Contrary to what some people may claim online, weight loss is not a quick thing. It’s a long process that requires time and patience. 

Remember that slow, gradual, and above all sustainable weight loss means losing just 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) per week (20). Anything more is probably just water weight or is too great a caloric deficit to be sustainable in the long term. 

It’s important to note that when you lose weight very fast, chances are that it’s not fat you’re losing, and the minute you stop doing whatever it is that’s causing this drastic change, you’ll gain all the weight back.

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Lack of Sleep or High Stress Levels

Chronic stress and a lack of quality sleep are two lifestyle and environmental factors that have proven to have a negative impact on weight loss (8). 

When you’re stressed out, your body produces excess amounts of a hormone called cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone (21). Elevated levels of cortisol in your body can encourage your body to store fat, particularly in your midsection. 

Furthermore, chronic stress also leads to sleep deprivation, eventually causing weight gain. Lack of sleep negatively impacts hunger-regulating hormones such as leptin and ghrelin, which causes an increase in appetite (15). 

To reduce stress and get better sleep, expose yourself to natural sunlight early in the morning and at sunset, practice relaxation techniques including meditation and yoga, and spend less time on electronic devices, especially before bed (17).

You’re Actually Not Achieving Ketosis

To lose body fat while on this eating plan, your body needs to be in ketosis. Once you start this eating plan, it takes approximately 2 to 4 days for your body to reach ketosis. 

However, if you’re not limiting your carb intake, your body will never reach this state. 

To determine if your body has reached ketosis, you can go to a doctor and get a blood ketosis test or use over-the-counter at-home urine test strips or a breath test. The ideal ketone levels signaling ketosis are 0.5 to 3 mg/dL (18).

You’re Not Getting Enough Physical Activity

Your sedentary job may just be the reason why you’re not losing weight. Physical activity is conducive to a caloric deficit, stimulating fat loss and helping build muscle. This can eventually boost your metabolism by increasing the amount of energy your body expends at rest.

Read more: 6 Keto Sushi Recipes to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet

how to maintain weight after keto  


  • How much weight can you lose on keto?

It’s difficult to say. Weight loss depends on your diet and other factors such as physical activity, the amount of sleep you get per night, genetics, your starting weight, health problems, and other social and environmental factors (10, 11).

However, according to the CDC, healthy and sustainable weight loss usually means losing approximately 1 to 2 pounds a week (20). If your keto diet is working well for you, you should notice a loss of anything between 4 and 8 pounds a month.

  • Do you always gain weight back after keto?

Not necessarily. Weight gain after a diet happens if you don’t transition the right way out of said eating plan and if you don’t continue pursuing healthy eating and exercise habits. If you’d like to keep the weight off after keto, using the tips mentioned above is a good place to start.

  • How many carbs to stay in ketosis?

The recommended daily carbohydrate intake while on this eating plan is no more than 50 g (14). If you limit your intake to this amount every day, chances are you’ll stay in ketosis.

  • Is keto OK in the long term?

No, it isn’t. Research has shown that following this diet in the long term can lead to nutritional deficiencies and also increase the likelihood of fatty liver disease, kidney stones, and hypoproteinemia (1).

The Bottom Line

When it comes to how to maintain weight after keto, we suggest you start by slowly increasing your whole carb intake by just 10 grams a week to allow your body to slowly get out of ketosis and to start relying on carbs and glucose as a source of energy. 

Constant exercise, resistance training, adding more protein to your diet, and eating more fruit and some starchy vegetables are also simple, effective ways to transition out of the keto diet while still maintaining your weight. 

If you feel any adverse effects while transitioning out of keto, please seek medical advice. In addition, if you notice your weight going up after keto, go back to the drawing board and see where you may have gone wrong. Perhaps you’re eating more calories than your body is expending, or you could enhance your workout routine to further promote caloric expenditure.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet: A Review Article (2020,
  2. Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting: a narrative review (2023,
  3. Beyond Weight Loss: A Review Of The Therapeutic Uses Of Very-low-carbohydrate (Ketogenic) Diets (2013,
  5. Carbohydrates (2014,
  6. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss (2020,
  7. Effect of exercise training on weight loss, body composition changes, and weight maintenance in adults with overweight or obesity: An overview of 12 systematic reviews and 149 studies (2021,
  8. Effects of Chronic Social Stress on Obesity (2012,
  9. Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies (2017,
  10. Factors Affecting Weight & Health (2023,
  11. Factors That Influence Body Weight (n.d.,
  12. Incidental Movement, Lifestyle-embedded Activity And Sleep: New Frontiers In Physical Activity Assessment (2007,
  13. Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? (n.d.,
  14. Ketogenic Diet (2023,
  15. Lose Sleep, Gain Weight: Another Piece of the Obesity Puzzle (2010,
  16. Management of Weight Loss Plateau (2022,
  17. Mobile phone use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults – a prospective cohort study (2011,
  18. Nutritional Ketosis for Weight Management and Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome (2019,
  19. Resistance training effectiveness on body composition and body weight outcomes in individuals with overweight and obesity across the lifespan: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2022,
  20. Steps for Losing Weight (2023,
  21. Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity (2016,
  22. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance (2015,
  23. Ultra-processed food consumption and excess weight among US adults (2018,
  24. What could be the reasons for not losing weight even after following a weight loss program? (2024,
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