Yes, going on the ketogenic or keto diet comes with all sorts of food restrictions. Congratulations on sticking to it. However, for all the potatoes, oatmeal, carrots, apples, not to mention the pasta, rice, bread, and desserts you gave up, you might have stuck to the diet because you experienced improvements in weight loss and overall health.
Now you’re thinking of getting off keto into a more manageable diet plan. But you’re also scared that you won’t be able to maintain your weight loss results when you do. It’s not a secret that the most challenging part of the weight loss journey is keeping the weight off.
Yes, you’ll go through a period of adjustment, but you can certainly maintain your results with some smart food choices. Plus, you can continue eating that keto ice cream and not feel bad about it.
On the other hand, if you reach your weight and health goals while on keto and then come back to eating foods high in saturated fats and sugars, then all your efforts will be for naught. To help wean yourself off the ketogenic diet, here are some tips to help you transition into ketogenic maintenance:
Determine the Most Suitable Carb Range for You
How much carbohydrates a person needs each day will differ from one person to the next and will be based on factors such as the person’s activity levels and goals. With this in mind, you should aim to consume an amount of carbs that will enable you to consume a more varied food range so that you won’t feel restricted but still feel good and maintain your weight.
Work with a dietitian or ask your doctor if you don’t know what carb range is best for you.
Increase Your Carb Intake Gradually
You’re most likely a carb-counting expert by now, and this isn’t the time to stop counting your carbs. For the first week post-keto, add an extra 10 grams of carbs to your diet daily. Raise this number every week or every two weeks depending on your specific goals.
Otherwise, adding too much carbohydrate too soon may result in sluggishness, stomach issues, unstable energy levels, and excess water weight. It’s important to note that these will pass as your body adapts to the extra carbs.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Consider elevating your lean protein intake, including fish, skinless chicken, and lean red meat cuts. This way, you can leverage the food’s thermic effects, which is basically how many calories are needed for food digestion. In general, it will take approximately 20% to 30% of calories contained in proteins as opposed to approximately 5% to 10% of calories contained in carbohydrates to digest food.
Now, whether you should continue on the keto diet path or not is really up to you. Shedding fat is just half the work. Keeping it off is equally challenging and crucial. Eating mindfully, working out regularly, and sticking to your weight management plan will keep you in shape, whether you’re on the keto diet or not.