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How Long Should You Stay on the Keto Diet

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How long should you stay on keto? What happens if you go off keto for a month? All good things must come to an end. Balance is key. So they say and so I try to live my life. Should you stay on the ketogenic diet for your whole life?

I tried the keto diet for 2 months in the summer of 2018 and realized it could be a game changer. I was still eating lots of the foods that I loved which meant I didn’t feel deprived but the weight was melting off me as if I was in the gym and full diet mode.

It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. How could I eat bacon, eggs and pancakes for breakfast and still be losing weight?

How could I be eating all this fat and still be losing weight?

The keto diet challenged everything I’d been taught about diet and nutrition and frankly it felt great!

But what I didn’t feel good about is omitting things from my diet that studies show are definitely healthy for you. Things like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas and my favourite fruit of all time, my beloved pineapple.

Related: Keto 101 – How to Start The Keto Diet

What is the Keto Diet?

So if you’ve no clue what I’m rambling about when I say the keto diet, let me bring you up to speed real quick.

The keto diet, aka the ketogenic diet is a way of eating that uses fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates like we’re used to.

In your current diet, you’re eating loads of carbs. Bread, pasta, potatoes, fruits, grains, peas and beans and cereals fill your day to day diet. We tend to overeat these carbs because, heck, they taste good. The fact is however that we do not use up all the energy that we consume since we eat so much of it and so our bodies turn all the excess carbs into fat to be stored.

On the keto diet, everything I just listed is banned. I know, you’re already wondering what the heck is allowed then since those are all the foods you run to for taste, convenience and comfort.

On the keto diet, your body uses fat for fuel, not carbs. Your body turns the fat into something called ketones through a process of ketosis. This is where the keto diet gets its name.

Your body does not store excess ketones. They are passed out like other waste in your urine and bowel movements. Plus if you’re following the keto diet properly, you probably don’t have excess fat to be passed out. Lots of people have trouble eating enough fat on this diet!

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I have so much fat already, why would I eat more?

A common question asked by keto newbies and a question I grappled with in the beginning too.

But think about it. You are starving your body of all the carbs you once ate and now need a new energy source. Imagine trying to eat the equivalent of all the carbs you used to eat but instead in fat. Sounds like a lot.

Luckily, you don’t need the equivalent amount of fat. In fact, when you’re in ketosis and your body is using fat for fuel, you’ll feel less hungry than you used to when you were using carbs for energy. People on the keto diet eat much less than their carb dieting counterparts simply because that hunger hormone just isn’t there anymore.

It’s one of the things I love the most when I’m in ketosis. I can go for hours at a time, concentrating on whatever I’m doing without stopping to give in to horrible hunger pangs. Those are pretty non-existent on a proper keto diet.

Fat is also a much better source of energy than carbs. Healthy fats are actually considered brain food and the mental clarity, energy and focus you’ll enjoy when in ketosis cannot compare to even a clean-eating diet that allows carbs.

Related: The Benefits of The Keto Diet

How long should you stay on keto?

Though I have derived so many benefits from being in ketosis, I am worried about any long term effects such a diet may have.

I’m no scientist or doctor but I just believe in balance and moderation. Some people remain on keto for years and do just fine. Some people develop other ailments from following the diet.

I like to think that I am getting the best that life has to offer by cycling through bouts of ketosis and bouts of clean-eating with even a few indulgences here and there.

What I do try to do is to be strictly keto when I’m keto. I stay in ketosis for at least 30 days to move the needle where health and weight loss is concerned. When I’m off keto, I still try to keep my diet clean and healthy by following a more paleo or primal diet. I also try to only go off keto for a month at a time.

I don’t try to use my off keto times to indulge in too many desserts or fast food and things I know are just downright unhealthy, but instead, take a break to gather nutrients from other healthy sources such as fruits, beans, grains and ground provisions.

New to the keto diet? Start here! This will help you to figure out how to stick to this diet and make it a lifestyle for you

Some say that this may confuse my organs and my body but I’d like to think that I am training it instead to a new way of life, just like we’re training out bodies to use fat for fuel when in ketosis.

I’m not here to tell you which way of life is the right way of life, I’m just documenting what I’m doing and loving the results.

I think giving the keto diet a shot if you have a lifestyle illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity or high cholesterol is a good idea. Try a 30-day cycle with me and see what effects the diet has for you.

Related posts:

On and Off Keto | + posts

Iva discovered the keto diet back in 2020 and has experimented with it, off and on. She recently took over this site and shares experiences, her knowledge and some yummy recipes. She also runs a women only website Women Blazing Trails.

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3 Comments

  1. Diann Brown says:

    Thank you for answering my questions beforehand on the Keto diet plan. I have been vacillating to long about losing weight. I need to do this to get and stay healthy.

  2. Kevin Thompson says:

    I don’t have any yet

  3. I have been in dark purple ketosis since beginning of January 2022.
    I am not losing at all. I ended up getting Covid in February, stayed on Keto and I did lose about 4 lbs is all.
    I don’t get it. Why isn’t the scale moving faster?

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