Have you hit your goal weight with the keto diet? Fantastic! I’m not there yet but I cycle in and out of keto so it’s important to me to maintain any weight I’ve lost after a keto cycle. It sucks starting from a higher number whenever I go back on keto for a new cycle so this keto maintenance mode is very important to me.
I have a few tips I want to share with you that ensure I maintain my weight loss even when I’m not following a strict keto diet. So we all know that this diet involves eating very limited carbs and a large number of healthy fats to put your body into ketosis, making it burn fats instead of sugars which results in weight loss.
While losing the weight is relatively easy when you stick firmly to this diet, keeping it off can be a bit more of a challenge, but not impossible, once you’ve switched back to your normal routines.
In this post you'll find:
Is it healthy to do keto longterm?
The first question we need to discuss before we get into how you can keep the weight off with keto is the healthiness of staying on this diet for a longterm period. Keto’s efficacy and the duration you can stay on it is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Frankly, you should be discussing this diet with your doctor before jumping on it, but especially before you stay on it for any sort of prolonged period of time. Be sure to get bloodwork done to monitor your cholesterol, sugar and other factors to determine for yourself if this is a healthy longterm way of life for you.
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.
It’s important to note that the keto diet isn’t for everyone. Plenty of people have had huge success on this diet and have been able to keep it up for years consistently, but there’s also plenty of people that couldn’t even make it a month on this diet. You should research and consider the following before starting this diet to determine if it’s a healthy option for you:
- How does it change your body composition?
- Are your personal needs for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients met?
- How will your overall health and wellbeing be affected?
- Can you follow the diet for a longterm period?
If your diet does not meet these four items, it’s not going to be possible to keep it up longterm and might not even be ideal for you to try in the first place. Weight loss is tricky and keeping that weight off is even trickier. Any drastic diet change that’s not designed to be kept up longterm creates a challenge in keeping that weight off once you return to your normal eating habits and routines. This will put you back on that dreaded weight loss rollercoaster and I’d hate to see that happen to you. I hate that cycle! You can read more about why I cycle on and off keto here.
How to Maintain Your Weight Loss After Keto
Whether you’re going to keep the diet up longterm or not, you need a gameplan for after you reach your goal weight so that you can stay there. Even the most dedicated dieters have temptations and those temptations are harder to fight when you’ve reached your goal weight. The following tips and tricks will help you to keep the weight off you lose with keto.
Make your diet fun
Many people set themselves up for failure with their diets by denying themselves delicious foods and fun. Eating should always be fun; that’s part of why dieting is so hard to stick to. There are many ways to continue eating low-carb by making it every bit as fun as non-diet eating; you just have to get a little creative.
If you’re lost and not sure how to get started with the keto diet, this meal plan is for you. It’s a fool-proof guide to winning at the high-fat, low-carb lifestyle.
You’ve been on the keto diet for a while now so you know the dishes are far from tasteless, boring, and awful. This is certainly not how I would describe a low carb diet at all. In fact, the fact that eating low carb is so tasty is the reason why I’ve been able to stick to this diet out of all the others I’ve tried. There are tons of fun, low-carb dishes that can spice up your menu without having to eat lots of carbs. Continue to eat low carb as much as possible, only enjoying carbs occasionally as treats.
Eat your favorite foods
Part of the reason everyone thinks low-carb is hard is that a lot of their favorite foods contain a lot of carbs and so they think they’ll be denying themselves their favorites, effectively depriving themselves of things that truly bring them joy. Food is supposed to be joyful, I would never want to be on a diet that takes that joy away from me.
If you’ve been creative on this diet, experimenting with recipes, then you know low carb does not equal boring. You don’t have to actually deny yourself your favorite foods. You can have low-carb versions that are every bit as tasty and fun without all the unhealthy carbs.
There are keto-friendly, low-carb recipes for bread, mashed potatoes, pizza, chicken wings, enchiladas, nachos, pancakes, lasagna, and even cinnamon rolls. Denying yourself your favorite foods sets yourself up for failure and makes you detest any dieting efforts. Don’t deny yourself your simple pleasures in life, it’s only setting yourself up for failure.
Rid yourself of temptation
The first tip to avoiding temptation is to keep it away from you. Go to restaurants with healthier, keto-friendly options, eliminate the unhealthy foods you find hard to avoid from your kitchen, and stop tempting yourself when things that are hard but necessary for you to avoid. When temptation strikes, look up a recipe for a great swap. Chances are, you’ll find a great one and will have fun trying to make it your own.
Remind yourself of your reasons and your journey
Everyone has a reason for dieting that sparked their commitment in the first place, so it stands to reason that if you remind yourself of that/those reason(s), you’ll be able to power through the temptation and renew your sense of commitment. Look back on pictures from your past. Do you want to go back there? Keep this top of mind when you’re contemplating a carb binge.
Going low-carb or mostly carb-free can be difficult on your own, especially when it comes to things like family dinners, dates, parties, etc. You’ll need all the support you can get! What better way to find that support than embarking on this journey with others? Encourage your family and friends to get healthier with you and start limiting their carbs. Not only will this help you by having someone to talk to and support you, but also it will keep you from being so tempted during meals.
This is particularly true for those that share a home with you. If everyone in your family eats low-carb, you won’t have to be tempted in diving into the unhealthy food sitting before you.
If you have no in-house support, or even if you do, still seek out social media support especially if you spend a lot of time online. The keto community is incredibly supportive of each other. You’ll get the encouragement, facts, and inspiration you need to stay on the diet. You’ll also get lots of new recipes, especially on Pinterest and Instagram.
Schedule your carb days
When I’m off keto, I try to stick to a low carb diet during the week so that I can enjoy drinks out with friends on the weekends and a carb-heavy meal without worrying too much about throwing everything off. This is an effective way to stay in keto maintenance mode by allowing yourself one or two days a week where you will eat carbs. It’s still important to track your calories to try and ensure you’re not overdoing it. Generally, however, a pizza and ice-cream binge here and there with your besties or kids, definitely worth it.
Track Your Progress
The best thing you can do to encourage yourself to stick to your new diet is tracking everything. Track your weight loss and circumference loss, track the foods and beverages you consume each meal, track the exercise efforts you’re making, just track everything. This will help you ensure you’re making the right decisions for you and staying on track with your diet. You’ll also be alerted if you start to gain weight or your bloodwork starts getting elevated again.
This will help you to course-correct quickly without going too far off-track. Sticking to the keto diet and achieving your goals is hard enough, what’s even more challenging is keeping the weight off that you lose. Just like with any diet that requires a huge change in eating habits is hard to maintain. I hope these tips will help you to keep weight off as they have for me.