You’ve done it!
You’ve hit your goal weight!
This is a significant accomplishment. Let me be the first to say congratulations! While keto is a great way to aid weight loss, it still took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to where you are now. I’m proud of you!
So what’s next?
The answer to that question is maintenance. You’ve done the hardest part and lost the weight. Now you’ll switch into maintenance mode, where the focus shifts from losing weight to maintaining your healthy eating habits in order to keep your healthy weight. You may read things that tell you that keeping the weight off is more challenging than losing the weight. While I disagree with that statement, I do know that some people have a hard time maintaining the weight loss.
The biggest temptation is going to be to stop doing keto. After all, you’ve successfully lost all that weight, what’s wrong with a little ice cream or potato salad? Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a big fan of the occasional cheat meal, and he shares those yummy looking meals on his Instagram. However, when he’s posting those epic cheat meals, he often mentions the “sugar sweats” that inevitably follow a large, carb-fueled meal. Other short-term effects of carb loading after following pretty strict keto can include gastro-intestinal distress and food sensitivities.
However, the long-term consequences of jumping back into the standard "carbs as fuel" diet can be detrimental to your overall health goals. You may find that you begin to gain weight if you resume your old eating habits. Even if you manage portion sizes and only eat healthy carbs, if you’re switching to using carbs as fuel, you may experience weight gain.
You may also lose other health benefits that the ketogenic diet brought you. If you noticed a reduction in inflammation, a thyroid that performed better, less inflammation, or a reduction in your blood pressure, going back to the diet you were eating before may reverse those gains, too!
I’ve put together a list of suggestions that may help you maintain your weight while still staying with the ketogenic diet.
1. Increase Your Overall Fat Intake: If you’ve done any kind of reading about the keto diet, you’ve probably read that you shouldn’t rely on fat bombs to hit your fat macros for weight loss. Despite that, there are hundreds of recipes for delicious fat bombs all over Pinterest. And when you’re in maintenance mode, you can indulge in those delightful treats. Using my organic MCT oil (US | Canada) in your fat bomb recipes can help you to reap the benefits of MCT oil!
2. Increase Your Caloric Intake and Macros: If you’re hesitant to increase your fat, then look at increasing your overall caloric intake, since this will increase your macros. Increase your calorie count by about 10% per week until you get to the point where you are no longer losing weight. Remember that if you want to stay in ketosis, you’ll need to recalculate your macros each time you increase your calories (just adjust your macro app to your target calories and the macros will adjust).
3. Switch Your Focus to Muscle Gains: This one is a bit weird. You spent weeks, months, or maybe even years working on achieving your weight loss goals, and here I am telling you to gain weight. That’s a lot of weird. However, adding lean muscle mass can give you a metabolic lift and increase your overall health. If you’re focusing on adding lean muscle mass, you may want to slowly increase your carbs to fuel workouts or increase your overall calorie count so that you’re still in ketosis but eating enough food to support muscle gain.
One of the best parts of the ketogenic diet is that once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s easy to follow. That means that after you have hit maintenance and gained a bit of your weight back, you can pump the brakes. Spend some time on strict keto until you hit your goal weight again and learn from the mistakes you may have made. While it can be harder to initially get into ketosis, if you previously met your health goals on the keto diet, then getting back into the plan is not going to be that difficult.
Having a great support system is essential, too. One problem that I see often is people being encouraged by friends and family members to overindulge because they’ve met their goals. While a little overindulgence is okay (I mean, really, did you see those brownies that The Rock was eating?), having a solid support system in place is helpful for getting back on the wagon. If you need support like that, be sure to reach out to me in my Facebook group. We've got over 11,000 members who need a bit of support once in a while, just like you!
You got this!
Leta ~ Intentionally Bare
DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. The content in here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or heard here.