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How To Quit The Keto Diet Without Gaining Weight

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Learn how to quit the keto diet without gaining weight.

Many people try the keto diet and have great success but eventually want to add carbs back and don’t know how to without going overboard.

If that is where you’re at, this post is for you.

Last year I started working towards my fitness and nutrition certifications.

Due to all the information I was learning, I decided to take a break from the keto diet.

I admit that I was scared to quit after three years of the keto lifestyle.

There is so much misinformation about the keto diet and how it works.

The truth is the keto diet is not magic. Like most restrictive diets, it will likely have an expiration date.

That is one of the reasons I will be spending the month of January updating my posts on this site.

I learned SO much about the body, nutrition, and fitness.

Some of the things I once believed; were not scientific facts. GASP!

Yes, I just admitted that I learned things about the keto diet from the “gurus” that I now realize was inaccurate.

That’s why I never want to stop educating myself, and you shouldn’t, either.

I have learned that restrictive diets like keto are generally not sustainable for the average person.

After three years, I realized that even I couldn’t continue avoiding carbohydrates for the rest of my life.

So how do you quit keto without gaining all the weight you lost back?

How To Quit The Keto Diet Without Gaining Weight:

Start slowly and with a plan.

If you’ve been successful and lost weight on keto, the last thing you want to do is sabotage your body with a carb fest.

Water Weight:

The keto diet has a diuretic effect on the body, so the first weight you lose is water.

When you stop doing keto, you will gain some water weight back, but it shouldn’t be so much that you feel fat or bloated.

If you work out, you’ll likely notice that your muscles have more of a “pumped” look because some water is stored in your muscles. As long as your hydration levels are on point, you likely won’t have to worry about water retention under the skin, which tends to make us feel “fat.”

If you are eating a lazy keto diet, you should add more protein to your diet.

Many keto dieters don’t eat enough protein.

You will need to adjust your macros every two weeks. You raise your carbs and lower how much fat you are taking in.

Eating at a calorie deficit is the key to all diets and weight loss.

You need to eat less food than your body needs to use fat as fuel.

Ensure you aren’t eating too many calories, leading to weight (read fat) gain.

As long as your calorie range is accurate, you can manipulate your fat and carb counts to best suit your eating habits.

How To Quit The Keto Diet Without Gaining Weight: An Example

Start simple: If you eat 25g of net carbs daily in fruits and veggies, add another 25g using rice, yogurt, whole grain bread, or oatmeal.

This plan keeps you on a whole-food diet while also reintroducing carbs. If you add 25-50g every two weeks, you should not experience bloating or water retention.

If my maintenance calories (the calories I need to keep my weight steady) are 1500 calories, this is a sample plan for those numbers:

Starting point: 1500 calories / 101g Protein / 25 Net carbs / 110g Fat

  • Week 1: 1500 calories / 101g Protein / 50 Net Carbs / 100g Fat
  • Week 3: 1500 calories / 101g Protein / 75 Net Carbs / 88g Fat
  • Week 5: 1500 calories / 101g Protein / 100 Net Carbs / 77g Fat
  • Week 7: 1500 calories / 101g Protein / 150 Net Carbs / 55g Fat
  • Week 9: 1500 calories / 101g Protein / 200 Net Carbs / 34g Fat – This is where I would stop because I don’t eat a lot of fat each day, so this would fit my lifestyle. 

The example above reflects being in maintenance. You can quit keto even if you still have weight to lose.

Remember, you may see some scale fluctuations initially, but if you stick to your calorie goals, you will not gain fat because of carbs.

Carbs are not the devil, I promise.

Healthy Carb List of Quitting Keto:

Before you start daydreaming about carbs, remember your goals.

Can you have a donut or piece of cake?

Sure, but those foods are typically high in fat and carbs, which means they are high in calories and don’t sustain you the way whole foods would.

So be careful and make sure you don’t return to the old eating habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place.

  • Any Fruit (yes, all the fruits)
  • Corn Tortilla
  • Couscous
  • Ezekiel Bread
    (in the freezer section)
  • Oatmeal
  • Peas
  • Popcorn (Air popped)
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (any type)
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole Grain Bread, Pasta, and Tortillas

I hope this helps you if you are interested in quitting keto.

If you have other questions, please ask them here or email me!

Good luck on your fitness journey

xoxo Shasta

Check out these fitness posts:

Body For Life 
Build your home gym 
My gym bag gear 

~ This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products we use. 

How To Quit The Keto Diet Without Gaining Weight

Nancy Riemenschneider

Saturday 25th of July 2020

I am presently on 20 carbs a day and have stopped losing weight. I lost 22 lbs over 3 months. I still want to lose weight. I weigh 211 lbs. My roommate and I want to be on the same diet, but not the keto diet. So would I try maintenance at 1000 calories?


Tuesday 16th of July 2019

Yes, I wasn’t doing strict Keto but I’ve always felt calorie in take meant a lot!!


Monday 9th of March 2020

i cant wait to get off this diet next month. I decided to get down to 174 then switch over, but coming across your method will truly help me. I wish I saw this earlier.


Friday 12th of July 2019

OMG thank you SO much for this post!!! I have been doing Keto for about 4 months and ive just reached a point where I’m not happy to keep going with all the restrictions. Even though I’ve enjoyed the weight loss.. and I’m FREAKING OUT about putting it back on once I make the shift. The lack of healthy carbs and extra anti social-ness ( already a major introvert so not helpful) I have to find the balance again. Thanks again and fingers crossed. Xxxx Nicky.


Friday 12th of July 2019

I'm so glad you found this helpful! Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes.