Worried to see a sudden weight gain on keto?
You were just having great success with your ketogenic diet and losing weight.
Now, it’s all coming back to you! What happened?
You are starting to have doubts: Is this keto thing really working? Maybe it’s not good for me?
You feel like a failure (My BF keeps losing weight with keto, why I’m not?).
You feel helpless, and you think to quit. Yeah! Forget keto!
Hey! Hold your horses, sister! Not so fast.
Don’t give up, weight is not getting lost without putting up a fight!
I’ve been there, done that, solved that, got back on the losing weight track.
Now it’s time to share my insights with you.
I’ll tell you 10 reasons for your sudden weight gain on keto.
And that’s not all.
I will also tell you how I was able to solve each of them on my keto journey.
So, get back up on the saddle, girl, and let’s ride this keto horse like the champs we are! Yeehaw!
Table of Contents
Top 10 REASONS for Your Sudden Weight Gain on Keto and the Solutions
Some years ago, when I started my keto journey, I quickly and visibly began to lose weight.
I was so elated!
My goal was to get rid of 10 pounds.
I could see every week how my weight was going down! Yay!
But then, after about three weeks, it all started to come back. The weight!
Either the scale was broken (no, it wasn’t) or I was really GAINING weight again!
Oh, yes, I was (sad emoji).
And just like you now, I felt sad, frustrated, and helpless.
Felt like I was a failure.
Couldn’t do it right. Or maybe my body wasn’t reacting the right way?
I wanted so badly to lose weight and feel healthy.
Not because of some social pressure, but because I wanted to be, feel, and look healthy.
What was I doing wrong?
So, I went back to the basic principles of keto, looking into them.
Compared them with what I was doing.
And… oops… surprise. There were some things I did wrong.
I wasn’t paying attention to some details (yep, not good).
I was overlooking some teeny-tiny details that had a bigger impact on me than I thought it would.
That’s how I discovered the 10 reasons for my sudden weight gain on keto.
And also, what I did to solve them and start losing weight again.
Let me share it with you, keto sister.
Good Fats Are Good – But Too Much Is Showing on the Scale
Yes, the ketogenic diet is high in fats, in good fats, indeed, but still, fats.
And fat is a calorie-dense macronutrient.
Let’s break it down: 1 gram (0.03 oz) of fat has 9 calories.
While 1 gram (0.03 oz) of carbohydrates or protein has only 4 calories.
So, keep an eye on that good fat, if you want to lose fat.
Sounds funny, but it’s true.
Maybe you’ve reduced the intake of carbs and protein.
And instead, you dive into fats… more than you should.
Avocado, full-fat dairy, coconut oil, nuts are all fantastic, healthy food for keto.
Unless you’re just eating too much of them and break the keto ratio.
How to solve this?
Get back to the basics and strictly respect the keto ratio.
75% fat – 20% protein – 5% carbs (or whatever percentage you’ve decided to follow).
Even if keto gives you green light to healthy delicious fats, stick to the ratio.
You just simply don’t have to overdo it.
This may sound rigid, but I promise you it’s not.
It’s just learning a new habit.
Like learning to ride a bike.
It may feel a little difficult in the beginning.
Especially if you don’t have any beginner tips for keto.
But once you get the hang of it, you’re a champ.
What to do?
Do what I did.
1). I stuck colorful reminder prints on my kitchen wall.
First, the keto ratio so I have it under my eyes all the time.
A huge, bold print on my kitchen wall.
To always remember. To always be firm in respecting it.
75% FAT – 20% protein – 5% carbs
Motivational (and funny) prints:
“The right amount of fat melts weight fast.”
“Control your mind and you control your body weight.”
“You can do it, girl! I trust you!”
(But that’s just for people like me who like colors, creativity, and motivation.)
If you’re more practical, the next ones are for you.
2). Plan a menu in advance and stick to it
That includes counting the calories for each portion.
Don’t eat anything else in between meals.
Also, don’t add more butter, more oil, more anything to a meal.
And ABSOLUTELY NO CHEAT MEALS whatsoever!
This attitude will also increase your willpower, discipline, and self-esteem.
All three of them being needed in our weight loss journey to great health.
But more about that in another article.
3). Track your fat
Use an app that calculates calories, there are many out there.
Calculate what you eat to be aware of how much fat you need and don’t exaggerate.
A clear understanding of how many calories and how much fat you eat daily is important.
You eat more than you can burn
You shouldn’t bite more than you can chew, right?
The same balance should be between what you eat and your body’s ability to burn it.
You’ll tell me that you’re eating the right ratios of carbs-protein-fats.
And that’s fantastic. Way to go!
But… genetically, we are not the same (thank God!).
Each of us is unique. Yay!
That is why some of us have a faster metabolism (burning rate).
Others have a slower metabolism.
For example, I am a fast burner while my boyfriend is a slow burner.
And so, we both eat keto, but each of us has a different way of doing it.
He will exercise more, for example.
Think intense training (sweating and all).
While I am just walking for about 30 minutes and doing yoga. Think chill out.
(More about the benefits of yoga and meditation combined with keto in the future).
But… we’re both different.
We are all different.
What is the solution?
How to solve this?
We have to see for ourselves what works and what not.
Some of us need to exercise more.
Others to count and adjust their portions.
It all depends.
If you are in this situation, then see what works for you:
1). Reduce the calories you’re eating daily.
(Most probably you’re indulging in too many calories that you can burn.)
2). Intermittent fasting helps you get faster results when dealing with sudden weight gain.
If you didn’t know, intermittent fasting includes periods of fasting in your keto diet.
Some of the best intermittent fasting methods for women:
– alternate days of fasting for 12-16 hours, 2 times a week
– 24-hour once or twice weekly
– skipping meals
I started with one 24-hour fasting on Wednesdays.
It felt so great, that I added another one on Fridays.
Intermittent fasting made me feel lighter, more energetic, more productive, more creative.
Overall, I felt great and I wanted to keep doing it every week.
I still do intermittent fasting to this day.
Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting are:
– Boosting the metabolic rate (the burning rate)
– Gives your body a break from digesting
– Controls the caloric intake
– Your body switches to using ketones instead of glucose
– Lowers blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides
– Reduces insulin resistance, belly fat, inflammation
– Reduces fat mass and body weight
– Decreases depression and binge eating
– Triggers processes of cellular repair
– Improves brain function, increases new nerve cells production
3). Exercise (in case you’re not). Or exercise more (if you already do it).
I can’t stress enough the importance of exercising.
It plays a vital role in your ketogenic lifestyle.
Benefits of exercise in keto:
– Avoid or eliminate keto flu symptoms
– Improves cardiovascular health
– Increases metabolism (burning rate)
– Boost energy levels
– Regulates hormones
– Help build muscle mass
– Tones your muscles
– Strengthens your bones
– Has a positive impact on your emotional and mental health
Plus, exercising doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be boring.
Types of fun exercising during keto:
Sounds like a lot of fun, right?
I do yoga, light dumbbell exercises, belly dance, walking, and it works wonders for me.
Too many cheat meals or cheat days
Well, actually, who are you cheating on with these extra meals or extra calories?
Only on yourself.
If you are really committed to improve your health and fitness, just be in it completely.
Think about it, If you’re cheating, you’re only making your situation difficult.
And it will be harder for you to lose the weight to want to lose.
So, why don’t make things easier for yourself, by sticking to your goals?
As I mentioned earlier, discipline and willpower are very important.
Not mentioning that just one single day of cheating may shoot you out of ketosis.
You’ve worked so hard to just throw it all away in one day of eating just for pleasure or taste?
What happens when you cheat on your ketogenic diet?
– Blood sugar levels spike and your body starts to use the glucose
– That comes with an intense sugar crash
– Ketones are no longer produced
– Experience keto flu symptoms when you get back on your keto diet
Let’s see 7 effective strategies to successfully avoid bingeing and cheat-eating.
Here are my little secrets on how I avoided sudden weight gain on keto.
How to solve this?
1). Get creative with your food
Most of the time cheat meals happen because we’re addicted to some type of food.
Or some particular taste.
And we simply won’t let go of it.
Even for the sake of our health and our wonderful goals.
Instead of longing for a particular taste, take this keto diet as a journey to discover new things.
Experiment. Explore. Expand.
Experience with new foods, new tastes, new colors, new eating patterns (see intermittent fasting).
New everything. See everything with new eyes. Have a new perspective on eating.
It will make transitioning to keto and staying into keto easier.
2). Look for a healthy, keto-friendly substitute for the cheat meal you’re craving for
You can find a ketogenic version of any meal you want.
There are also keto snacks available on the market.
So, see? There’s no need to cheat.
You can still cheat, so to speak, but in a healthy, ketosis-maintaining way.
3). Increase your will power, self-control, and determination
While this is not a dietary recommendation, it helps a lot.
Your determination is also important in keeping up with a new diet.
Willpower makes you resist short-term temptations to achieve your desired long-term goals.
It is a reaction to an internal conflict between what you’d like to do and what you should do.
A sort of reason-emotions battle.
You want to cheat on keto, but you know you shouldn’t because you’ll get out of ketosis.
The battle between “I want a donut” and “No, it’s not a good idea. It will ruin my ketosis.”
So, how do you get more willpower?
In order to remain on ketosis and get rid of the weight that you decided to lose.
Here are several ways:
– Yoga postures to increase will power, self-control and determination
– Willpower is like a muscle. It needs to be trained by cultivating new, healthy habits.
– Schedule the menu ahead for a week and stick to it.
– Use a food-tracking app and stick to it.
– Mindfulness – become aware of your impulses, bad habits, cravings.
– Manage stress with meditation
– Positive, self-affirmations to encourage your self-control
4). Reward yourself for every small achievement in keto
And let the reward be something healthy, that will benefit your health.
– Celebrate with a mini-vacation or a weekend escape somewhere beautiful.
– Reward a small milestone you reached in your keto by trying a new fun keto recipe.
– Try a healthy keto version of an unhealthy cheat meal you used to eat.
– How about a happy, victory dance? You get to choreograph the moves.
– Go on the beach or climb on a hill and give yourself a shoutout: “I did it! Yoohoo!”
5). Replace the impulses of cheating on keto with positive emotions
You can never win a reason-emotion battle.
Emotions (whether they are positive or negative) always win, psychologists say.
So, why not use that power of emotions for the better?
Say no to giving in to emotional, impulsive cheating on keto.
Instead, replace it with positive, good, motivational, powerful emotions that excite the imagination.
Imagination loves to be excited.
So, when the mind-emotions battle comes, counterattack with stronger, more exciting emotions.
These will make you want to stay on ketosis and avoid further sudden weight gain on keto.
Powerful, exciting emotions like:
“I did a great job this week. I stayed in ketosis for 6 weeks now! What an achievement! Yay! I continue.”
“I am phenomenal. I am losing weight. I can’t wait to lose even more. Let’s keep it this way.”
“Losing weight on keto makes me feel so good! I want to keep feeling even better. Let’s do it!”
“I can do it. I want so badly to lose weight. I look so much further to that day. I am so excited.”
“I envision myself having the body I want. I look so fantastic. Yes, I want to eat healthy to get that fast.”
“Nothing can stop me from getting the body and health that I want.”
“I feel strong and determined to get the desired weight. I am phenomenal and I can achieve what I aim for.”
“I feel so motivated and fierce. I have such willpower.”
6). Shift your attention from craving to something with a purpose
Shift your focus from that cheat meal to:
– visualize your desired body shape
– do a guided meditation with the state of plenitude
– use the “energy” of craving and redirect it to create something new (a new exciting meal, a new craft, a new project, etc.)
– fuel your mind with something to strive for, instead of to crave for.
Replace the cheat meal thoughts with images of you trying new, pretty clothes that fit on your dream body.
7). Micro-meditations to overcome cravings, decrease stress, and feel complete and satisfied
Only 10 minutes of meditation (even at work) can:
– greatly take your mind off of cheat meals
– calm your wandering thoughts
– induce a feeling of wellbeing and plenitude
– make you feel like you have everything you need and you need nothing more
Let me tell you this: carbs are sneaky tiny creatures that get you in big trouble.
You can find them in foods where you wouldn’t expect to find them.
Many innocent natural foods like veggies and fruits (potato, corn, bananas, raisins, dates)? Carbs.
How about those packaged foods you have in your fridge? Carbs.
Condiments like ketchup, salad dressings, balsamic vinegar? Carbs.
Meatballs, hamburgers, burgers, hot-dogs? Carbs.
Sugar-free candies? Carbs.
Corn flakes? Carbonated beverages? Pastries and pasta? Carbs.
Adding these sneaky, hidden carbs to the carbs you’re already counting is the problem.
So, how can you eat veggies and fruits and not add too many carbs?
How to solve this?
What I learned with this keto diet is to be more aware of myself, body-mind-spirit.
It taught me to be more aware of everything I do.
And that every little detail counts.
On the scale.
I discovered keto to be a sort of a mindful lifestyle.
Teaching me to become more self-aware and attentive.
Of how I am, what I think, what I feel, what I truly want, what’s important.
It turned out to be a deeper journey, with implications on all levels, not just physical.
So, the solutions are:
1). Be more attentive to the foods you buy.
2). Check if they’re whole foods.
3). Check the label for hidden carbs, proteins, fats.
And if you must eat nuts to count your proteins and fats:
– Eat within the ratio’s limits
– Opt for low carb nuts such as pecans, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts.
4). Also, as a last resort would be the exogenous ketone supplements
They pick you up from where you were kicked out of ketosis and bring you back on track.
You have sudden weight on keto and you still drink alcohol?
Then look no further.
You’ve found your culprit.
Alcohol contains extremely high levels of sugar and carbs.
Need I say more?
How to solve this?
That’s an easy one.
It would be best to stop drinking any alcohol.
That, if you want to ship past this sudden weight gain on keto.
If you want to reach your goal of losing weight for a healthy, fit body and look.
Also, there are also keto-friendly types of alcohol.
Too high or too low protein intake
What? How can you eat too many proteins when you have a ratio to follow?
More puzzling, how can you eat fewer proteins and have a sudden weight gain on keto?
Let’s see what it means.
High protein intake
Breaking the keto ratio with too much protein stops your ketosis.
This happens because a metabolic process, called gluconeogenesis, takes place.
It transforms any protein in excess into glycogen.
So, as we know, your body will rely on the energy from glucose.
And that’s how you wake up to unexpected sudden weight gain.
Low protein intake
Proteins are macronutrients that keep you satiated and full for a longer period.
So, if you don’t eat enough proteins, you will feel hungry and want to eat more.
Also, low protein intake leads to slowly losing your muscle mass.
Lo(w) and behold! What to do about that?
How to solve this?
Not too low and not too high, just enough is the right amount of protein you should eat.
This way, you will not see a sudden weight gain on keto.
The right amount of protein will help your body stay in ketosis and lose weight.
Track everything you eat.
Too many snacks on calorie-dense foods
Snacking in between meals calorie-dense foods leads to sudden weight gain on keto.
These can be nuts, dairy products.
That is why you have to track and count everything you eat, not only your main meals.
But hey, don’t be sad, you can still snack.
Just be mindful of what you eat!
How to solve this?
Yes, rejoice. You won’t have to give up snacking altogether.
Just choose wisely what you snack on.
I was munching on nuts like a squirrel.
Until the numbers on my scale jumped like one.
I researched and realized that even if nuts are recommended for keto it is important to eat them moderately.
What I also discovered was that some nuts are better than others.
Macadamia and Brazilian nuts are better.
High in micronutrients and low in carbs foods won’t impact your weight.
Broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, berries, avocado are just some of them.
And so, I won’t have to give up snacking, I won’t feel frustrated or stressed because of this limitation.
Because, you know, stress can also be a problem.
Let me tell you how.
Emotional and Mental Stress
It is known and scientifically studied that stress influences your weight.
Unmanaged stress leads to binge eating and impulsive eating.
It increases the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
This puts you in the “fight or flight” mode.
Blood sugar levels increase and goodbye ketosis!
That’s exactly what happened to me when I was in an emotional breakdown.
I was an emotional wreck. Stressed and oversensitive.
Then, I noticed a sudden weight gain on keto.
To me, it seemed like I was just doing the same things.
On the scale, it was another story.
One day, I read an article that stress creates hormonal storms in women.
And so, I looked into it, I analyzed myself.
I realized how much stress affected me only after I calmed myself down.
Immediately, my weight began to drop again.
Then, it hit me!
I never knew that stress can affect you on a physical level so easily.
What did I do to reduce stress?
How to solve this?
Since I am only using natural methods and ingredients, I solved it the natural way.
I used whatever I knew from my holistic practice to reduce stress:
• Meditation (there are several types of meditation, chose one that resonates with you)
• Yoga postures (there are yoga poses that specifically reduce stress and promote calmness)
• Breathing exercises (controlling your breath can quiet your mind)
• Aromatherapy with essential oils (Lavender, Mint, that calm you emotionally and mentally
• Herbal supplements or herbal teas to reduce stress
There are also other ways of reducing stress but maybe we will talk about that in another article.
Lack of sleep
Whether you have trouble falling asleep or you work too much and sleep less, it affects you.
Sleep is an important time of your day when certain biological processes occur with fat loss.
How to solve this?
There are many ways to solve this.
• Meditation before bedtime (even if for 10-15 minutes)
• Deep relaxation techniques (from toes to head)
• Aromatherapy with sleep-promoting, soothing, calming essential oils (lavender, valerian)
• A hot bath with Epsom salt and herbs
• A hot shower to relax and calm
• Ambiental music for sleep
• Eye mask or blackout curtains (help with melatonin production)
• No electronics in the bedroom, especially before bedtime
If you have problems with your gallbladder, it can also give you sleepless nights.
Gallbladder might not look like much of a deal, but it can give you huge problems in keto.
It is located in the vicinity of the liver and its role is to release bile into the small intestine.
Our liver produces between 400 to 800 ml of bile every day.
Bile is a yellow-greenish, viscous secretion produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
It breaks down fats and helps with digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
Also, it gets rid of waste products from the body like excess cholesterol.
So, the gallbladder should function well in keto.
It is paramount to help digestion with those high amounts of fats we’re eating in the ketogenic diet.
What if… you have your gallbladder removed?
Can you still break down fats, get in ketosis, and lose weight?
Could it be that the lack of gallbladder can be the cause of your sudden weight gain on keto?
Indeed, it can be a problem, but not an insurmountable one.
There is a solution for that, too.
How to solve this?
You only need a particularized keto diet.
Told you we are all unique, right?
If you’re in this situation, here’s what you can do.
1). Avoid certain foods, especially high on fat, oily, and processed
– High fat, processed meats: lamb, ground beef, pork meat, bacon.
– Full-fat dairy products: almost all types of cheese, butter, ghee, cream.
– Processed food: with hydrogenated oils, candies, bread, pastries, cookies, cake.
– Drinks with high caffeine content: coffee, black tea, cocoa, diet soda, energy drinks
2). Eat certain foods that are easy to digest
What are the best foods to eat when you have your gallbladder removed?
More about that in our next fantastic article about this topic.
So, keto sister, I shared with you my experience in sudden weight gain on keto.
You have many possible reasons and the corresponding solutions to resolve the problem.
It could be too many calories, too many cheat days, or not counting your food intake.
Or not having a higher burning rate yet or not exercising enough.
Being too stressed emotionally and mentally, or not sleeping properly.
Having sneaky carbs in your keto diet or snacking on calorie-dense foods.
Just analyze your eating habits and yourself and see what is the cause of your sudden weight gain.
Then, follow the solutions and insights we’ve given in our article.
Just as I did it, you can succeed, too.
You have all the tools you need for your keto journey, for a fit and healthy body, mind, and spirit.
I believe in you!