Even if you do everything right, there are some physical effects-both positive and negative-you should watch out for when you stop a keto diet.
You might have blood sugar fluctuations
“It’s hard to predict how someone will react to coming off the keto diet,” says Edwina Clark, R.D., C.S.S.D., head of nutrition and wellness at Yummly. “Some may experience minimal effects, while others may find that their blood sugar spikes then crashes after their first carb-moderate meal.”. Roller-coaster blood sugar levels can cause jitteriness, mood changes, hyperactivity, and fatigue, so check with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
You might gain weight(But don’t freak out.)
You also might not! “Weight fluctuation is always a possibility, but weight gain will depend on many factors, including how your body metabolizes carbs, the rest of your diet, exercise, and more, says Glassman.
It also depends on how long you’ve been on keto. “Much of the weight lost when cutting carbs is water weight initially,” says Pritzker. “When you reintroduce carbs you also introduce additional water; with every gram of carb, you get 4 grams of water. This can make you feel like you’ve gained a ton of weight rapidly, though much of it is probably water retention.”. This type of water weight gain applies to everyone coming off keto. But those who have been on it for a shorter period of time and lost just a small amount of weight on the diet may notice it more.
Bloating could happen
But it’s temporary. “The most common issue that people deal with is bloating and intestinal issues because of the re-introduction of fibrous foods,” says Taylor Engelke, R.D.N. Even though foods like beans and sprouted bread are good for you, your body may need to get used to digesting them again. You can expect this to subside in a few days to a few weeks.
You may have more energy
“People may have increased energy after adding carbohydrate back into their diet since glucose (which is found in carbs) is your body’s main fuel source,” says Hughes. You may also notice better performance in HIIT workouts and endurance training. Plus, you could feel better mentally, since the brain also uses glucose to function. “Many people report having a much better memory and feel less ‘foggy’ with concentration or functioning at work,” says Engelke.
You might feel hungrier
“The high-fat and moderate-protein combo of a keto diet make it super satiating,” says Glassman. That’s why a lot of people experience a suppressed appetite while trying keto. “It is possible that you might feel hungrier after each meal as they start to contain less fat and more carbs, which tend to be faster-digesting,” she adds. To combat this and smooth your transition, Clark suggests pairing carbs with both protein and fat. “This can help slow down digestion, boost fullness, and limit blood sugar spikes and crashes as you reintroduce carbohydrates.”