Rice, pasta, big potato, and ½ hamburger bun are all 20g of carbs. That is the daily limit for modified Keto diets allowing rock-bottom carbs. It’s also the limit for Stage 1 of Atkins and South Beach. The key is to make your carbs count whether you’re allowed 50g or fewer on a ketogenic diet. If you experience sudden weight gain on keto for no apparent reason, that could be due to higher-carb, low-fat, or no exercise. Or maybe, it’s a sign something isn’t right.
Weight loss on Keto happens because of the “caloric deficit.” However, it’s different than diets that include calorie-restriction. Keto takes a different approach because it’s not about eating fewer calories. The difference is in the macro split, which prevents the body from getting from carbs. It instead starts breaking down fat and cranking out “ketone” molecules. These are energy sources for the brain and body.
How Does the Keto Diet Cause Weight Loss?
The ketogenic diet has existed for nearly a century. Developed in 1923, several studies have been conducted about its effects on health and various factors like weight loss. Many studies show that keto can provide several health benefits. It can also help with weight loss.
There are no long-term studies that show keto can keep producing fat loss. However, various studies show it can help with short-term weight/fat loss. That’s because it causes the body to get energy from stored fat.
The key to the keto diet in terms of weight loss is it is being a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet. This provides the body with energy from fat instead of carbs. The diet requires people to get less than 10% of calories from carbs. Meanwhile, fat can be as high as 90% of total calories.
Meanwhile, protein is usually around 20% of total calories while on Keto. Sometimes it’s somewhat higher on modified Keto plans. However, the big differences are in carbs and fat. For example, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is often up to two-thirds carbs.
Various factors can help you lose weight on Keto. One of the main ones is the focus on a low amount of “good” carbs. Highly-processed options like refined grains and white sugar are ditched. When you’re allowed 20g of carbs that works out to 2 servings of berries or a small garden salad.
Another way you might lose weight is appetite control. One reason is fat has 2x more calories than carbs/protein. One Keto Bomb snack can keep you full for the whole afternoon. Meanwhile, consider it might take a big bag of chips to have the same effect.
Yet another way Keto can help with weight loss is through a non-standard way. An LCHF diet controls appetite as your body gets energy from fat.
Sudden Weight Gain on Keto: Top Causes
1. Too much protein
Protein should make up about one-fifth of your total calories while on Keto. You can bump up the protein in some situations. However, it’s important not to overdo it. While the first low-carb diet was high-protein it’s not the Keto diet. If protein is over one-third of your calories it will be tough to stay in ketosis.
2. Unhealthy food
One big criticism of the keto diet is it often puts low-carb over high-nutrition. For example, bacon and diet sodas get a thumbs up on Keto. However, these and other Keto-friendly foods are highly-processed and quite unhealthy.
It’s essential to pick whole foods and minimally-processed foods when on this diet. It will help to stay in ketosis and also avoid weight gain from unhealthy ingredients like salt and artificial sweeteners.
3. Too many carbs
You must always keep carbs under 50g per day. This is a more realistic long-term strategy. A standard diet drops carbs to 50g to 150g. That said, it’s still important to count carbs. Your three square meals and 1-2 snacks should always be under 50g of carbs. These will help you stay in ketosis.
4. Not staying in ketosis
There are various reasons why this is happening. The main ones are going high-carb or low-fat. The main goal while on the ketogenic diet is to get into ketosis and stay in the metabolic state. However, if you keep getting kicked out of ketosis then you’ll be getting energy from carbs and makes weight loss tougher.
5. Lots of sugar alcohols
It is one of those Keto-friendly ingredients that are question marks. If you want to avoid weight loss, you should pick your sugar alcohol carefully. For example, maltitol is one that can boost blood sugar levels. That, in turn, can kick you out of ketosis. Minimally-processed stevia and monk fruit are better options.
Other Causes Of Sudden Weight Gain On Keto
1. Not enough sleep
It might seem to have nothing to do with weight loss. What’s the big deal? Several studies show that high-stress and little sleep can both affect weight loss. Another factor is your “hunger hormones” might get affected.
It can cause you to have more snack attacks during the day. If you consume high-calorie/carb foods, this can cause blood sugar spikes and kick you out of ketosis.
2. Medical conditions
This is probably one of the most little-known causes of weight gain. If you have issues like an over-active thyroid it can cause weight gain. Other medical conditions could boost weight gain. Another often-overlooked factor is the medicine that people are taking to treat those conditions. They also might cause weight gain.
3. No ketone supplements
Keto Ultra was one of the top 10 trending diets on Google in 2019. This one requires supplements like ketone supplements. This boosts your body’s ketones, which can cause various benefits. You can get into ketosis faster and burn fat faster. These are plusses in terms of weight loss on the low-carbohydrate diet.
4. Too much alcohol
Many alcoholic drinks like regular beers and wine coolers are quite high in carbohydrates. The best options are light beer, sparkling wine, and white liquor.
There’s some debate about whether daily alcohol drinking can provide health benefits. However, there are some ways it can cause weight gain. They include high-carb or high-calorie drinks.
5. No/little exercise
A combination of diet and exercise is always the best way to lose weight. Most health experts agree that weight loss is about one-quarter physical exercise. You don’t have to run a marathon every day.
However, it’s important to get in a good amount of cardio/weight-resistance exercise. It will help you use up stored blood sugar and get into ketosis faster and avoid sudden weight gain on keto.