Transitioning off the ketogenic diet has its rules. When you started the diet, it took some time to educate yourself and learn about it. So, coming off should be a similar and slow process as well.
Here are three main principles that’ll allow you to effectively and safely come off the ketogenic diet.
- Focus on carbs quality and quantity:
For the first 14 days, focus on healthy and slowly digestible plant-based carbs high in protein and fiber. Gradually decrease your fat intake, increasing your intake of lean proteins, vegetables, and whole carbohydrates. You have to start by adding one extra serving of low glycemic index carbohydrates a day for a week. We advise you to increase your carbohydrate intake by an additional 10 g of carbohydrates every day for the first week (by decreasing the same amount of fats).
Keep in mind that you might naturally gain a few pounds right after you reintroduce carbohydrates back into your diet as they contain water. One of the worst things you can do right after the diet is to go “wild” and start eating all processed, sugary carbohydrates, such as donuts, candy, pastries, and cookies. Instead, focus on the quality and pick ones that take more time to digest.
- Be aware of the hidden/added sugars:
One of the ketogenic diet benefits is low sugar intake and eliminating added sugars from your diet. One of the main rules after keto would be to avoid anything with more than 4 grams of added sugar. Nevertheless, be aware of too much naturally occurring sugar, which can hide in various foods such as honey and certain fruits (bananas, grapes, pears, and all dried fruits).
- Stick to healthy habits:
Avoid processed and packaged foods. Choose primarily vegetables and fruits as they will provide your body with an abundant source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. Besides, fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, and legumes are good choices to include. Eat balanced meals. It is the best way to keep your blood sugar levels in check and avoid any surges or crashes in energy. A general recommendation on the number of meals to eat in a day is somewhere between 3 main meals and 1–2 snacks a day, depending on your schedule and training.
Don’t forget that staying hydrated is another important factor. Dehydration can cause irritability and can make you feel hungry when you’re actually just thirsty.
It all goes back to choosing healthy, balanced meals and snacks.