Break from keto, Reintroducing carbs


So after a lot of thought and deliberation, weighing up weeks and weeks of research, both on this site and others regarding muscle building and keto I’ve decided to knock the strict keto approach on the head. I will still be adopting a low carb lifestyle, macros 20% carbs (100g) 25% protein (125g) and 55% fat (122g)

I’m 5’7, 54kg, female very active. BMR 1300cals, TDEE approx 2000

This will be a trial over the next month or so to see what difference it makes to my training, recovery, energy and overall well-being.

I am just wondering, as I’ve been keto for well over a year now and particularly in the last few months have been keeping carbs around 20-25g, how would I go about reintroducing carbs back into my diet, what should I absolutely avoid and what are the rules on carbs and fats together, as I I’ve read countless articles saying this is bad… so does that mean for example, that peanut butter on toast is a no go? In fact any butter on toast? Even avocado on toast? I don’t plan on eating too much bread as I absolutely don’t want to go back to being bloated and sluggish, I will get my carbs more from vegetables, whole grains, oats, rye crackers and very limited fruit (sticking to berries)

I’m keeping sugar out of my diet and will be looking to keep my blood sugar nice and stable with low GI foods. Although my only treat will be raw honey, one for its health benefits and two - simply because I’ve missed it!

Anyone else had a break from keto? If so, how did your body react, did you reintroduce carbs slowly or is it ok to just start eating them again? Also how did you calculate macros for lower carb rather than strict keto? I’ve guessed mine, will tweak as I go along I guess!


(Peter) #2

Well, refined carbs are the worst kind, so that doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

If you’re determined to reintroduce carbs, then whole food carbs that spike your insulin as little as possible seem like the sensible choices.

(Rebecca ) #3

Yes, unfortunately I did break from Keto back in March…not intentionally or completely…my husband and I made a move half way across the Country and just made it before the “Lock Down” ( stress, loneliness, etc.) I can’t say I blew it completely, but the few things I allowed to sneak in wrecked havoc on me. I have probably gained @ 10 lbs and my clothes are tight. I feel tired mentally and physically. I deeply regret it and am trying to get back into the “Keto Swing” again. Everyone has a right to do as they chose, but for me I NEED to stay Ketogenic! Good luck to you!


It sounds like a plan :slight_smile: Yep, no sugar, low GI, starches rather than fruits, it sounds good to me. Of course we are all different, needing slightly different things so I can’t possibly know if it’s a bad or good idea for you (100g net carbs never worked for me, for example, way too much but it’s me, our limits lay elsewhere) but sounds a valid plan if you feel the need for carbs.

“Much carbs and fat is bad”, I think it’s for your macros already, I wouldn’t worry about what eating with what (especially that I would eat most of my food at once anyway) but hopefully others will be more knowledgeable about it, I am surely not that, I just know that adding fat to carbs is the best (and usually only) thing I can do if I eat the carbs the first place. Maybe it’s an individual thing, maybe it has logic, I don’t know.
I don’t think much carbs and fat together is always bad as some people can’t even eat differently and they are thriving on it. The big problems come from overeating, too much unneeded carbs and fat together, that’s bad indeed.

Whole grains isn’t just the same as bread? Well, whole grain bread. At least partially. It still may be a bad idea, it’s individual. Grains makes little sense to me as they don’t satiate me the slightest. It’s good for adding calories but I rather eat fat, many fat sources don’t satiate me either. But starches feel way better than single sugars, they can be tasty and easy to prepare and eat so I see why they may be useful for many people. I should avoid them most of the time. When I did 80g carbs, it was mostly vegetables but I had grains, various fruits, eggs and many other food with carbs as well.

Going off keto is pretty normal to me, I probably did it a few hundreds of times this far? I didn’t count. I basically continued my low-carb diet, I just had keto times as well. I only was on keto for long enough to get fat adapted (at least to some level but I am happy with the result since).
As long as I didn’t overdo carbs and especially simple sugars, it is quite fine, barely any changes but lower carb is usually a bit better and extreme low-carb is the best. At least temporarily, I never stayed there for long. 100g would be much all the time but a way lower average carb intake isn’t bad, I just eat more, effectively keeping myself from losing fat. It probably would be okay for bulking but unless I can’t avoid carbs for some reason, I prefer staying lower.
So, I haven’t the problems some people have when eating some more carbs but I can’t go back to high-carb either, not like I want it, hell no. I feel lucky :slight_smile:

Try it and you will see what happens in your own individual case.


Depressing isn’t it? In 3.5yrs keto I can safely say 3yrs of gains went out the window… let alone muscle mass I LOST!

Just try to avoid high fat high carb at the same time. You don’t have to be petrified to have a fat and a carb at the same time, it’s not that temperamental. Most of my bread consumption is the Schmidt 6/4/7 bread (6g net) but before my workouts I eat REAL country white bread with peanut butter (and a little actual butter) and it’s awesome. I still aim for 100g fat a day (still need that for hormones) and my protein and carbs change with my bodyweight. I’m on a cyclical plan right now, not CKD, after all the metabolic hell I’ve gone through between slowed down RMR (thanks fasting) and everything I cycle everything now. No more getting adapted to my intake. So for me (putting back on muscle is priority for me right now) my eating plan looks like this.

6 week cycle

1 weeks of
1.5g protein per lb bodyweight
1.5g carbs per lb bodyweight
0.5g fat per lb bodyweight

2 weeks of
1.5g protein per lb bodyweight
1.0g carbs per lb bodyweight
0.5g fat per lb bodyweight

3 weeks of
1.5g protein per lb bodyweight
0.5g carbs per lb bodyweight
0.5g fat per lb bodyweight

So it’s the carbs that are being manipulated, I bring the calories back up typically with the protein. That way my caloric intake is staying around the same that way I’m not in the calorie trap. So ultimately I wind up the majority of the time in the “normal” low carb range with a couple weeks higher which is pretty noticeable with muscle energy/gain. My last measured RMR prior to doing this was 1700, I’m not eating ~3000cals/day and slowly still loosing while putting on muscle again. So far so good! Just gotta tweak everything to your goals. Being that you’re in the gym and having muscle gain as a goal you’ll most likely notice it pretty quickly. Only thing I’d say is higher GI carbs around workouts only and the “good” ones all other times.

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #6

I would still avoid refined grains and sugar in all its forms. I’d also continue to avoid starches. I’d perhaps worry a bit less about fruits and nuts, and sugary vegetables such as carrots, peas, and maize/sweetcorn. Depending on your current degree of insulin resistance, you may or may not find that 100 g/day of carbohydrate causes you to regain weight. (There was one case study of a corporate executive in the 1960’s, published by his company’s physician, who lost a significant amount of fat on a low-carb diet, but who found that even an extra apple a day was enough to cause him to put on fat again.)

Given what I know about the systemic damage elevated serum glucose and serum insulin can cause, I’d tread very carefullly. If we eat enough carbohydrate to put ourselves back in fat-storage mode, a lot of our dietary fat is also going to get stored, rather than continue to be metabolised.

(Ken) #7

IMO, the most important thing if adding some carbs back in is to consume them periodically, not chronically. This prevents filling up liver Glycogen, which is the difference between Lipostasis (Maintenance) and Lipogenesis. (Fat Gain) I suggest not aiming for a specific daily level of carb intake, but having several days of VLC days each week. You will experience water swings within the week, so be aware of that.