Maintenance mode - but how exactly?


I am still in weight loss mode now but I only have a few more pounds to go (unless it drags on).

But I can’t find information about the difference between maintain and weight loss modes.

I have read Phinney/Volek’s, “The Art and Science” and also their Atkins book. In their Atkins book they prescribe adding 5g carbs each week. And see how you go… until you discover the treashold …

So the answer is add some carbs back in, but in a very controlled way, right?

Is there another way, how is everyone else doing it? I’m just scared of carbs now, don’t want to bring back floods of insulin.

Or should I just eat to satiety and let my body decide what weight it wants to be?

Thanks in advance.

(Regina) #2

I would eat more fat.


Won’t just just burn straight off?

(Whole Lotta Rosie The Riveter ) #4

I’ve pretty much been at maintenance from the get go & I only have a few extra carbs on the weekends if I’m getting a lot of exercise - otherwise I’ve continued pretty much as I started. I eat more protein than I used to but probably eat less fat.

This works for most people :slightly_smiling_face: but not everybody. You’ll just need to tweak it as you go & find what suits you the best.

(Carl Keller) #5

I would say I am wary of carbs, not really scared. I fully understand what carbs (bad ones) do to me and I won’t go back to sugar and processed foods. I would like a bowl of rice every now and then but I probably will do as you say and increase my carbs bit by bit, while still eating mostly fat and protein. I’m guessing my numbers are going to end up 70-100 carbs. Not really sure yet…

(Amy) #6

I slowly upped my carbs by daily eating more veggies, berries, nuts, greenish bananas, yogurt, legumes, etc. A couple days a week I eat a little rice, sweet potatoes, steel-cut oats, etc. I found my threshold during the holidays. I did fine eating pie and wine for a couple days, but the third day I started feeling bad and needed a couple days of <20 carbs to get back on track. I found that the only sweetener I can handle on a regular basis is molasses. I’ll still eat the occasional treat if it’s high quality, or if my mom makes it for me!
I don’t feel the need to stay in ketosis all the time, as long as I retain my fat-adaptation. I like having a varied diet.


Is feeling bad the only way to know you’ve gone over the limit?

I’ve only been on keto 6 weeks (fix metabolic syndrome not weight) and haven’t fallen of the wagon so I don’t know what to look for.

I tried measuring ketones with a blood meter but those numbers go up and down like a yo yo all in the same day.



I see processed food, especially carbs, as poison. No wonder I’m not finding it hard to lay off them. Yeah I’d say scared not wary.

(Allie) #9

I just stopped limiting protein, carbs stay strictly off the menu.

(Andrew Jolly) #10

There is a great calculator here
It can provide useful numbers for maintenance and weight loss.
Found it really useful for setting up my macros.

(Amy) #11

I think feeling bad (depending on what issues you’re trying to address with keto), is a good indicator when you’re transitioning into maintenance. I wouldn’t start experimenting so early though if you’re trying to heal metabolic issues. I don’t know much about measuring ketones, I never did that. Hopefully, someone else here can help you figure that out.

For me, it’s mainly inflammation and hormone balance, so I know I’ve gone too far when I get the old aches, pains, cravings, and brain fog. After experimenting, I know not to take it to that point. I know I can eat 60 of nutrient dense carbs regularly without ill effects, and even 100-120 for a day or 2, but no more. And I’m finding there are certain days in my cycle I have to keep carbs below 30, and other days I need 80+ carbs in order to prevent constipation, insomnia and amenorrhea. I’ve only been in maintenance for 6 weeks, so I’m still feeling it out.

There is some guesswork involved in finding your own optimal balance of macros/electrolytes, etc, but becoming hyper-aware of how your body reacts to what is being put into it is part of this journey, and IMHO, a necessary skill that modern humans have lost.

(Take time to stop and eat the bacon!) #12

That’s what I’d recommend, unless your body decides that it prefers to be a lot heavier than you really think is right. (I’d love to lose another 60 pounds to go with the first 60, lol!) Then you might have to devise a fasting strategy of some sort, to nudge your body to a lower set point.

If you continue eating to satiety, you will be eating more than you were when you first started out, but that’s okay, because you have burned up all that extra fat, so your body needs you to give it all its energy in your diet. Dr. Phinney has a chart that illustrates the typical progression from eating at a caloric deficit in the induction phase, all the way to meeting energy expenditure from food intake in maintenance. It’s a made up chart, so don’t take it as Gospel if you encounter it, just know that eating more in maintenance is perfectly normal and necessary.

My weight has been stable for the past 12 months, even though my waist has shrunk a bit over that period. If I didn’t have my life back already, I’d be annoyed at the sixty pounds I could still stand to lose, but my body is happy, I’m no longer pre-diabetic, my blood pressure has come down, my blood work is completely normal, and my lipid numbers are fine, so I decided not to mess with anything. Fear of diabetes is what got me into this way of eating, and that’s been taken care of. The rest is just gravy.

(Scott) #13

I think your body will find a set point. If not and you want to eat more I would add some simple things like more nuts or maybe some berries.


Yes I have encountered the chart on their site and the same concept (no chart) in “The Art and Science…” I know what you mean. I will re-read all that stuff.

Exactly the same reason as me. Definitely seeing more and more signs of metabolic wear and tear.

I like how you say “I got my life back”, that’s exactly how I feel.



Are, I see what you mean. Thanks.


Sounds like a better tactic. I might try going that way.

If I had the carbs like the ones in Okinawa I might’ve dared try more carbs but the industry toxin (HFCS) we get is not my idea of fun.

(Jane) #17

I am in maintenance mode and like @PaulL I could stand to lose a few more lbs (like 20) but my body is happy where it is at, no effort to maintain and I like the way I look so it’s all good.

When I say “no effort” I mean I just keep eating a keto diet most of the time, fast regularly for health and to make up for higher carb days that I plan for.

I don’t eat junk carbs when I do. For example had my own black-eyed peas for New Years that I planted from seed last summer, watered, weeded, fed organic fertilizer, picked, shelled and finally cooked Jan 1. Truly a labor of love! Lots of carbs but I didn’t care - I savored them.

(Take time to stop and eat the bacon!) #18

I do like having a thin face and legs that don’t look like tree trunks, but it would be nice to have a flat belly again. It’s been a couple of decades, at least . . . :frowning_face: