Maintenance Strategies?


I am new to maintenance. Glad to be here; but thinking about the long term. I’m curious to hear about some “Maintainer” strategies. Do people focus on a certain weight, and try to push hard to stay right there? If so does it get easier over time- (Maybe it becomes more natural and requires less attention)? Do some people allow for a weight range; and allow themselves to fluctuate within that range? If so how does one determine an appropriate range?


Weight Maintenance- Introduce yourself!
August 2022 Maintenance
(Karen) #2

This is a great question! I am no where near goal weight but I have been wondering what happens when I get there. How does keto work when you have less body fat??


(Troy) #3

Yes. Great question!
I’m just enjoying all the other benefits of Keto as well

Anxious to hear what others have to say about your question

(Ken) #4

Maintenance is easy. It’s all about understanding how to prevent lipogenic readaptation. Lipogenic readaptation requires the refilling of glycogen stores. You can easily prevent this by avoiding chronic Carb intake, such as setting a daily amount of carbs, which always seem to creep upwards.

The strategy I have used for years is that whenever I eat carbs, for whatever duration, I go double the time afterwards without them. If I have a heavy Carb meal, I skip them for two more. If it’s a day, then no carbs for a couple of days. Even if I eat carbs for a week, after three or four days of not eating them my glycogen depletes and I’m back to normal.

Eating carbs does cause swings in water weight. It’s really nothing to worry about, and can flux up and down quite a bit.

(John B) #5

I have to agree, that I’ve found it pretty easy to Maintain, now that I’ve reached my goal weight. I reached it a few months ago, and while I still ‘watch my carbs’, I’m not a strict as I once was. For example, I have a beer every now and then, usually just on the weekends. I recognize that they are nothing but carbs, so I watch what else I eat for the day, and get on the scale a day or two later. I’ve also given myself a 5 pound range that i want to be in where I still feel good, and don’t need to be as strict.


I give myself a 3 lb. range to stay in, postmenopausal woman here. I reached my original goal weight and then set another goal weight. I have been staying at that lower level goal or within 3 lbs. for three months now. That included the feasting season, so I am pretty happy with my results. I could eat this way forever, and fasting is one of my tools if I do go over the 3 lbs.

I have learned that 50 total grams of carbs is a good level for me, if I go too much below that I don’t sleep as well. If I eat too much above that, I get hungry in the evenings. I was a bread addict, so all my breads and crackers are keto friendly ones. My fruits are berries, and some limes or lemons, I do have a half apple about once a month. They used to be a daily part of my diet, because you know “an apple a day, keeps the dr. away.”

If I get above the 3 lbs. limit I have set, I know I need to fast for 24-36 hrs. I also do the Zornfast because I enjoy the group fasting experience, it helps with things besides weight, and I don’t want to get cocky and think I can go back to my old eating habits now that I am a normal size again. And I just don’t want to let the lbs. start piling up again. I have lost on other diets, but this is more than a diet, it is my new lifestyle and I want to keep it that way. Fasting has a spiritual element to it, I am not a religious person, but I am a spiritual person, so that adds to the enjoyment of fasting, the meditations keep me from eating and feeds my soul.

(Troy) #7

Nicely said😄


Thank you for the good replies. Hearing these positive responses can give us new maintainers or those close to maintenance some encouragement and reassurance.

JULY 2018 Weight Maintenance Check-In Thread
(Karen Parrott) #9

My maintenance
My 2 cents:
A. It is not easy, my weight wants to come back most days
B. It becomes easier when you test out different variables and keep what works
C. Everyone has different combos of obesity root causes
D. If you have multiple root causes, weight maintenance is going to be harder
E Age, body comp, autoimmune diseases, male/female will be variables
F. Genetics play a HUGE role in strategy. FTO Obesity Genes, Type 2 Diabetes genes that have already expressed extra ghrelin gene will bite you if you don’t mind them. I hurt just thinking about this…
G. Auto-Immune diseases will play a part. Particularly thyroid auto-immune (Hashimotos, Graves, parathyroid, Cushings)
H. Other disease states, colds, flu, shingles, gout, arthritis

Here are my best tools- AKA weight maintenance strategies

  1. Daily weighing and taking action every 4-5 days based on trends and shifts.

  2. Fasting and eating my carbs early 6 am until noon or 1pm

  3. Eating low carb so that I keep my glucose managed (by proxy insulin)

  4. Eating high enough that I don’t lose my intestinal mucous (gut microbiome
    will eat my intestinal mucous if I don’t feed it some dietary fiber, gross, I know)

  5. Tracking my food intake on my fitness pal (extra ghrelin makes sure I have zero full signals most days)

  6. Getting support from groups or individuals if I have a lot of binge urges

  7. Abstaining from my binge trigger foods (all grains, all nuts, most emulsifiers like xantham and guar gum)

  8. Checking food labels and spending time identifying trigger foods

  9. Making 98% of all food at home and bringing it

10 Meditation as needed (Calm, Insight Timer, Head Space)

  1. Exercising 60 minutes a day, moderate- say walking (track on MFP)

  2. Lift in the gym, 2X per week- or body weight exercises more at home

  3. Get lab work done periodically

  4. Use your glucose meter, ketone meter, and things like the bristol stool chart (gross I know) , binge urges, and acne and joint pain to customize your food template.

  5. Attend conferences. Meet people who had/have a history like yours. Or even talk 23nMe results. If they have the outcome you desire adopt it, if they regain, see if you are doing something that causes regain also. Do the opposite.That’s a tough message to hear, but do you want to keep regaining or return to a normal weight weight or a best weight? ( that’s how I learned eating to satiation did not work for me- a tough lesson, but not an unsolvable problem to track food. ) If I adopted the Wheeeeeee eat all the fat all the time, well, I wouldn’t be in maintenance. Eating all the fat works for some, it doesn’t work for me and I own it.

16 Tell yourself that other people lose weight and are weight maintainers. Tell yourself you will be one of them and that you will take as much time as needed to get the results that you need for your best health.

  1. Know if you need to be at a “normal BMI” or a higher than normal BMI with equally good health outcomes. Work, work, work to be normal if you need to for joint pain or other health outcomes like insurance discounts. I’d be disingenuous to my health and finances if I didn’t keep my weight normal.

  2. Adjust your plan as you age, develop new diseases, go through menopause (female) , add any medications or adapt to any combo of the above. What I do in my late 40’s and early 50’s =/= what I’ll do in my 60’s or 70’s. I was obese from the ages of 6-46.

  3. Read books or material about weight maintenance and use your own food template. Refuse to Regain- Barbara Berkeley, MD, Eric Westman, MD have loads of experience with clients and patients who don’t regain the weight.

  4. Never ever stop trying or adjusting.

Great question, by the way. I salute those of you who have an easy time of weight maintenance. I give all of you hope for those of you who find it hard (I’m just shy of 6 years of maintaining). Onward.

Not Losing but Sticking to the Rules HARD
(Karen) #10

Thank you for this! I’ve lost many times and not maintained. I am so afraid of the maintainence.


(Dan Dan) #11

I have chosen IF/EF Keto as my ‘Way of Eating’ so there is no Maintenance for me only a future of possibilities and I’m excited to discover the ever changing healthier new me :wink:

(KCKO, KCFO) #12

Karen, this post is gold for those who want to maintain. I do a lot of the things you mention and need to up my game on some of the other things in there. Thanks so much for posting this guide to maintenance. It should be a stickie post, so I have at least bookmarked it. Something that needs to be read and re-read.

(Dawn) #13

i copy pasted this entire page so that I could keep all of these wonderful comments and post them on my daily affirmations board. These are all great tips. I am about 40 pounds away from goal, but I am terrified of how to maintain. Unfortunately, I have not been very good at doing short maintenance experiments. I have done short experiments to see if I could maintain weight for 5-7 days at a time and each time I have failed. But as @240lbfatloss mentioned, it is mostly body weight and my actual FAT probably is not coming back. I am hoping that it just takes more practice.

(Allan L) #14

The keto way of life for me is exactly that, a way of life. Its not just about weight loss but also optimum health and mental performance therefore when I do hit my goal weight not much will change.

I’ll still fast once a month for a few days,
I’ll still keep my carbs low enough to produce ketones

Why break something that isn’t broken?

This way of life is all about your body naturally reaching is desired weight by eating healthy. Surely maintenance is the same as everyday keto eating? Or am I being naive?


Sounds good! Especially for you! (I mean that in a good way) :grinning:

I’m a newbie so forgive me- but I’m thinking there is gonna be a spectrum here.

It is looking like maintenance will “be easy” for some people and will be hard for others.

I’m on the optimistic side myself; but suspect @gardengirlkp probably has some valuable insight (particularly for some people).

Maybe as more people weigh in- we can all learn some more.


(Karen Parrott) #16

Total spectrum depending on lots of things. I did find Weight maintenance easy the first 1.5 years. Then super tough. It’s still variable. Weird trip.

(Karen Parrott) #17

It’s different for me. Lots of shifts , trends , and adjustments. I may be the worlds worst case, but I don’t think so. Hopefully your experience will be smooth

(Dawn) #18

Yes, Keto is a way of life for me as well. But unfortunately, even when eating strict keto, the weight can still go up for many people…me included. I don’t know what my keys to success will be. I think it is going to require some experimentation using the tips listed here. I also wonder if I am going to have to use some method of calorie counting once I hit maintenance to make sure my food stays in check.

(Renee Slaughter) #19

In getting near my goal of a size 12. I’m 5’8" currently weighing 171. I’m thinking 160 should get me fitting a 12 comfortably. I am curious about maintenance and how to maintain. So thanks all for the tips. Bookmarking this page.

(Karen Parrott) #20

Well, for lifers ( obese since early childhood) it’s typical that Keto is one and only one lifestyle tool. Many of us use multiple tools daily. And the fat still wants to come back.

I’m happy for those for whom it’s one stop shopping. The complex nature of my obesity root causes makes it a more lengthy process. It is what it is. Indeed. Keep it simple unless it’s a complex process to start with.