Whether you took an extended break or slipped up, here are some proven and time-tested tips for getting back on track with keto. Next stop, Weight Loss Town!
The keto diet is a proven way to lose weight, burn belly fat, and even help treat some common diseases and disorders.
But what happens when you fall off?
It’s easy to fall off the keto wagon around the holidays, a birthday, or just indulging in a particularly delicious-looking dessert.
Maybe you meant to be a little less strict for a couple of days.
But now it’s two weeks later and you’ve gained more weight than you realized.
Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking to get back on Keto after a break, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we will look at some proven ways to get back on track with keto.
Whether it’s been a few days or a few years, here’s your one-way ticket back to ketosis.
How to Get Back on Track with Keto
1. Let Go of Perfection
First, it’s important to acknowledge that no one is perfect. Having an all-or-nothing mindset can be very dangerous and difficult to be successful with any sort of diet.
Especially Keto, which can be a little unforgiving with how rigid it can be.
Keto really is a lifestyle, and it’s one that can be maintained well with practice, experience, and knowledge.
However, when there are treats all around like during the holidays, birthdays, or other events, it can be hard not to partake.
A great way to still have fun and satisfy your cravings is to make your own Keto treats and sweets! It doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to celebrate and have a good time like everyone else.
There is a long list of keto-friendly foods that can give you that sweet kick without launching you out of ketosis.
Fun Fact: The keto diet was not initially designed as a weight loss plan. It was developed by doctors in the 1920s to treat patients with epilepsy. Keto was the preferred method of treatment for two decades until antiepileptic drugs become more prevalent.
2. Make a Plan
Setting up a game plan is always the best way to achieve success.
It’s much harder to fall off the wagon if you have a solid, detailed plan in place.
If not, you could be thinking you were on-point all day with your diet when in reality you ate more carbs than you wanted to.
Then you’re left wondering why you aren’t seeing the results you expected.
With a plan in place, there’s no room for guesswork. You know what you need to do to achieve your goals.
You can use a notebook or food journal to write every day down with your meals, macros, and calories detailed.
Alternatively, there are keto meal planning apps out there that are really convenient for tracking your workouts and meals.
Plug your stats into your phone, and you have everything you need right in the palm of your hand.
Most of these keto meal planning tools (like Keto Custom Diet, which I fully review here) also include shopping lists, macros, and even give you the option of swapping out foods you don’t like for your (keto-friendly) favorites.
A little bit of planning goes a LONG way with keto, so when you are trying to get back on track, do a little bit of legwork to plan for success.
That way, you’re less likely to opt for an indulgent treat instead of going along with your planned meals.
3. Stay Hydrated
This is really one of the biggest tips for Keto. If you’re trying to get back into ketosis, you’re likely going to experience symptoms of Keto Flu.
Headaches, body aches, and fatigue can be enough to push someone into eating carbs.
If you feel thirsty or have a dry mouth, it could also be due to dehydration.
However, by staying hydrated, you can avoid or reduce a large part of those symptoms.
Remember that staying hydrated means consuming enough water and electrolytes (magnesium, potassium, sodium).
This will help give you energy, enhance fat metabolism, and generally make you feel clearer and more alert.
Be prepared to consume more electrolytes and water than you did before Keto, as your body is going to process electrolytes differently.
This is a fantastic way not only to stay motivated, but to hop into ketosis faster. Exercising depletes glycogen stores faster, which can help with keto flu symptoms and get you back on track.
That’s right – exercise can actually help stimulate ketosis1!
It can also make you feel a bit better by keeping things moving when you’re feeling fatigued and bloated.
If you’re putting in the time and effort to go to the gym and sweat, you’re less likely to inhibit your work by getting off-track.
Using supplements is a proven way to speed up ketosis. Research with exogenous ketones (a.k.a. keto pills) shows that they can increase ketone levels by over 300%, reduce cravings, and get you into ketosis faster. I did a round-up of the top ketogenic diet pills here.
For added benefits, try working out while fasting or before eating.
It’s been shown to significantly increase the amount of ketones in the body, compared to those who choose to work out after a large meal. It’s no surprise that working out burns calories, which will help you get toned and lose weight faster, too.
And yes, you can build muscle on the ketogenic diet, so don’t worry that the reduced carb load will deplete your gainz in the gym
5. Have Some Variety
Creating boring meal plans consisting of the same foods you always eat could cause you to become burnt out.
One of the most critical keto tips for beginners is making it as sustainable as possible for yourself.
You want keto to be a lifestyle change and not a passing fad, and it absolutely can be with a variety of nutritious meals and ingredients.
It should be looked at from a health perspective, as well as a way to achieve your goals.
For example, if you’re just eating large quantities of processed meats (bacon, sausage, burgers, etc.), you may lose weight, but you could put yourself at risk of developing heart disease and even increased cancer risk.
A lot of low-quality, processed meats are really just “filler” and don’t offer much nutritional value.
Aside from that, it could lead to you feeling deprived as you’re always eating the same things.
Try incorporating more plant-based foods into your day.
For example, olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens are all solid choices.
The latter adds a ton of vitamins and minerals, which can help digestive issues and keep you feeling full, longer.
Find some Keto dressings, seasonings, and sauces, to add a little life to your dishes, as well.
These offer more complexity and variety that will keep you from getting bored with your meals.
There are plenty of excellent keto cookbooks that will give you all the flexibility and variety you can hope for from this diet. Although keto is fairly regimented in terms of macros, it doesn’t have to be boring!
6. Fast Between Meals
This is ultimately up to personal discretion, but many people benefit from fasting between meals when getting back on Keto.
After all, you are trying to reduce insulin and blood sugar spikes, and a great way to lower insulin secretion is by fasting.
You don’t have to go long stretches between meals to see positive results, either.
Try setting up your meals for every 4 hours, and avoid grazing and snacking in-between.
This is a great way to limit your calories, if you’re someone who has a hard time staying within caloric requirements for your goals.
Say you schedule your meals for 8am/breakfast, 12pm/lunch, 4pm/dinner, and 8 pm snack.
You’ll be able to have a delicious snack at night, and go 12 hours fasting while you sleep.
It’s a great plan for getting quickly back into ketosis, and anyone who’s done this knows that after a week or so you don’t even get hungry between meals.
7. Reduce Carbs Gradually
If you’ve never done Keto before, you may want to begin cutting carbs gradually.
That doesn’t mean over the period of weeks or months.
It’s generally recommended to progressively reduce carbs by 25g each day until you’ve reached your “goal” consumption.
The most accurate and effective way of doing this is by using a food scale to weigh your food.
Don’t forget to read the nutrition labels on your food, as well.
Cutting carbs “cold turkey” could result in an intense bout of Keto Flu, which is one of the main reasons it’s recommended to do so gradually.
Of course, this depends on your prior nutritional state, eating habits, exercise habits, age, and more.
8. Set Yourself Up for Success
You can do this by setting reasonable and realistic goals.
Trying to lose 30 pounds in a month just isn’t going to be healthy – if even a possibility – for most people.
Think about your goals, and write them down.
Start with some small goals, such as sticking to your meal plan 2 days in a row and getting in 30 minutes at the gym.
Our brains love when we achieve our goals, and it sets us on track to continue doing so.
You’ll feel motivated, and will want to impress yourself even more!
You can start gradually moving on to bigger goals, but also remember to be patient with yourself.
There will be times when your weight loss will stall with keto. It doesn’t mean that what you’re doing isn’t working, necessarily.
That’s actually completely normal!
Have a long-term mindset, and make sure to design your diet in a way that’s sustainable.
Getting Back on Keto – FAQs
How long does it take to get back in keto after a break?
Just like with everything else, it depends on the individual!
It could take you a day, or it could take you more than a week.
How quickly you get back into ketosis will depend on your weight, your age, your prior eating habits, exercise habits (frequency, intensity, type), and other factors.
Generally speaking, though, you can expect to get back into ketosis within 2 to 7 days.
Are there any supplements I can take to get back on track with keto faster?
There are luckily quite a few different keto supplements you can take to get into ketosis more quickly.
One of the most effective supplements for this purpose are Keto pills.
Keto pills are designed to introduce ketones into your body from an outside source.
Taking them can help make the transition from glucose-based to fat-based fuel, easier.
MCT Oil is another great tool for getting into ketosis faster.
It not only helps encourage ketone production, but increases energy, and helps you feel more satisfied.
MCT oil is an easy supplement to take, as you can add it to smoothies, shakes, and even your keto-approved coffee!
Electrolytes are also an essential supplement that will help anyone get back on track quicker, as they’ll help you feel better and provide more energy.
The Bottom Line
Taking a break or getting kicked out of ketosis isn’t a big deal.
(Or at least, it’s not as big of a deal as we often make it ?)
No one is perfect, and if you’re seeking keto as a lifestyle then it’s important to remember that.
For getting back into ketosis, these are all handy tips to follow.
By doing so, you’ll be back in ketosis and on your way to accomplishing your weight loss goals!
More Keto Guides and Resources
Keto Charge – A Keto Pill That Actually Works (Full Review). Curious if Keto Charge can help you get into ketosis faster and achieve your weight loss goals? Read on for a full review, including key features, and see if it’s right for you.
Keto Custom Plan – An Athlete’s Full Review. Want a custom-made keto diet based on your specific weight loss goals? This digital meal planner makes things simple.
5 Best Ketone Test Strips (and Alternatives). Want to know if your keto diet plan is working and you are in ketosis? Remove the guesswork with the best keto test strips available online.