The keto diet involves drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake to improve your health and lose weight. Significantly reducing the carbs in your diet forces your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use as energy and starts to burn fat as fuel.
Ketosis can be helpful in losing weight, and it can help you burn fat and feel less hungry. However, sometimes weight loss on keto isn’t as straightforward as you’d imagine. You can seemingly do everything right and still not lose weight, or, in some cases, even gain weight. If you’re gaining weight on keto, you probably feel frustrated and discouraged.
Is It Possible to Gain Weight on Keto?
For many people on the keto diet, weight loss comes easily. The keto diet can suppress appetite and make fat loss easier to achieve. However, this isn’t always the case. Some people end up not losing weight or even gaining weight on a keto diet.
Unfortunately, our bodies are designed to store any excess calories we eat so we can have enough energy to withstand a famine. This was useful in the past when we had to hunt and gather our food, but it works against us in today’s world. That’s why it’s not surprising you might be gaining weight, even while on a keto diet. Luckily, most of the time, it just takes is a simple lifestyle adjustment to get you back on track.
One of the biggest culprits of weight gain on keto is not tracking your food intake. It’s important to track everything you eat to be sure you’re not overdoing it in any area. You also want to ensure you’re keeping your macros in check. Once you get your food intake and your macros under control, your weight loss will start moving in the right direction.
Top 10 Reasons You’re Gaining Weight on Keto
If you’re gaining weight on keto, you may be feeling quite frustrated. Aren’t you supposed to lose weight on keto? Here are some mistakes you might be making that can cause weight gain:
Sometimes, you may feel like you have drastically reduced your carb intake. However, you might still be eating too many carbs to prevent your body from burning fat. It’s important to keep track of the carbs so you can ensure that you’ll achieve ketosis.
To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. You can still eat too many calories on a keto diet. Many keto-friendly foods are high in calories, so it’s important to make sure you’re tracking your calories and maintaining a deficit.
Snacking on healthy food can help prevent hunger between meals. However, too much snacking can cause you to intake too many calories, causing weight gain. Instead, keep snacks to a minimum and make sure you’re tracking everything.
Eating too much protein can actually kick your body out of ketosis. Instead, you should only eat a moderate amount of protein, or about 20% of your daily intake. Calculate your protein needs and be sure to stay within that limit.
Even keto-friendly foods can add up to too many carbs per day if you’re not careful. Be sure to keep track of your carbs to make sure you’re not letting too many slip back into your diet.
Fats are the most calorically dense macronutrient. Many people think of a keto diet as a free-for-all when it comes to fat, but this isn’t the case. Instead, you’ll need to track your fat intake and ensure you aren’t overshooting your calories.
Drinking alcohol can slow down the weight loss process and can even contribute to weight gain if you overdo it. Consuming too much alcohol can also make you feel hungry, possibly leading you to snack on unhealthy junk foods that can make you gain weight.
Regular exercise can help reduce stress levels, boost appetite control, and speed up weight loss. If you aren’t exercising, you might be missing out on these important benefits, which could be contributing to weight gain.
9. An Underlying Health Condition
Certain health conditions make weight loss extremely difficult. Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and many other conditions can stall weight loss. If you find yourself unable to lose weight on keto or even find that you’re gaining weight, you might want to check with your doctor.
10. Taking Certain Medications
Certain medications, particularly antidepressants, can cause you to gain weight. If you think a medication you’re taking is interfering with your ability to lose weight, speak to your doctor.
Don’t feel frustrated if you’re gaining weight on a keto diet. Be sure you’re keeping track of everything you eat and check with your doctor if you’re still not succeeding in your weight loss efforts.
More Questions About Gaining Weight on Keto
Diets can be complicated, so additional questions may arise while researching the keto diet and process. To learn more about why one might gain weight on keto, please find a few commonly asked questions.
Why am I gaining weight suddenly on keto?
Sudden weight gain on keto is often due to an overconsumption of fats like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, and other types of oils and fats. While these ingredients are perfectly acceptable on the keto diet, too much can lead to sudden weight gain. Another reason is that you’re simply eating more calories than you burn, even if those calories come from keto-friendly foods.
Is it normal to gain weight on keto at first?
While it’s not always the case, it is common for people to gain some weight on keto at first. This weight gain can be attributed to a few factors, such as increased fluid retention, your body trying to adjust to your new way of eating, you’re consuming too many fats and oils, or you’re simply consuming more calories than your body burns.
Should I weigh myself every day on keto?
You can weigh yourself every day on keto, but it’s not always a good idea. That’s because losing weight with the keto diet requires consistent change over time. Plus, your weight can naturally fluctuate by a few pounds, even within the same day, so an everyday weight check may not accurately portray your progress. Try a weekly weigh-in on the same day and the same time each week, and you’ll likely see more change between measurements.
Can I have a cheat day in keto?
Yes, you can have a cheat day in keto, but it’s important to keep your body in a state of ketosis. That means you want to treat yourself to something you love that won’t throw off your macros — such as too many carbs.