How Long Should You Do Keto?

People use the keto diet for a variety of purposes. Some people want to lose weight fast and have a beautiful body without excess fat, and others want to improve their health, for example, by reducing chronic inflammation or skin problems. Many people simply love the feeling of power and energy that a keto diet gives when followed correctly. In general, cutting out carbs has many benefits, and everyone has their own reason to try the keto diet.

However, often people think about how long they can follow a keto diet. For example, let’s say your weight loss goal is reached. Can you continue keto for other health benefits? Is it safe to follow the keto diet for life?

Yes, you can stay on the keto diet for as long as you want if you keep track of your nutrients. Any diet can cause a nutrient deficiency if certain food groups are restricted. However, you can avoid this on keto if you plan your daily menu correctly. Currently, no studies show the dangers of a long-term keto diet, but there is evidence of its benefits.

How long can you follow the keto diet without risk to your health? Can you do keto for the rest of your life? What do the studies say? Let’s look at all the issues together. In this article, you will learn everything about things that happen to your body if you follow keto for a long time. Let’s dive in!

How Long Does It Take You to Get into Ketosis?

In order to understand the perfect duration of your keto diet, we need to first figure out how long it will take you to get into ketosis and adapt to a new nutrition plan. As you know, the keto diet involves a sharp limitation of carbs and is based on healthy proteins and fats. We have already discussed quick ways to achieve ketosis, but this time is very individual.

In general, the essence of ketosis is to set the body to using fat for energy [1]. Only after starting to use fat instead of carbs can you consider your keto diet started. However, the amount of time for switching to fat differs for each person and can be from 2 to 7 days. In general, if you follow strict keto and other recommendations for fast ketosis, then this path can take 1-4 days.

Following all the recommendations determines how soon you will reach ketosis. Someone prefers to gradually reduce the number of carbs and add fats. In this case, your path to ketosis can last from a week to a month. Some people never reach ketosis without even knowing it. It is because the amount of carbs they consume is more than they need to enter ketosis.

How Long Should You Do Keto?

The answer to this question depends on what tasks you set for yourself when choosing a keto diet. Doctors and nutritionists recommend following a keto diet for 3-6 months to avoid various nutrient and vitamin deficiencies. During this time, you can achieve good weight loss results. However, what about those who use the keto diet for other purposes, such as controlling insulin levels during diabetes?

We’re all used to the word “diet,” meaning something short-term and unpleasant, but that’s not the case with keto. You can use keto for as long as you want because it is not a short-term diet but part of a healthy lifestyle. You need to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients important to your health, including beneficial supplements. Often people complain that the keto diet is low in fiber, but if you eat enough vegetables and herbs, you will get more fiber than during any high-carb diet.

You can use keto to control blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, improve sleep and mental health, or feel clean energy and have a healthy body. If you feel good on keto, you have no reason to end it. The main thing you need to do is to choose the right menu, which will include healthy fats, proteins, and fiber. In addition, I advise you to diversify your keto recipes so that you do not get bored with a low-carb diet.

Can You Do Keto for a Lifetime? 

There are hundreds of diets in the world designed to lose weight or solve any health problems. Many of them are very strict, but they promise fast weight loss. However, such diets are short-term, and lost pounds come back very quickly and sometimes in greater quantities. A good weight loss plan should not be unbearable and short-term. A healthy weight loss plan should be a lifestyle change that will help you lose and maintain weight throughout your life.

The keto diet is a great option to follow for the rest of your life. You can diversify your keto diet with new recipes and try different diet options like zero carb or targeted keto. For example, you can alternate the speed keto with a low-carb diet that allows up to 50 grams of net carbs. In this case, you can consume more vegetables or fruits without harming your figure.

If you’ve lost a lot of weight on the keto diet and want to keep it off for the rest of your life, you can’t return to your old eating habits. However, by making keto a part of your active lifestyle, you will be able to maintain your results for the rest of your life without effort and strict diets. You just have to compromise with the carbs around you and find a healthy keto alternative.

Is It Safe to Do Keto for a Lifetime?

Let’s say you want to follow the keto diet all your life to get various health benefits. However, what do the studies say? Is long-term keto safe for your health? Does it have any side effects?

Unfortunately, the keto diet is a relatively new way to lose weight, so there are no studies that follow people on keto throughout their lives. However, many studies have looked at keto for quite a long time, studying the safety of long-term carb avoidance. Basically, these studies show that the keto diet positively affects people with obesity [2], reducing body weight in all patients. Also, this nutrient plan can lower blood glucose levels and reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels while increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol levels [3].

Following a low carb or keto diet for a long period does not show any side effects. The high content of healthy fats and reduced carbohydrate intake can lower cardiovascular risks [4] through significant weight loss. A low-carb diet also helps people with type 2 diabetes by lowering insulin and blood sugar levels [5]. Thus, some diabetic patients may be able to reduce the number of medications they take or stop taking medications completely. Many studies consider the results of the keto diet for the heart to be promising, but more detailed studies are needed [6].

Most research agrees that the keto diet is safe in the long run [7] and can be your choice for life. In general, as long as you feel well and your health indicators improve or remain normal, you can use this nutritional plan. However, just because a keto diet is safe for long-term use doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone. I recommend that you discuss keto with your doctor and take into account all the details regarding your health. You should also keep track of your nutrients and do regular health tests to make sure that keto is the right way for you to follow.

How to Stop Keto Diet and Add Carbs Again?

If you still decide to end the keto diet for one reason or another, you should follow a few rules. The transition from a keto diet to a carb-rich diet should take several weeks in order for you to avoid gaining excess weight. Either way, your old eating habits won’t work if you want to keep your slim keto shape. In order to maintain a healthy weight after a keto diet, you should incorporate some keto habits into your daily lifestyle.

If you limit your sugar intake, watch your calories, and add some exercise, you’ll be able to stay in good shape after the keto diet. If you’re gaining weight after keto, you should try intermittent fasting and low-carb days. Even if you decide to end the keto diet, you can keep some of the bonuses for life and get all the benefits.

Conclusion

A keto diet is a great option for losing weight and improving health, whether you follow it for life or a few months. There are currently no studies that support the benefits of keto as a lifelong diet, but there are studies that provide the advantages of long-term keto. From this, we can conclude that this type of nutrition is safe and beneficial.

In order to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight after the keto diet, you do not need to follow it all your life. It is enough to just observe some rules and avoid fast carbs. However, keto is a great way to reap many lifelong benefits. You just have to find your comfortable keto and monitor your health to keep your body in harmony.

 

Sources:

  1. Paoli, A., Bosco, G., Camporesi, E. M., & Mangar, D. (2015). Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: a complex relationship. Frontiers in psychology6, 27. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00027
  2. Paoli A. (2014). Ketogenic diet for obesity: friend or foe?. International journal of environmental research and public health11(2), 2092–2107. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110202092
  3. Kosinski, C., & Jornayvaz, F. R. (2017). Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies. Nutrients9(5), 517. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050517
  4. Dong, T., Guo, M., Zhang, P., Sun, G., & Chen, B. (2020). The effects of low-carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors: A meta-analysis. PloS one15(1), e0225348. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225348
  5. Bolla, A. M., Caretto, A., Laurenzi, A., Scavini, M., & Piemonti, L. (2019). Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Nutrients11(5), 962. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11050962
  6. Ludwig DS. The Ketogenic Diet: Evidence for Optimism but High-Quality Research Needed. J Nutr. 2020 Jun 1;150(6):1354-1359. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz308. PMID: 31825066; PMCID: PMC7269727.
  7. Lee HS, Lee J. Effects of Combined Exercise and Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet Interventions on Waist Circumference and Triglycerides in Overweight and Obese Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 19;18(2):828. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020828. PMID: 33478022; PMCID: PMC7835865.

About

Ana Rinkevich is a freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition, fitness, and weight loss. Over the past 10 years, she has used various methods to deal with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and eating disorders. Proud keto follower for 6 years - lost 100 pounds and fought insulin resistance. Ana shares her experience, tips, and motivation to help people use eating habits for better health and harmony with the body.