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Starting Keto Again: How to Return to Keto After a Break

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  Published on June 9th, 2023
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified May 12th, 2023
Starting keto again

Maybe you were a keto enthusiast for a while, but you fell off the wagon. If you deviated from keto macros for any period of time, you might be wondering how you can come back to the health benefits and weight loss associated with ketosis. Starting keto again can feel like a challenge, but it is one that you are well equipped to tackle. After all, you have the experience of knowing the many benefits of ketosis for both mind and body.  

Here are a few expert tips to help you start keto again after a short break in your diet. 

1. Adjust Slowly 

Remember that entering into ketosis does not happen overnight. In fact, your body will take a few days to readjust to burning fat for fuel in place of the carb-heavy diet that most Americans adhere to. According to research studies, it usually takes about one full week before the body is considered to be in ketosis. [1]

With that being said, your body might appreciate a slower transition to a low-carb diet. You could potentially spur ketosis faster, but your body may protest. When your body is accustomed to quick energy from carbs, you might suffer some unwanted side effects the first few days without them in your diet such as fatigue and headaches. Some people refer to these symptoms as the “keto flu.” [2]

For those that have strayed from keto for a while, experts recommend cutting your carb count by about 25 grams per day until you are back in range for your body to enter into ketosis. [3]

2. Drink More Water

Dehydration is the most common early-onset symptom of moving back into the keto diet. [4] If you are starting keto again, the best thing you can do is make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and other hydrating beverages

The other benefit of drinking more water is that it can curb hunger in the early days of sticking to a keto diet. Research has shown that drinking water prior to a meal results in lower meal energy intakes (in other words, you eat less). [5] This can also boost your weight loss efforts as your body is starting on ketosis again.

how much water should I drink a day

Many people have a hard time forcing themselves to drink water, so you can make it feel more palatable with flavor enhancements like fresh berries, cucumber, or mint. You can even drink sparkling water as a replacement for soft drinks. You might also try Gatorade Zero or Powerade Zero for an extra dose of electrolytes. 

3. Plan and Prep for Your Meals 

Planning is key to your long-term success with the keto diet. This is the best time to clear your pantry of those items that do not serve your keto lifestyle and stock it instead with more keto-friendly food options. Make sure that your meal plan has foods that you enjoy and that you can look forward to eating rather than focusing on deprivation.  

Knowing what you will have to eat at each upcoming meal is crucial to your long-term success. It also ensures that you are staying within the bounds of your macros for the day and are getting a nice variety of low-carb foods. 

You should also take the time to prep any ingredients that you might need for busy weekday meals in advance. For example, you might shred cooked chicken, dice up your vegetables, or pre-cook some ground beef. Keto-friendly snacks are an important component of your diet, so be sure to plan these in advance as well.

4. Consume More Fiber and High-Fat Foods 

If you want to kickstart your weight loss, you need to make sure that you are not overeating at your mealtimes. To help you feel fuller without consuming more than you should, you will want to stick to a high-fat and fiber-rich diet. According to Harvard University, people who consume a high-fat diet tend to have decreased food cravings. [6]

Similarly, fiber can reduce your appetite as food moves throughout the digestive system. It moves through the gut relatively slowly, releasing nutrients at a slower pace which makes you feel less hungry. [7] Some studies also show that eating more soluble fiber (like Brussels sprouts) can also lower the levels of hunger hormones in the body. [8]

High fat keto foods

Starting on Keto Again

The good news is that it is more than possible for you to make a seamless transition back to a keto diet. While you may have to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the shift, keeping a close eye on your keto flu symptoms and the nutrients that you eat will help. Take your time as you move into ketosis and you will start to see those amazing benefits for body and mind once more.

Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people improve their lives -- in every way possible. She understands that food and diet are necessary components to a healthy lifestyle and experiments with both. When she isn't typing away, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.



Anekwe, C. V., Chandrasekaran, P., & Stanford, F. C. (2020). Ketogenic Diet-induced Elevated Cholesterol, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Potential Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Cureus, 12(1), e6605. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.6605


Bostock, E. C. S., Kirkby, K. C., Taylor, B. V., & Hawrelak, J. A. (2020). Consumer Reports of "Keto Flu" Associated With the Ketogenic Diet. Frontiers in nutrition, 7, 20. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.00020


Schimelpfening, N. (2020, January 3). 7 simple tips to help you get back on Keto after a break. Healthline. Retrieved April 27, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/tips-to-help-get-back-on-keto-after-the-holidays#4.-Dont-quit-carbs-cold-turkey 


Duchowny M. S. (2005). Food for thought: the ketogenic diet and adverse effects in children. Epilepsy currents, 5(4), 152–154. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1535-7511.2005.00044.x


Jeong J. N. (2018). Effect of Pre-meal Water Consumption on Energy Intake and Satiety in Non-obese Young Adults. Clinical nutrition research, 7(4), 291–296. https://doi.org/10.7762/cnr.2018.7.4.291


Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for weight loss. The Nutrition Source. (2019, May 22). Retrieved April 27, 2023, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/ketogenic-diet/


Slavin J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients, 5(4), 1417–1435. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu5041417


St-Pierre, D. H., Rabasa-Lhoret, R., Lavoie, M. E., Karelis, A. D., Strychar, I., Doucet, E., & Coderre, L. (2009). Fiber intake predicts ghrelin levels in overweight and obese postmenopausal women. European journal of endocrinology, 161(1), 65–72. https://doi.org/10.1530/EJE-09-0018

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