Gaining Weight on Keto [E07]

Gaining Weight on Keto Cover Title
Gaining weight on keto is not only possible, it's too taboo for most folks in the keto space to talk about. So we're tackling it! Join us as we discuss the reasons behind keto weight gain and what you can do to get things moving in the right direction again.

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Hey there, Tasha here. Before we jump into today’s episode, I have some exciting news. My brand spanking new book, Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook–which is a reference guide, cookbook, and jam-packed resource to help women fine-tune their approach to Keto–has been available for pre-order for a couple of months now. And I wanted to share with you just really quick what some of the readers have been saying.

Nina says, “This book has everything I’ve been looking for and more. I never fully understood the Keto diet until Tasha’s book. It’s not eating bacon and deep-frying in butter. It’s finding what works for your body. Macros can be so confusing. But Tasha breaks it down without all the nutritional jargon. It was easy to understand and all of the free resources she provided were beyond helpful. I finally know how to make Keto work for me. Thank you so much, Tasha, for making a book that everyone can enjoy.” I love hearing that!

And here’s what another Amazon reviewer, T Wunder, had to say. “I’m only about a third of the way through, but I have to give this book a five star review now. I’ve stumbled around and tried Keto before with some success, but this book explains everything and backs it all up with the research the author used. It’s also easy to read and you feel like the author is your cheerleader. This is going on my shelf along with The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living as my expert guides.”

So first off, thank you so much for taking the time to leave those amazing reviews of Keto: A Woman’s Guide. What I love most is that these reviews were actually submitted when I first released my book, BEFORE my publisher asked me to do an expanded edition, complete with a recipe section and more visuals. Pretty incredible, right?

So if you’re getting started doing Keto and want a step-by-step, no-nonsense guide to make Keto work for you, or you’ve been doing Keto for a while and want to hone in on the strategies and tactics that drive even better results, or you’re tired of one size fits all Keto books, not giving you enough depth and detail to understand how and why you might need to tweak things… this is why I wrote the book. Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook will help you get laser-sharp focus on strategies that work for weight loss, improved fat-burning, and hormonal balance. And it will also let you know what tactics you can stop wasting your time on.

To be honest, when I wrote this book, I included all the things I wish I knew before starting Keto. I wish I had something like this when I was getting started and trying to figure it all out. Or even after I started and wasn’t making the progress that I wanted. So here’s the deal. If you’re a woman doing Keto or know someone who is, I want you to head over to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or your preferred online retailer and pick up a copy. Pre-orders help retailers know that there is interest in a title. So it really helps get the book seen in search results online and end up on the shelves in physical stores. And once you get your copy, if you could take the time to leave a quick review on Amazon, letting me know how the book has helped you, I would appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. OK. Let’s go ahead and dive into today’s episode.

Heyo. Welcome back to Easy Keto with Tasha. Thanks for tuning in. If you listened to last week’s episode, you’ll remember I spent a good amount of time covering reasons you may be experiencing a Keto plateau or not losing weight despite your best efforts and what you can actually do about it. So today is a perfect opportunity to follow up with an episode all about gaining weight on Keto. Because yes, 100 percent, not only is gaining weight on Keto possible, it is such a taboo thing to talk about for people in this space. And quite frankly, I’m getting really frustrated, annoyed, irritated the whole nine, that people pretend like it doesn’t happen. Or worse, that it’s not even possible. So today I am going there. All right. I’m going to tackle the uncharted territory. And honestly, I just want to be real with you guys. OK. So if you’re wondering, “What the heck, why am I gaining weight on Keto?” Or if you’re just curious if you can gain weight on Keto, then this episode is going to help clarify things for you and hopefully give you the tools to course-correct if you find yourself in this situation. So if you’re freaking out about the scale moving in the opposite direction or know someone who’s in this boat, let’s figure out what’s going on and what you can do about it.

Ok, a quick recap of last week is warranted because some of the things that will cause a weight loss stall can also contribute to weight gain on Keto. So quickly, we covered: not eating at a calorie deficit, body composition changes, wonky hormones, and food related inflammation. Any of these things could be a contributing factor in the context of weight management. Right. Maybe you got super swole–congratulations–and the number on the scale actually went up because of increased lean body mass. This is an improvement in body composition and benefits you in the long run. So if that’s the case, don’t stress. Or maybe there’s underlying hormonal or inflammatory issues making it difficult to manage your weight. But the most common and common sense reason you could be gaining weight on Keto squarely falls in the energy balance category. Same as last week with the plateau. If you’re not losing weight and your weight loss stalled, chances are very likely that there is not a calorie deficit. Your energy intake is balanced with your energy expenditure. But if you are gaining weight, then all signs point to your energy intake being higher than your energy needs. If you take in more energy than your body can burn, that extra energy goes straight to storage. When I talk about energy balance, I’m talking about calories, right. So if you’re gaining weight and body fat on Keto, a calorie surplus may be behind it. And the macronutrients that we consume, right? Think macros. Keto macros. Everybody’s so concerned with these… those provide energy or calories. OK, so carbs provide 4 calories per gram, protein provides 4 calories per gram and fat provides 9 calories per gram. OK, so gram for gram fat provides a lot more energy, more than double the energy. Fat is incredibly energy dense. And on Keto, what do most people eat a lot of? Fat. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. But when you’re taking in more than your body needs, it can lead to accumulated energy storage. Also known as increased body fat. So if you’re gaining weight on Keto, what should you actually do? Most people that find themselves in this situation have adopted a more traditional, medically therapeutic Keto macro level. OK, this is things like the percentages and ratios like 5 percent carbs, 20 percent protein, 75 percent fat or even higher. OK, now these ratios are geared towards keeping ketone levels high and they’re not designed for weight loss.

Ok, Keto wasn’t designed for weight loss. It was a anti-seizure therapy for epileptic, drug-resistant children that is intended to elevate ketone production; high ketones are the goal. But ketones do not cause weight loss or fat burning, they’re the byproduct of fat burning. OK, so trying to get super high ketone levels by guzzling fat in your coffee, eating fat bombs or whatever, doesn’t drive your fat loss.

Ok, it’s just giving your body more fat to burn through and it will burn through that first before ever tapping into your stored energy. And your body fat is stored energy. The only thing that’s going to allow your body to effectively tap into these energy stores is creating a calorie deficit and that will force your body to tap into it. OK, so doing Keto for fat loss purposes doesn’t really require that traditional five, twenty, seventy five or higher macronutrient ratio. There’s not really a Keto ratio that you’d need to be striving for. Instead, if you’re concerned about Keto macros, what you should do is partition them in a way that supports ketosis and the body composition changes you want to see. OK, just focusing on only ketosis if you’re struggling with weight management and you’re not seeing the results that you want. If just being Keto doesn’t give you the results that you’re expecting, then you need to change what you’re doing. OK, eat enough protein to support your lean body mass. You don’t want to waste away your muscle. You know you want to support lean body mass by eating adequate protein.

Keep your carbs low enough to support ketosis. And most importantly in this context–in this fat loss context–adjust your fat intake to support your goals. Eat enough protein to support lean body mass. Keep your carbs low enough to support ketosis and adjust your fat intake to support your goals. Lower fat intake to create a calorie deficit. Increase it to create an energy balance or calorie surplus. People doing Keto often find themselves gaining weight when they force feed themselves really high fat intake in the name of Keto thinking it’s “keto” because it’s high fat. But fat can come from your plate, from your diet, right? Or it can come from your body. If weight loss is your goal, then you want to make sure that some of the fat you’re burning is coming from your body and not just your plate. The main thing for weight management, regardless of diet, is energy balance–the calorie deficit, maintenance, or surplus. So if you’re gaining weight on Keto, take a really good look at your diet and see where these excess calories are coming from. It could be all the high fat, high calorie keto foods and drinks adding up. If you’re having a free for all on fat because you think that’s how Keto works, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Lots of food and drinks that have become really popular for Keto aren’t actually the best choices for fat loss. Perfect example of this is Keto coffee, or butter coffee, or any of those bullet proof type drinks with fat melted directly into them. This is all extra dietary fat that suppresses the oxidation of your own fat tissue. It’s not a magic elixir that causes you to lose body fat. OK? So there’s loads and loads of recipes that are Keto because technically they fit within the parameters of a Keto diet. It’s low carb, right? As long as it’s really low carb, any blogger or recipe developer or anybody can call it “Keto” whatever. That doesn’t mean that it supports your fat loss goals or your weight loss goals, OK. Just because something fits within the guidelines of Keto by being low in carbohydrates doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice for fat loss. So let’s think about this. If you’re drinking a cup full of butter, or a heavy cream latte, eating several bowls of soup made from cheese and heavy cream, eating a pizza made out of melted cheese and pepperoni, and then scarfing down a tray of fat bombs for dessert.

Think about how many calories realistically that would add up to and all technically Keto type foods. Thousands and thousands and thousands of calories. OK, well beyond what most people actually need. So if you’re eating well over your body’s calorie needs, it does not matter. If the food is technically Keto that extra energy will still be stored. OK, so there’s nothing wrong with recipes or Keto foods or eating a high fat diet. OK, there’s nothing wrong with fueling your body at all. All right. These Keto-fied recipes can be really awesome and fun and delicious. And you know, they’re amazing. But you can overdo it. Okay? You can still overeat on Keto. And if you’re hyper-focused on high fat foods, it can be really easy to overdo it because fats are the most energy-dense. Fats and oils can really sneak up because they pack so many calories in them gram for gram, they can add up really quickly. So instead of hyper-focusing on really high fat intake for Keto, focus on eating high quality foods and maximizing the nutrient density of the ingredients that you’re using, OK.

If you’re gaining weight on Keto, my suggestion would be to figure out how much you actually need to eat. OK, so figuring out your body’s energy needs is step one. Also, want to figure out your lean body mass, because this will help you determine how much protein you actually need to support your muscle. OK. Now I have a calculator, macro calculator, on my site for females to help you figure this out, but it’s specifically for females only because it’s a supplemental tool for the book I wrote, Keto: A Woman’s Guide. So sorry guys. There’s lots of other Keto calculators out there. But if you’re a lady listening to this, I would definitely recommend checking that out because it will set you straight. Calculating your macros with a tool like this versus ratios and percentages. this helps give you targets in goals to aim for that are suited for your unique body. OK, it’s not a nutritional therapy protocol that doesn’t actually apply to you or is taken completely out of context. All right. That is what most people gaining weight on Keto are doing. They’re taking a nutritional protocol completely out of context and then trying to make it work for them and expecting to lose weight, which usually does not happen.

OK. If you’re just eating massive amounts of fat thinking, it’s making you skinny. You’re you’re not going to be very happy. OK, so that’s step one. Figure out how much you actually need to eat to support your weight loss efforts. And then step two: track and measure your food intake. And that’s going to help to make sure what you’re actually eating aligns with what you intend to eat, or what you think you’re eating. Because like I said last week, we are bad at estimating how much we’re eating and portion sizes. All of that kind of stuff is just not our forte. So make sure that you’re actually measuring mindfully and tracking what you eat. If you are trying to lose weight and struggling with weight gain on Keto. Step 3: watch the number on the scale go down. That’s that’s a pretty simplified version of it. I know it sounds like I’m oversimplifying it, but it really can’t be as simple as figuring out how much food you actually need and adjusting your intake accordingly.

Now, if you’re hearing this and you’re like, “Nope, no, that’s not me at all. That’s not what happened. I was doing Keto, going along just fine. Then bam! My weight jumped up rapidly. I had a really sudden weight gain on Keto and it’s not from fat bombs or bulletproof coffee. It just happened straight out of nowhere.” What’s likely going on in this scenario isn’t a rapid increase in fat storage, it’s likely water weight. OK, so water weight fluctuates all the time. No big surprise there for anyone, I’m sure, but on Keto a rapid rise like this could be from increasing your carb intake. OK, so let me explain. As you restrict carbs, you burn through all the stored carbs in your body. You use up all your glycogen stores and during that process, your body dumps water. You lose a good chunk of weight when you’re first getting into ketosis as a result. Right. One gram of glycogen has at least 3 grams of water that accompany it. So as you deplete glycogen, the stored carbs in your body, you also lose some weight due to the water leaving as well. But the opposite is true as well. As you replenish your glycogen stores, at least 3 grams of water accompany each gram of glycogen.

So if you eat higher amounts of carbs than your body requires for Keto levels, whether it’s intentional or unintentional, you could just be retaining that water in your glycogen stores. So it’s no big deal and honestly it’s a totally natural fluctuation in your weight, but it can be a little shocking if you’re not expecting it. This is one of the reasons you’ll always hear people here say things like, “As soon as I stopped Keto, I immediately gained it all back.” When they really didn’t gain a bunch of fat back immediately. It’s just water weight coming in along with their glycogen storage. OK, so don’t get too excited. What you may want to do instead is investigate what type of food or drinks that may have caused this. Maybe you thought something was low in carbs when it wasn’t. Maybe you’re eating more carbs than you really thought you were. It’s not a problem. Just learn from it and move on. And once you deplete your glycogen stores again, this water weight will disappear right along with it. But it’s just water. And that number on the scale bouncing up and down doesn’t reflect the real progress you’ve already made. So no worries.

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the Ketogasm podcast. You are awesome. I really hope the show’s added value to your Keto journey. Making big changes to your eating habits can be a little tricky, but if you’re taking the time to listen and learn about Keto, you’re well on your way. You got this. Be sure to visit Ketogasm dot com for the show notes with full transcripts, references and resources to help you out, including a totally free course called Hello Keto. It’s helped over seventy five thousand people start Keto with confidence. I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye!

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Hello, friends! Welcome back to another week of the Ketogasm podcast, Easy Keto with Tasha! Today, we go head-to-head with one of our least favorite struggles, gaining weight on keto.

However, before we dive into the show, check out our new, exciting things happening in the Ketogasm world!

Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook

I’m so excited to share that my new book, Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook, is currently available for preorder and will be released on January 14, 2020! This book is a one-stop-shop; not only does it provide an in-depth guide to the keto diet, but it also includes a plethora of recipes designed specifically for keto! And it is entirely geared towards women! Check out what some of our readers are saying!

“This book has everything I’ve been looking for and more. I never fully understood the Keto diet until Tasha’s book. It’s not eating bacon and deep-frying in butter. It’s finding what works for your body. Macros can be so confusing. But Tasha breaks it down without all the nutritional jargon. It was easy to understand and all of the free resources she provided were beyond helpful. I finally know how to make Keto work for me. Thank you so much, Tasha, for making a book that everyone can enjoy.” -Nina

“I’m only about a third of the way through, but I have to give this book a five star review now. I’ve stumbled around and tried Keto before with some success, but this book explains everything and backs it all up with the research the author used. It’s also easy to read and you feel like the author is your cheerleader. This is going on my shelf along with The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living as my expert guides.” -T Wunder

Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook works for both beginners and established keto veterans. This guide is full of no-nonsense, science-backed evidence to help you tailor your diet specifically to your needs. If you are a woman (or have women in your life), be sure to pre-order your copy today! And don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon once your book arrives; I would love for you to share how this book has helped you!

Gaining Weight on Keto

While no one wants to hear it, gaining weight on keto can occur. Some people believe it’s completely impossible and ludicrous to even suggest! Unfortunately, it is 100% a real possibility. However, just because it can happen doesn’t mean it will. After today’s episode, you will know exactly what to do if you ever find yourself gaining weight on keto.

Weight Loss Stall vs. Gaining Weight

If you tuned in last week, you’ll remember that we discussed different reasons that your weight loss progress has come to a standstill. These factors can contribute to weight loss stall:

  • Not eating at a calorie deficit
  • Changes in body composition
  • Hormones out of whack
  • Food-related inflammation

These examples can also contribute to you gaining weight on keto. Your body composition could be improving as your lean body mass increases, causing the scale to show a higher number than expected. Your weight could be difficult to manage due to underlying hormonal or inflammatory issues. However, the most common cause of gaining weight on keto is a lack of a calorie deficit.

Energy Balance and Gaining Weight

Energy intake is balanced with energy expenditure. Where energy intake refers to the calories you consume, energy expenditure is the calories you burn. If you are gaining weight on keto, it is not unlikely that your energy intake is higher than your body’s actual energy needs. 

To put it simply: you are eating more calories than you are burning. In turn, these extra calories are going straight to storage. 

Keto Macros

Protein: 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram
Fat: 9 calories per gram

Macronutrients play a major part in maintaining energy balance. This is because macros provide our energy. While protein and carbs provide the same amount of energy per gram, fat is over double! 

There is nothing wrong with fat. Fat is a great thing; it is just extremely energy-dense. If you are consuming more than your body needs, it can lead to increased body fat. After all, the accumulated energy has to be stored somewhere if your body isn’t using it.

In order to target stored energy, your body has to be in a calorie deficit that your body is forced to tap into. To do this, utilize macros in a way that supports ketosis and the body composition changes you want to achieve. Eat an adequate amount of protein that supports your lean body mass. Keep your carbs low enough to support ketosis. Lower your fat intake to create a calorie deficit (or increase it to create an energy balance or calorie surplus). 

Traditional Keto Macros

Originally, the keto diet was designed as an anti-seizure therapy for epileptic, drug-resistant children. The goal was to elevate ketone production. However, ketones are not responsible for causing weight gain or weight loss; rather, they are the byproduct of fat-burning.

Traditional keto macro levels utilize percentages similar to 5% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 75% fat. The focus of these ratios is to keep ketone levels high, NOT to burn fat.

Fat Free-For-All

A lot of fat is consumed on keto. This is most likely due to the idea that calories don’t matter on keto or that someone should eat something purely because it is “keto” or that high fat is synonymous with keto. In turn, people end up force-feeding themselves extremely high-fat foods, which ultimately leads to gaining weight on keto.

It’s important to remember that fat can come from your diet or from your body. When your goal is weight loss, it is important to let some of that fat your body burns come from your body, not just your diet. 

The key to weight loss management is energy balance. If you are gaining weight on keto, make sure you are not participating in a fat free-for-all and forgetting to maintain this balance. It can be very easy to overwhelm your energy balance if your fat intake is too high. 

Bulletproof Coffee

If you’ve had any communication with the outside world recently, then you’ve heard about bulletproof coffee and it’s siblings, keto coffee and butter coffee. They are typically drinks with fat melted directly in them. While they are commonly marketed towards people on keto, they aren’t magic. What these drinks really are is extra dietary fat that suppresses the oxidation of your own fat tissue. 

This issue occurs with a lot of keto recipes as well. While certain foods or recipes are technically considered keto because they are low carb, they won’t necessarily support your fat loss goals. Even keto foods can be stored as body fat if you’re consuming too much of them.

Instead of expecting high-fat food to be a magic weight-loss tool, focus on consuming high-quality foods and maximize the nutrient density of the ingredients you’re using.

How to Stop Gaining Weight on Keto

If you find that you’re gaining weight on keto, focus first on how much food you actually need to be eating. This will determine your body’s energy needs. You’ll also want to determine your lean body mass; this will ensure that you get an adequate amount of protein to support your muscles. 

If you are a woman, I’ve created a Macro Calculator specifically for women. I highly recommend using this to determine your actual energy needs versus relying on traditional keto macro ratios. The customization will help you determine goals that relate to your body specifically.

If you’re eating at a calorie surplus, stopping the weight gain can as easy as three steps!

One: Determine how much you need to eat to support your weight loss goals
Two: Track and measure your food intake
Three: Watch the number on the scale go down

Yes, creating an energy balance and stopping weight gain really can be as simple as that!

Sudden Weight Gain on Keto

You’ve got your fat intake in check, so what gives? You may find yourself rapidly gaining weight on keto despite being aware of what you eat. Most likely, this rapid increase in weight is not an increase in body fat. Instead, it is most likely water weight. This could be due to increasing your carbohydrate intake.

As you restrict carbs, you burn through the stored carbs in your body. You use up your glycogen stores during this process, and your body dumps water. One gram of glycogen has at least 3 grams of water that accompany it. 

When you deplete the glycogen, you lose some water weight as well. When you increase the glycogen, you also retain the water that accompanies it. If you consume higher carbs than your body requires for keto, you very well could be retaining water in your glycogen stores. This would cause an apparent weight gain, despite it just being water weight. Dropping your carb intake will also drop this water weight.

Resources

Keto Plateau & Weight Loss Stall [EP6]
Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook
What Are Macros?
Keto Calculator: Macros for Keto Women

Timestamp

Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook
3:39 – Gaining Weight on Keto
5:19 – Weight Loss Stall
6:12 – Gaining Weight on Keto
6:34 – Energy Balance and Gaining Weight
7:12 – Keto Macros
8:06 – Traditional Keto Macros
10:31 – Fat Free-For-All
13:21 – Bulletproof Coffee
14:48 – How to Stop Gaining Weight on Keto
17:13 – Sudden Weight Gain on Keto

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