Easing Into Keto V.S. Cold Turkey: A Doctor’s Opinion

It’s a very exciting time when you decide to take on a new diet and start something healthier that is as different as the Keto diet. And that’s the main point of our discussion today; how different Keto is from other traditional diets, and how that can determine the best way to get into it.

The answer is, like always: it depends. That’s why I’m not going to say that, and, instead, give you an actual answer.

When deciding if you want to ease into Keto or go cold turkey, ask yourself these three questions: how bad has your diet been, how dependent on sugar and high-glycemic-index foods are you and how long can you easily go without eating between your meals?

If that hasn’t given you the exact answer you were looking for, let’s dive into real scenarios and real numbers.

You’ve Already Done Keto Before

You’ll experience an easier, smoother, and faster transition than any other scenario on this list. And the closer your last Keto endeavor was and the longer you were on it, the easier it will be for you to get back into it.

Moreover, you know your ways around the diet, so you won’t be making the mistakes you made in the past, because, hopefully, you learned the lessons.

That’s why it’s very easy for you to jump back and go cold turkey. Whether you should do that or ease in depends on how quickly you want to start the diet. But there’s nothing holding you back from going in as quickly as you like.

I almost forgot, one more thing can determine how easy it is for you to get back into the diet: how bad you have been eating since you left keto. So consider that when deciding.

I polled a group of Keto dieters who go on keto on and off repeatedly about how they like to get into it, and 69.2% said they go in cold turkey.

You’re Coming From A Low-Carb Diet

You were doing things right! At least “more right” than 92% of the population. (I made that number up, by the way). The point is, that unlike the vast majority of people, your old diet did not include sugar, more sugar, and then some sugar on top of it.

This means your transition into keto should be a smooth one. And especially if your carb intake wasn’t mostly sugar and there are no signs of insulin resistance, you can go all in from the beginning, and chances are, you’ll get into ketosis rather quickly.

In fact, in a poll I ran for a group of people who do low carb and/or keto, 67.3% said they went cold turkey when leaping from low carb to Keto.

You’re Coming From A Healthy, Balanced, High-carb Diet

You have recently bought into the hormonal diet that focuses mostly on balancing your insulin and GH levels, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t living a good and healthy life before. However, now as you are coming into a diet that requires you to decrease your carb intake this much, it is not an easy decision to make.

Having insulin resistance and/or slow metabolism might push you towards the slow route. However, if you’re excited about the diet and wanna go right in, you should. Having a balanced diet is something most people fail to commit to. So just the fact you were having one says a lot about you.

If, on the other hand, you’re not in a hurry, and you just want to change things up and try the diet, you can ease your way into it slowly, cutting down the fruits and your carb-heavy meals, so that your body is gradually realizing that it has to shift gears.

I ran a poll for a keto group and asked just those coming in from a healthy, high-carb diet to answer. 46.9% of them said they chose to go all in from the start, while more than half of them decided to take their time.

You’re Coming From A Bad Nutritional Diet That Lasted For Years

You’re in for a treat! If you have been reading the previous scenarios sequentially, you might have guessed that people in this boat might have the longest transition phase. However, that is not always the case. And more importantly, people in this camp will experience the most drastic transformation in weight loss and all the other benefits of Keto that I constantly rave about on this blog.

But if we go back to how you should approach the diet, I recommend you ease into it. Here is why.

You might have insulin resistance and not know it, with a big reserve of glycogen, which means that the Keto flu phase might be longer for you. Going in slowly will be better in this case

I don’t want you to see how much different it is from your old diet and decide that you want out before you’re even in ketosis. So don’t push yourself, especially if you know you usually quit things easily.

Now, I also ran a poll directed at those who were on a bad diet prior to keto and 60.4% of them said they took their time and eased in.

Especially if you’re in this camp, I recommend you this article I wrote on how to make Keto easier for beginners. This can really change your perspective and ultimate outcome. It’s entitled 9 Reasons Keto Is Hard & 20 Tips To Make It Easier.

Nabeel Kallas

I'm a medical doctor with a lot of passion for Keto & Intermittent Fasting. They have completely changed my life and I am beyond honored to help you experience that same change. I'm ready when you are. Read more here.

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