I am currently trying to gain wheight. I am eating so much that i dont see a way not gaining wheight, so i thought, maybe my body isnt able to split up the fats i consume and my approach now is: can i go on a keto diet to force my body to learn using fats with the goal of gaining wheight? In general people use this diet to loose wheight so it seems paradoxical at first but is it possible that this can work?


The ketogenic diet is primarily known for being a tool for weight loss, but as with many dietary approaches, it can potentially be adapted for weight gain depending on one's nutritional needs and body's response. and various experts have touched upon adaptive strategies for different diets, including keto, in the .

For instance, the ketogenic diet induces a state of ketosis, which means the body is using fats as its primary source of energy. , a board-certified psychiatrist and Harvard professor, spoke about the ketogenic diet as a means to induce ketosis, and how it can be modified based on a person's weight and goals, including for gaining weight in an obese patient by restricting carbohydrates while not pushing fat intake 1 2.

It’s important to realize there are different strategies to approach the ketogenic diet based on a person's specific circumstances. If you’re trying to gain weight, you might need to ensure you’re in a caloric surplus even while on keto—consuming more calories than you expend. This means adequate protein intake to support muscle growth, and enough dietary fats which are keto-compliant to make up the additional needed calories.

The ketogenic diet might also have different effects short-term compared to long-term, and experimenting with diet shifts, such as transitioning from a ketogenic diet to a more omnivore diet, could potentially affect your body's adaptation to different macronutrients. You may experience fluctuations in how your body handles these changes as mentioned by and 3.

Food and Belief

Andrew explains how the belief about a food's nutritional value can affect the physiological response to it. He also talks about how pairing a disliked food with ketones can reinforce it through the dopamine pathway.

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Possible difficulties like transient insulin resistance when switching from a ketogenic to a carb-rich diet were mentioned by , which suggests that the body has to adjust to utilizing different nutrients effectively 3. The ketogenic diet can affect the body's natural hormone regulation and energy metabolism, as indicated by discussing hormone enhancements in the context of keto diets 4.

also highlights the importance of pairing dietary changes with appropriate medical advice, especially for people with mental disorders or those who take prescription medications, indicating a broader principle that substantial dietary changes should be made with professional guidance 5.

If you’re considering a ketogenic diet for weight gain, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare practitioner well-versed in keto diets and your personal health needs to develop a tailored plan, keeping an eye on body composition changes, and your overall health 2.

Make sure to monitor your progress closely and adjust your dietary choices based on your results, overall health, and well-being.


How to use keto diet for weight gain?


To use the ketogenic (keto) diet for weight gain, it’s important to understand how the diet typically works and how altering it might support your goals. has acknowledged that certain diets, including keto, can influence hormone levels such as thyroid hormones, which are relevant for metabolism 1. If you’re considering using a keto diet to gain weight, here are a few considerations based on what has been discussed in the context of the ketogenic diet:

  1. Caloric Surplus: Even though the keto diet limits carbohydrates, for weight gain, you would need to ensure a caloric surplus (consuming more energy than you burn). Include plenty of high-fat and moderate-protein foods that fit within the keto framework to increase your calorie intake.

  2. Gradual Increases: If you have been on a ketogenic diet and plan to introduce more carbohydrates for muscle gain or increased caloric intake, you should reintroduce them gradually to prevent rapid weight gain. This is due to the alteration in how your body might be handling insulin and glucose after being adapted to ketosis for a while 1.

  3. Thyroid Function: Carbohydrates can influence thyroid function, which affects metabolism. A healthy production of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 is supported by starchy carbohydrates. Being on a very low-carb diet might reduce these hormones and impact how your body metabolizes food when you reintroduce carbohydrates. It’s important to balance your diet in a way that supports healthy thyroid function, which might require a tailored approach if your aim is to gain weight on keto 1.

  4. Cyclic Keto Diet: Some individuals practice a cyclic approach to the keto diet, cycling between periods of strict keto and periods with higher carb intake (perhaps every three or four days or for one day a week). This approach can potentially help maintain metabolic flexibility and may be more conducive to gaining weight.

  5. Monitoring and Adjustments: Regularly track your progress to see how your body is responding to the diet. Adjust your nutrition and exercise regimen as needed to ensure healthy weight gain. This could include tweaking the fat-to-protein ratio, total caloric intake, or carb cycling strategies.

Remember that this information serves as a starting point. Each individual's response to diets and nutrients can vary greatly, so it's advised to consult with a healthcare professional or nutrition expert to get personalized advice, especially when attempting to gain weight in a non-traditional way like using a ketogenic diet. They can help you create a targeted plan that suits your body, goals, and overall health.

Carbohydrates and Thyroid

Andrew explains the relationship between carbohydrates, thyroid hormone levels, and the ketogenic diet. He highlights the importance of starchy carbohydrates in supporting the healthy production of T3 and T4 and suggests that bringing carbohydrates back into the diet gradually may prevent weight gain.

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