Is the Keto diet only for losing weight?

What if you need to gain or maintain weight? The emphasis seems to be on how much you can lose on it. Do you have to eat meat to be on a Keto diet? Can you be vegan, vegetarian, or eat only fish?
Thank you to anyone who answers. :)


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    I'd like to elaborate on this. From what I'm reading online this was created by an Italian man with the sole purpose of losing weight. If that is true is there any benefit to doing this if you need to gain weight or stay steady? I mean, it may not harm me but is there anything really healthy about it compared to other types of eating plans? For example the Mediterranean diet is based on studies that people living in that area are especially healthy. Paleo based on the premise that it's healthiest for humans in general.

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    You can certainly maintain / gain weight while doing keto. It's easy to lose weight (even accidentally) on keto because it tends to significantly reduce your appetite. But if you make sure to get enough calories, you can ensure weight gain or stability.

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    Would eating enough calories mean eating more food than on other diet types? Or would it just be the usual amount for a person based on their build/height/exercise amounts? Because It's hard for me already to get up to the amount of calories I need to maintain or gain weight. Does keto mean eating a lot more volume of food in general compared to any other diet?
    When people go on this diet to lose weight do they stay on this diet permanently after they reach their goals? Or is it just a means to an end? I am reading about it but it's hard as most focus is on how much weight people lose. So I'm still trying to understand if it's particularly healthy for the human body.

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    High-fat meals are quite filling, so you can easily end up eating too few calories because you're satiated so easily. If you make sure to get enough calories, you will not lose weight (assuming no other medical issues or complications!).

    People use the ketogenic diet for many different purposes. People with drug resistant epilepsy, brain tumours, and other medical conditions use it indefinitely. Others use it for short-term weight loss.

    I eat 'fat bombs' as a tasty high-calorie snack to get those extra calories. My favourite is simple:

    Melt 1 cup coconut oil, 1 cup butter, 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butters), add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and a bit of erythritol or other non-sugar sweetener. Mix well, pour into bottom 1/3rd of muffin tin cups, freeze until set. Remove and pop out and store in fridge or freezer. Delicious snack, and ~300 calories depending on how big you make them.

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    As @Aaron mentioned, keto diets have actually been around for a long time. Back when I was a dietetic student in 2008, we were using them at a camp for children with special needs to treat epilepsy. These were always challenging cases, as it was essential to maintain the child's growth and development on a keto diet. At the end of the day, as long as we were able to include sufficient calories, the child would grow according to plan. Liquids were an easy way to ensure that calorie needs were met.

    Regarding vegan keto, I've worked with a few people following this dietary pattern and it is certainly challenging, especially since these individuals are already following a more restricted diet.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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    Hi Butterfly, Yes you can easily fit fish into a keto program. To keep it healthy, focus away from farm raised and towards cold-water fish (striped bass, mackerel, salmon, shellfish).

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    I use the Ketogenic diet for Multiple Sclerosis and cancer possibility. Still being checked for lymphoma and Inflammatory Breast Cancer-having genetic testing soon. Since it was successfully used since back to the BCs for epilepsy (some of the medications that I took for MS gave me seizures, I stopped Disease. Modifying Drugs, steroids, still have occasional seizures), I stick to Keto anyway. Need the fat for your brain, but I have issues hitting any mark. I used to be 87 pounds, came up to a healthy 120, then...medications.
    I get your pain, though
    I can't lose, personally, very well even now that I'm on Thyroid medication, but maintaining or gaining weight, it's difficult to eat when you aren't hungry. It can even be nauseating, so fat bombs or high fat smoothie using avocados, coconut oil-careful if you add kale to those. It can actually cause issues eating too much of it raw while doing keto. Keto can be hard on your kidneys-so is too much raw kale.
    Good Luck!

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