What to do after a low-carb diet? Visit IIFYM and get your answer! - IIFYM

What is the best way to start IIFYM after a low carb diet?


Switching from a low-carb diet or keto to flexible dieting can be a bit tricky. Not due to IIFYM mind you, but due to the fact that when eating such a low-carb diet, your body has been trained to perform a certain way.

Once you start adding carbs back into your diet, your body might love it, or hate the change. It really depends on how long you were in depriving your body of glycogen for. If you we eating low carb or keto for a few months, your transition into flexible dieting will probably be a cake walk. All you’d have to do is slowly increase carbs over a period of 3-6 weeks until you get to your daily allotment.

If you were doing keto or Atkins for a year or more, you might run into a bit of glycogen rebound (don’t research that term, I just made it up – basically just added weight from sodium, water, glycogen and fat depending on how hard you go with your carb orgy).

Simplest Approach Moving Forward

The best action most people can take is to ease back into a regular diet that includes all three macronutrients. Moving into it slowly, and following a structured program will help keep you focused so you don’t pig out on everything you were craving while you were eating such low carbs.

Simply put, The best way to come off of a low-carb diet or low-calorie diet it to reverse out of it.

Before I go any further I want to be clear, that I am not talking about any of the popular reverse diets that are designed to rebuild your metabolism. I am simply talking about introducing carbs back into your diet in a slow and methodical fashion that will ensure a smooth and body fat-free transition.

Let me also say that the best way to reverse out of any kind of diet is with the help of an experience nutrition coach.  Click here to see our IIFYM Coaching programs.

Where To Start Your Journey Post Low-Carb

If you have decided to go it alone, and not use a coach to guide you out of your low-carb madness you will want to start by visiting our IIFYM macro calculator.

When you first input your numbers into our IIFYM Calculator, you will be given a specific amount of carbs to eat. Many people that have been on a low-carb diet usually (not always) have developed some sort of fear of carbs. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

Even elite level bodybuilders develop this phobia over time. Luckily there are great contest prep coaches out there that are doing an awesome job helping athletes and general population dieters come out of these low carb nightmares and restore their metabolism.

Following a simple program like this, rather than pigging out on every single carb source you set your eyes on, will ensure that you transition smoothly into IIFYM with as little unwanted body fat gain as possible.

Most people want to jump right into the new macros that the IIFYM Calculator gives them but they forget that those numbers are what a person with a healthy metabolic capacity should be eating.

If you have been low carb dieting for a good amount of time, you will certainly gain weight (water and glycogen mostly, with some fat and hopefully a little muscle), which is when most people get discouraged, quit, and then claim that IIFYM does not work.

The issue, however, is not with IIFYM, it is with their metabolism, but more importantly, the speed at which they jumped into the new macros, and in many cases, simply because they were counting macros incorrectly.




If you go it alone, you will have to follow some sort of cookie cutter plan, and modify it as you progress.  Basically, stay low, and slowly increase carbs over a 4-8 week period. If you were following a true ketogenic diet, your fats should have been very high. While reverse dieting your fats will need to come down, while your carbs will increase slowly.

A cookie cutter program for someone transitioning out of keto, into IIFYM might look something like this if they are trying to eat at caloric maintenance levels (TDEE):

Week 1

  • Protein – Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs – Hit 60% of the carbs our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Fat – Multiply the fat our Macor Calculator gives you by 1.25

Week 2

  • Protein – Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs – Hit 70% of the carbs our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Fat – Multiply the fat our Macor Calculator gives you by 1.25

Week 3

  • Protein – Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs – Hit 80% of the carbs our calculator gives you
  • Fat – Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you

Week 4

  • Protein – Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs – Hit 90% of the carbs our calculator gives you
  • Fat – Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you

Once you have completed these 4 weeks you can eat the exact number of macros our macro calculator gives you, or if you wish to be prudent, you can keep increasing them slowly.

If you were not on a ketogenic diet, and simply just eating very low carbs (the difference being the amount of fat you eat for energy while in ketosis) then you could simply follow the above cookie cutter program without adjusting your fats at all. Hit your protein and fat, and slowly bring carbs up over a 4-6 week period.

Again, this is a cookie cutter plan, rudimentary program. It is basic, shrewd, limited and ugly, but it is a solid start if you are the kind of person that needs a bit of guidance before you jump in IIFYM without a coach.

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  • nothanks

    Wow, I don’t like how much you’re trying to guilt trip me into getting a coach.

  • I started the Slow Carb Diet 4 days ago and I’ve already lost 2kg, I’m looking at starting the IIFYM after 8 weeks, so thanks for all of the info it’s much appreciated!

  • Steve

    Very great article but one suggestion. Please use spell check before posting these. The content is great but seeing spelling errors everywhere reduces the credibility…even subconsciously.

  • Mak

    Can I start iifym with doing low carbs DITE ?

  • Mak

    Without doing *

    • Hi Ken There are many differing onoiipns on various diets, and it’s always a hot topic for debate. I am eating healthier than I ever have in my life (especially more greens!) and feel FABULOUS. Not to mention I’m no longer dealing with the health issues of being overweight and eating badly. *cheers*

  • Kerks

    Is there a recommended source as to where I get my carbs from? For example, would it be preferred that I choose brown rice over white?

  • Nicole

    I feel like this describes my situation well. I had pretty restrictive eating plans and then jumped into IIFYM too quickly. Gained about five pounds. I started to doubt the system, but I understand the fault. My question is, where do I go from here? If I skipped the “adjustment period”, and continue with my current macros will I continue to gain or will my body eventually adjust? Do I need to drop my carb intakes back down then slowly increase from the beginning again?


    • Milly

      I’m in the same situation as yours. I too was in a restrictive eating plan, more like a cookie cutter plan. After my Bikini competiton I felt lost and ate everything insight. Never did reverse diet as I had no idea of IIFYM. now 20 pounds later i have no idea what to do.

  • chris

    Can someone help me out here, is this page describing a transition into bulking/maintenance level carbs? Or is it still focusing on fat loss just with more carbs?

  • Jeanice

    when reverse dieting do you still refeed?

  • Kelly

    What if I’m in a “Glycogen Rebound” right now:(? I unfortunately didn’t have this article when I stopped my extreme low carb diet. Now they’re all I crave and I binge a lot, so yeah I’ve gains all my weight back and a bit more (althought there’s quite a bit of muscle). Any tips for self control or what I should do?? It would mean a lot.

  • Laura Yeates

    I have only been doing Atkins for a month. Will it be hard for me to transition over to IIFYM?

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  • Jack

    Hi everyone,

    I dont quite understand this:
    Say I was on keto for 2000 calories. Dropped weight till 165lbs. So do I choose the maintenance calories option.

    For protein…there are a few options avaliable there’s 0.7 , 0.8 , 0.9 per pound of body weight. Which one do I choose?

    Also for the 1.5 of fats, I just type the 1.5 into “custom”?

    Week one
    Protein – Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you
    Fat – Multiply the fat our Macro Calculator gives you by 1.5
    Carbs – Hit 60% of the carbs our Macro Calculator gives you

    Can someone please explain?

    Many Thanks

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  • Angela

    Does it make sense for me to have gained about 12 pounds in three months going from a year and a half of ketosis to a high carb vegan diet??
    (i made the transition over night and basically ballooned)

    • Hi Angela,
      Since you went from a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs to one that is high in carbs, it makes a lot of sense to me. Were you vegetarian on your ketosis diet?

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  • Marlene Spiteri

    I have been doing low carb for 9 months now but I am interested in IIFYM as I want to add carbs in my diet to vary my meals.However I introduced them slowly as I was happy low carb.

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