What Happens When You Eat Carbs on Keto?

You probably have started the infamous ketogenic diet thinking it’s going to be the best way to lose weight. And, you’re absolutely right, as complex carbohydrates and sugars are one of the main reasons behind excessive weight gain, and premature death. However, there are several severe complications your body may experience if you disobey the rules of keto.

If you take carbohydrates while on ketosis then that causes some side effects like headache, fatigue, diarrhea etc. A Keto diet includes 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbohydrate. So, you deprive your body of carbohydrates and configure it to use fats instead. And suddenly introducing it to carbs can cause the previously mentioned side effects.

But, there’s more to it than just that. What happens when you eat carbs on keto, would differ based on how long you’ve been following this diet, your age and other small aspects. So, keep reading to know more about the effects of cabs on a body on keto.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Carbs?

First and foremost, let's focus on what happens to you and your body when you abruptly stop carbohydrate intake. Every food you eat, has a specific role in your health. Carbs may sound dangerous to you, but these are the main sources from where your body gets the energy to work. So, cutting off carbs will make you groggy and irritated as your body will strike against you.

Apart from this, carbs work as fuel for the nervous system, heart muscles, kidneys and brain. So, as you can guess, it plays a vital role for keeping your internal organs working smoothly. It also stores the energy that you might need for later use. Once you stop eating carbs, the first thing you’d face is keto flu. The symptoms are headache, nausea, and brain fog.

After a while when your body learns to use fats instead of carbs that’s when you start slimming and your body stops storing excess fat in your body.

Does Adding Carbs Back into Your Diet Make You Sick?

If you are following keto for a long time, then yes, adding carbs back into your diet will make you sick. It depends on how much carb you are talking about actually. For example, if you have been on a low carb diet or no carb diet for a few months, then in most cases, any sugary dessert will make you feel very sick, with tummy aches and fatigue. You can even end up vomiting.

The reason behind this is, low carb diets force your body to adapt to changes for creating a new metabolic system, known as ketosis. It ends up creating sensitivity to certain kinds of food for you (mostly carbs and sugar), that didn’t cause any problem before. Hence after a certain point, your body would not take the alienated food element normally anymore.

To avoid this situation, you can gradually add carbs back into your diet, for your body to accept it with time. Throw in a little bit of brown rice, half a tortilla, or other carbohydrates into your normal keto meals for balancing it out. Disclaimer: only add 20-50 grams of carbs, and not anything more than that.

How Much Carbs Can You Eat While on A Keto Diet?

As mentioned previously, the keto diet consists of 5% carbohydrates. It is considerably low for a lot of people with health issues, but a good amount for losing weight. As you know a healthy person’s daily intake of calories is 2000, so 5% carb of that amount is 100 calories. Another measurement that might be easier to remember is, the daily intake of carbs should be 50-70g.

However, based on gender and age, a middle-aged woman can have 40-55 grams of carbs every day, whereas men can have 50-65 grams. Different keto diet processes also differ in the amounts of carb intake for people. For example- the High Protein Keto Diet includes 5% carbs and the Cyclic Keto Diet offers 2 days of high carb and 5 days of low carb meals.

Can You Have A Cheat Day on Keto Diet?

If your goal is to lose weight with a keto diet, then one cheat day every week would not harm your process. Although, it will destroy your ketosis metabolism, which should not be a problem. So yes, you can cheat on keto, but you’d also have to remember, this is not your license to eat whatever you want. You would still have to maintain a healthy portion of carbohydrates.

However, if you are a patient of type 2 diabetes, you might want to reconsider your cheat days. Because, it can increase your chances for heart disease and other kidney problems. As your body does not produce sugar on its own, the sugar from carbs will raise your glucose level, making it use more calories than needed. So, you’d end up with fatigue and low blood sugar.

Hence, eating the right amount of carbs on cheat days is the key to staying on your plans with keto diet. A word of advice- stop thinking carbs will make you fat or bloated because it won’t. Eating more than what your body needs will create excess fat eventually. So, as long as you can maintain a healthy amount of carbs, and do regular exercises, you are good to go!

How Many Carbs Do You Need to Kick Out Ketosis?

If you have consulted with doctors or dietitians, then you probably know that they suggest you stick to a measured amount of carbs every day. It is done to make your body adapt to a regular change, rather than being inconsistent. The ideal amount of carbs to build a ketosis system is 5-25 grams of carbs, depending on which process you are following.

Kicking ketosis out of your system can be a bit difficult after a certain time. Because by the time you want to break it, your body would be already habituated to a certain amount of carbs on a daily basis. As a result, you can’t eat more carbs on the first day if you want to break your cycle. You would have to gradually add a small amount, and see how you feel about it.

Suppose, while on keto, your daily intake was 25 grams carbs. So, your goal would be to gradually increase this to 60 grams. Be patient, as it would need time for your body to adjust. Once you see, you can eat more carbs than your usual amount; you can also look for the signs listed below. Facing more than 2 of these will mean your ketosis metabolism chain is breaking –

  • You will be craving more carbs than usual
  • Sleep deprivation, or night sweats
  • Fatigues, headaches
  • Bloating and digestive issues
  • Less energy than before


Keto diet can be great for people who have health issues, like diabetes, high cholesterol, or just for people who want to lose some extra weight. Keto will surely make you slimmer quickly, but it will also make you more sensitive to a lot of your favorite food, and processes.

So, if you still want to follow keto, then my suggestion would be to eat more protein, so your body gets the energy you are depriving it of. Thank you for reading and staying with us. I hope you found the answers to what happens when you eat carbs on keto and more. Take care and be careful with whatever diet you choose for yourself!


Tab Winner

We are fun loving family that lives on a small farm and tries to be healthy. We are not fitness fanatics we are just trying to keep things simple especially with how busy our lives are. We have a few horses, a few dogs, and a young daughter along with a big extended family. Follow us on our journey. I hope you enjoy the website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Please check back for updates!

Recent Posts