T Nation

Mixed Reviews - Clean Bulk After Keto?


Alrighty, here’s the straight poop. I’ve been on the keto diet since January and I’ve seen amazing results. But I want to prepare my way for my next journey and that’s clean bulking/adding muscle. The problem is i’m not getting a clear idea on what to do. Does anyone have a link or direct me in the right direction? I’ve heard the following, eat as much carbs that are clean and lift heavy, 50-30-10 on macros, then someone says macros don’t matter and to just meet protein and fat macros and the rest is carbs(over eat carbs). With Keto and fat loss it was simple; Eat 60 healthy fats-30 protein and little carbs and I was provided a list. I followed that to a key and it worked. Is there something similar for clean bulking?


One option: keep doing what youre doing but just add big carb refeed meal(or cheat meal even) once a week


Slow and steady coming out. Your body could rebound and turn the carbs to fat.

I’ll be ending my cut on June 1, with changing my macros from 70F, 25P, 5C to 50F, 40P, 10C. Then adjust bi-weekly, or so, to 20F, 40P, 40C.


As a FFB, IMO if you were once fat then you have to be carb-mindful long term. Going from keto to a traditional full-blown BB diet could be a dietary disaster. As previous posters have mentioned, either a cycling approach or gradual macro readjustment are valid tactics. I personally prefer to cycle as I find carbs moderately addictive so that method suits my personal circumstances and keeps me more compliant. Cycling for me means carbs once to twice weekly max, i.e. one medium day and one high day, with rest being keto style days. It’s worth pointing out, too, that the more active you are the more carbs you should consume. Low carb diets are poor when you are training 5-6 days a week and/or are active outside the gym.


Hi there.

My opinion is that I wouldnt go straight into a BB style macro split that is heavy in carbs straight out of keto. I’ve been on keto diets and have had more favourable results gradually bumping up my carbs rather than going all in from day one. I was previously a fat guy so have learned to be cautious with my carb intake as going back to a more ‘normal’ level of carb consumption after minimal carb intake lead to rapid fat gain.

I have successfully managed to come off a keto diet and remain lean. Initially I kept my calorie intake consistent but replaced some fat calories with carb calories. I dropped 200 calories of fat from my post workout meal and added 200 calories of starchy carbs. I stayed like that for a few weeks and monitored my progress. I didn’t gain fat so I removed all added fats from my post workout meal and replaced them with starchy carbs and again stayed like that for a few weeks and monitored progress. Again I didn’t gain fat but I had a noticible increase in my energy levels. I was waking up in the morning feeling far more energetic than when I was consuming minimal carbs. I was still avoiding starchy carbs for all meals except the post workout one so I then used the same approach for my pre workout meal.

I’ve never really gone for a get huge style bulk but I have noticed decent increases in lean mass by adding a couple of hundred extra calories of carbs to my post workout meal every 1-2 weeks for an 8 week period. Might be worth a try?

I know everyone is different but personally I think going from keto to high carb overnight isn’t a good approach. In fact I’d go as far as saying that nobody who properly trains should ever do a keto diet.


I appreciate the replies, clobbasaurus, I just viewed a thread by you and you shared your journey. I felt like you described my life to a key! While we have some differences, I’m 30 yrs old and have an 18month old that I want as many years with him as I can. My body before I got started was very similar to yours with fat mainly around my chest and lower torso. I’m 5’11’ and currently 172 lbs.

i still have some fat to rid of, any reading material you suggest?


I’d definitely recommend reading the T-Nation fat loss articles. I’ve learnt from everything I’ve read. The John Berardi and Nate Miyaki articles were a good fit for me but you’ll find all sorts great resources on there. Ultimately you have to find what works for you but I made sure I got a good understanding of how much I eat every day and manipulated my calories slightly downwards. When that stopped working I added some more conditioning such as metabolic finishers to my workouts. Then when progress stalled again I lowered calories a bit more and then continued to flip between adding conditioning and lowering calories when progress halted.

Keep plugging away and you’ll get there.

I’m sure there are a lot of dudes in a similar situation to us. We learn what it’s like to have someone depend on us completely and we re-evaluate our priorities.

Good luck


I’m 5’9". Back in 2011 I was 32% body fat, 208 lbs. Used keto to get to 174 and 19% body fat (DEXA tested and bod pod confirmed).

Coming out of keto I went paleo but super careful with carbs for the first two months, followed by ramping up carbs. I kept a favorable body comp and weight for 3 years with paleo and 1 cheat day/week (usually pizza).

Then hit the gym 3 years ago and now can eat All Of It. I’m now 213 lbs and 16% body fat (water displacement tested). Heavy powerlifting training now allows me to pretty much eat anything.

As stated already, introduce carbs slowly during this phase.