Cheat Days On Keto Diet

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Cheat Days On Keto Diet – How To Get Back On Track – Will A Cheat Day Ruin My Keto Diet Progress?

A diet that causes physical or emotional deprivation cannot be considered healthy. Therefore, if youre experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime moment, such as eating Italian pizza in Rome or eating a slice of cake at your grandmothers 90th birthday, then its your choice as to whether you want to deviate from strict keto.

Ideally, following keto will help you to eat intuitively, knowing when you want to treat yourself and when you want to stick to green veggies, protein, and healthy fats. When faced with an opportunity to deviate from your keto meal plan, no matter what the occasion, hopefully you take the time to pause, assess the situation, and ask yourself if that particular food is worth it.

A slice of homemade apple pie from your grandmother? That might be worth it. A store-bought candy bar over your lunch hour? Maybe not.

Keto Cheat Meals: Takeaway

We dont think cheat meals on the keto diet are a good idea. In fact, if you find yourself needing to cheat on your diet because of restriction, desires to indulge, cravings, or your lifestyle, then the keto diet probably isnt right for you in the first place. While consuming cheat meals on keto can kick you out of ketosis and it can take up to a week or two to get back into ketosis while probably experiencing the keto flu, you might want to consider if that journey back in is worth one cheat meal.

Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Before A Cheat Meal On Keto

Our ancestors have known the health benefits of apple cider vinegar for centuries.

Diluted apple cider vinegar has a history as a weight loss drink. Because of its antimicrobial properties, vinegar was also used to clean wounds in times before antibiotics.

Today, sushi chefs add vinegar to their rice, or people put it on potato chips and french fries. Such addition of vinegar to carbohydrate is smart.

Apple cider vinegar on keto does not alter the carbohydrates consumed but has a protective effect on the induced insulin response.

Japanese researchers showed that adding vinegar to white rice is lowering its glycemic index the relative rise in blood sugar levels by almost 40 percent .

Moreover, another study suggests that taking two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with cheat meals high in carbohydrates lowers blood sugar and insulin levels by 34 percent.

Additionally, consuming the acetic acid shortly before a meal turned out to be more effective than taking it hours in advance .

Making use of this trick is one of the most helpful things you can do to reduce the carbohydrate impact of your cheat meal or cheat day on keto.

You also cant go wrong with consuming more than two teaspoons of vinegar since scientists have shown that acetic acid increases satiety and lowers average caloric intake per day .

Pectin is a soluble fiber that has similar protective effects on your carbohydrate consumption as vinegar.

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What Are The Downsides Of Having A Cheat Day

When you do have a keto weight-reduction plan cheat day, or perhaps a cheat meal on keto thats means too excessive in carbs, you may count on a number of downsides so proceed on a keto cheat day with warning.

For starters, youll resume signs of the keto flu. Whats that? Youll really feel fatigued, have mind fog, and chances are youll expertise nausea, extra thirst, bloating, and cravings for you guessed it sugar and carbs! Mainly, youll really feel icky very similar to the way you felt for the primary week or two when starting keto. Do you actually need to return into that once more?

Plus, sadly, the notorious keto flu may take 1-4 days earlier than you get again into ketosis relying on how your physique works and what youre doing to hurry the method in getting again right into a ketosis state.

Whats extra, having a cheat day on keto may additionally overwhelm your physique with that inflow of carbs and sugars in a single sitting, and it may harm your coronary heart and blood vessels long-term, in response to analysis 1. So, take into account the large image too!

Go For Foods With Healthy Fats

Can You Have a Keto Cheat Day?

Using fat as the primary energy source is the underlying purpose of a ketogenic diet, which is helping you to lose weight, prevent diseases, and increase mitochondria health.

With this in mind, you want to get back into ketosis quickly. Therefore, fat intake will help your body to increase blood ketone levels faster.

With this intention, you might also want to check your blood ketone levels using urine test strips or a ketone monitoring device. Remember, eating keto is about providing 75 percent of energy by foods with healthy fats.

Additionally, fatty acids will support satiety and counteract sugar cravings induced by the high carbohydrate consumption and followed blood sugar crash .

With this in mind, boost your keto diet cheat day recovery with the following foods with healthy fats:


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Have Cheat Meals Not Cheat Days

If you are going to go off your diet, is way easier to stay on top of your overall nutrition and calories with cheat meals compared to entire keto cheat days. One large cheat meal can add 1,000 or more calories to your day, while a whole cheat day will add much more and potentially undo all of your hard work from the week.

What To Know Before Your Cheat Day On Keto

Exposing your metabolism to a carb binge has to be prepared correctly to call the project a success. But its

To make your life way easier you must clarify general questions about intention and timing first. Furthermore, there are actions you can already take before having a cheat meal to significantly reduce drawbacks.

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What Is The Keto Diet

First, it is essential that you know the science behind how the keto diet works. Once you see the clear relationship between the food you eat and the likeness of your body being in a state of ketosis, it will help you to further understand whether you can have a cheat day or not.

Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet. As a result, you essentially need to cut out all carbs from your diet, even the ones that seemed ok to eat on previous diets, such aswhite rice, pasta, bread, cereals, and potatoes. Unlike other low-carb diet variants, like the Atkins diet, the Keto diet has calorie restrictions and strictly advocates eating real food with no processed food or junk food allowed.

Several studies have illustrated that the keto diet is a proven way to not only lose weight but also limit your appetite, regulate your hormones, as well as aid in building muscle.

The ultimate goal of the keto diet is to put your body in a state of ketosis. As mentioned earlier, a state of ketosis is an experience where there is a change in the way that your body gets its energy source from. Typically, our body burns glycogen for energy. Instead of this, and in order to achieve a state of ketosis, the keto diet forces the body to use ketonesfor fuel – this is fat that your body is holding on to. By limiting your carb intake, your body burns through any stored fat for energy, instead of glucose.

Benefits Of Having A Cheat Meal

Will a Cheat-Day Ruin My Ketogenic Diet? – Keto Expert – Dr. Brett Osborn

Obviously, the big benefit would be to ease your mind that is constantly telling you to eat, eat, eat. If only it is for a moment.

It also helps you get back on the social scene, maybe go to a few dinners and some meetings without sitting there feeling awkward and kind of staring at everyones food.

It is also somewhat a healthy mechanism. On a strict diet, mentally vulnerable people fall into the risk of getting eating disorders. Having cheat meals assures you that you are not afraid of certain foods and certainly not carbs.

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Ok Finehow Do I Get Back Into Ketosis Then

Well, it depends who you ask. Some will tell you it’s important to immediately get back into your minimal-carb routine. Others say a cleanse or intermittent fasting is a good way to start over. Everyone agrees, though, that you should absolutely not feel guilty about having cheated. You are a human. You’re doing great and everything is fine.

Kickstart Ketosis With Fasting

Its my personal experience that a cheat meal can kick you out of ketosis and hence, the ability to burn fat for a vast amount of time.

So what you want to do is to reduce your insulin levels as fast as possible and start to increase your blood ketone levels again.

With this in mind, there is this simple and most effective method for cheat day recovery not eating for an extended amount of time.

Fasting after a cheat day on keto helps your body to recover from the consequences of high carbohydrate consumption.

To get the best results, I suggest to at least extend your intermittent fasting window to 24 hours. Therefore stick to plain green tea, coffee, and water for hydration.

If you already have been fat-adapted, this is how you get into ketosis in one day.

But I even prefer to stretch the time frame over 36 to 48 hours when possible, since you can reap the benefits of another eight hours of sleep. Hence, you can get back into deeper ketosis.

Additionally, the hunger hormone ghrelin will also decrease overnight, making it simple to get back onto a 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol at noon.

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Foods To Eat For Carbs Refeeding

Try to focus on lean carbs with minimal fat and starch content. Some of these foods are – rice, roti, potatoes, fruits, grains like oats. Avoid heavy carbs like fried foods, cakes, breads, and heavy foods made of refined grains and flours. These foods have high fat as well as starch content. We know how much you love your pizza and pasta and those yummy desserts. Try to avoid them as much as possible and go for better, healthy carbs instead.

So, if you’re on a low carb diet, you are better of observing a mindful carb refeeding day, than a cheat day. Consult your nutritionist for expert tips and advice on how to go about carb refeeding, in order to properly boost fat loss and metabolism.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

Count Calories And Carbs


Maybe keto brownies just arent cutting it for you, and you really do need a cheat day. One of the best things you can do to limit the adverse effects and potential weight gain is to continue to count carbs and remain at a caloric deficit.

Instead of going to town and eating everything you can get your hands on, try sticking to fewer than 150g of carbs, and ensure that you dont go overboard with calories. Weight loss is mostly a numbers game, so if you remain at a deficit, you should continue to trend downward in your weight.

Additionally, the more carbs you consume on your cheat day, the more likely your blood sugar will spike. Excess blood sugar will get stored as glycogen, and more glycogen means it will take you to return to ketosis afterward.

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Keto Cheat Day Once A Week

One of the most asked questions is: How often can I have a Cheat Day on Keto?

Certainly not once a week. Because that way, you can barely get into ketosis. Since a single cheat day may knock you out of ketosis for up to 3 days, you simply cant cheat once a week.

If we do the math, you end up not burning fat for energy half the week with a regular cheat day on keto. Of course, recovery time depends on how well your body is used to burn fat for energy.

So if you are fat-adapted, you can get back into ketosis more quickly after a cheat day. Therefore, I wouldnt recommend cheating if you are just starting.

Hence, the more you get used to the keto lifestyle, the more comfortable you can make an exception. Especially if you follow my tips on keto cheat recovery, you can even get back into ketosis in a matter of hours.

With this in mind, understanding that the ketogenic diet as a lifestyle to maximize many health benefits rather than another fad diet will help you to get results.

Nevertheless, I would just plan a keto cheat day once a quarter. And do it for an occasion youre looking forward to.

Eventually, if we are honest, you will be tempted more often than you would like to. Therefore, a planned keto cheat day once a week will set you up for failure.

Cheat With Less Sugar

Once adapted to low-carb eating, your tastes change especially your sensitivity to sugar. Sweet treats that used to taste just right will now taste too sweet. Take advantage of this natural improvement in your palates sensitivity. Go darker on the chocolate put less sugar in your yogurt.

Whatever it is, when it comes to sugar, less is more.

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Will Cheat Day Kick You Out Of Ketosis

Theres no beating around the bush. Yes, a cheat day will kick you out of ketosis.

Think about what happens when you replenish your glycogen stores as you eat carbohydrates. You could experience keto flu symptoms again headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, stomach discomfort, and decreased energy.

Heres what happens when you consume more carbs than you need on keto:

  • Glucose from your cheat meal builds up in your bloodstream and causes a blood sugar spike.
  • Excess glucose gets stored in your muscle and liver tissues.
  • Ketone levels drop which means that you are out of ketosis. .

Your body will continue to produce only a small amount of ketones unless you limit carbs to get back into ketosis.

In addition, its possible that cheating will cause you to crave carbs and sugar more than ever. This is something to ponder on. Is it really worth it?

Finally, be prepared to do the work of entering ketosis again. Remember that it will take about 2-4 days to a week to get into this metabolic state. You will probably need to incorporate a fast or be more active to induce ketosis sooner. Its good practice to check your ketone levels too.

Opt For A Small Indulgence

What Does a Cheat Day (Meal) Do To You On Keto?

Craving for sweets? Here are some comfort foods with less than 50 grams of total carbs that will satisfy you. Having one serving of the options below may keep you from sabotaging all your hard work:

  • 1 slice of a 14-inch pizza, regular crust 36g carbs
  • 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream 23g carbs
  • 1 slice of cheesecake 20g carbs
  • 1 small bagel 35g carbs
  • 1 piece of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa 13g carbs
  • 1 medium chocolate chip cookie 20g carbs

Important tip: If youre getting a treat at the grocery, always check the nutritional facts label!

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Disadvantages Ofhaving A Cheat Meal On Keto Diet

It starts craving

What is really, really awesome about the keto diet is that your body does not have hunger until your fat is completely gone. However, once you eat something with high carbs, your bodys digestive system starts up again and it, honestly, sucks. It will make the rest of your keto diet a lot harder, interrupt your bowel movements and make your fingers tingly and numb. Not worth it, to be honest.

It ends your ketosis

Although it is not certain that you will stop being in a state of ketosis, it is quite probable. If your cheat meal has fats, proteins etc., you will probably still be in ketosis by the end of it. However, if you eat more than about 15-50 grams of carbohydrates you are likely to stop being in a state of ketosis.

It will affect your hormones, big time

Basically, when you get into a state of ketosis, you entire chemical system adjusts to the changes in your digestive system. It helps in fat burning, reboots your system, and cleanses your body. Once you have a heavy cheat meal, these chemical signals get a little bit messed up. Your fat burning goes really down, and it may affect your metabolism quite negatively. Yes, it sucks.

Imbalance in your blood sugar levels

It may seem like a concern for your diabetic patients. However, glucose imbalance in your body can lead to many other bodily effects that will make you regret your cheat meal big time.

Your Keto flu might come back

How Can A Cheat Meal Help Me Lose Weight

Including a cheat day or a cheat meal in your meal planning might seem counterintuitive. After all, how can a diet work if you dont stick to it all the time? But the truth is, adding in a planned cheat day or cheat meal can help you in two ways: by giving you the mental power to stick with your meal plan most of the time, knowing that you have a treat to look forward to, and by tricking your bodys hormones to keep you in maximum weight loss mode.

The psychological aspect is probably easiest to understand. When you know that you have a small splurge planned every few days, you may have more mental power to make good choices for all of your other meals. If you feel constantly deprived, you may feel discouraged and more inclined to throw in the towel on your good intentions. A planned cheat meal or cheat day can get you through all the other strict days you need in order to lose weight.

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