Ok, So you cheated. It’s ok, don’t freak out. We all do it. It’s hard to stick to Keto 365 days out of the year unless you have been practicing Keto for an extremely long time or your health depends on it.
You are probably feeling crappy right now, bloated, may have a headache and have gained up to 5lbs (don’t worry, it’s all water.) This my friend, is the carb-hangover, and it sucks!
No worries, I made a list of my top tips on how to get back into Ketosis quickly.
After three years of practicing Keto I’ve learned some tips and tricks to getting back after a cheat:
1. ACCEPT THAT YOU CHEATED AND DON’T LET THE CHEATING GO ON.
What this means is don’t let your cheat day turn into a cheat week, or even, God forbid, a cheat month! You had a bad day, went to a party or it was a holiday and temptation got the best of you. It’s ok. Own it and move on.
Don’t have the mindset that you ruined it and you have to wait until the following Monday to start back up like you always do every time your diet. Keto does not work this way. You will do more harm the longer you continue to cheat.
I have a bad habit of this myself, anytime I cheat, the next day it is so easy to justify myself to cheat again and start again the following Monday.
It also has to do with the carb cravings that come after a cheat. Once your body gets all that glucose and burns it out, it wants more, and more, which leaves you craving carbs the next day.
It’s easy to resist those cravings when you are in nutritional Ketosis because they usually go away by themselves, another perk of Keto. However, once you cheat, the “Carb Monster” comes back and wants to eat all the carbs, all day.I’ve done it one too many times and I promise you, you will feel like death after.
This is probably my biggest issue when it comes to cheating. I don’t know how to not let a cheat day turn into days. The proceeding tips usually help with this.
2. DO A FAST
One of the quickest way to deplete your body of the glucose you just filled it with is by doing a fast. 24-hour water and coffee only fast are ideal, however, if you can’t go that long, any intermittent fast will still be beneficial.
What does that look like? You can do OMAD (one meal a day) or eat within an 8hr, 6hr or 4-hour eating window.
For example, I’ll do one 24-hr fast, then the days after that I will eat between 12pm-4pm or 12 pm – 6 pm
You don’t have to go crazy and fast for days and punish yourself for cheating.
Fasting is another tool in the toolbox to help your body focus on processing all that glucose it all got and not worry about dealing with the new food as well.
3. AVOID EATING DAIRY, NUTS AND ANYTHING CONTAINING SWEETENERS
Why this tip? Over the years I have discovered that those foods stall my weight loss drastically. Eating too much dairy or too many nuts may cause your body to become inflamed and hold on to water.
You may think that you gained 5-6lbs of fat, but it’s really water that your body is holding on to.
After a few days of cutting out these inflammatory foods, your body will let go of that water and that “weight” will be gone.
It only makes sense to omit them after a cheat if you are trying to get into Keto faster.
Don’t worry, you can bring them back in again after you are in Ketosis, but be careful not to overdo it.
This is also known as eating “Clean Keto” and after experiencing a weight loss stall on Keto, I switched to this way of eating and lost 15 lbs in one month. I was so surprised.
I decided to put together a meal plan based on the exact foods I ate to help anyone else who is struggling with getting into ketosis, wants to lose more weight or has hit a stall.
4. DO WEIGHT TRANING WORKOUTS
Weight Traning is one of the most effective ways to get rid of all the carbs and sugar you just ate.
After a cheat day, I do a 30 minute Demand Body Pump session and it helps burn the excess glucose I just consumed.
This by far, is the most effective way for me to get back into Ketosis after a cheat.
Another reason why this works for me is that if I just worked so hard to try to burn through all the carbs and sugar I ate the previous day, the last thing I want to do is load my body up with
5. FOLLOW 20 GRAMS OF TOTAL CARB REGIMEN FOR UP TO A WEEK.
So far, you have probably been counting net carbs (total carbs-fiber), but after you cheat, I encourage you to switch to counting just total carbs, don’t subtract the fiber and keep it under 20 grams a day.
Limiting your carb intake under 20 grams of total carbs will help you get back into Ketosis faster. After you are back in, you can go back to your old regimen.
Personally, I follow 20 grams of total carbs when I am doing Keto in general because it helps me to achieve optimal weight loss.
The point is, the fewer carbs you eat, the quicker your body will burn through the glucose and get you back into fat-burning mode.
6. TRACK AND MEASURE
To help you stick to the plan and know exactly how many carbs you are eating you will need to track your food for the next week or so if you don’t already do this.
I don’t track every day when I am consistent with Keto, but if I cheat, I become meticulous about tracking which helps me get back into fat burning mode quicker.
On the other hand, measuring your Ketones ensures that how you are eating is actually working.
Sure, there are ways to know you are in Ketosis without measuring your blood ketones, however, if you are newer to this way of eating it will be harder for you to know.
The only way to know 100% that you are in Ketosis is by testing your blood.
You don’t have to check each day. Once or twice a week until you are back into Ketosis is good enough. Then, just check occasionally to make sure you are still on the right track.
7. DRINK A LOT OF WATER AND TAKE ELECTROLYTES
I wouldn’t say this tip enables you to get back into Ketosis faster, however, it will save you from experiencing the Keto Flu all over again.
Not to mention, how are you going to want to work out or fast if you are going through all the symptoms of the Keto Flu?
You probably won’t, which will make this process even longer. After a cheat, I drink Ultima Replenish every day, fill up my water bottle at least 3 times a day and drink zip fizz before my workout to give me a boost of energy.
In conclusion, I want to say that you shouldn’t beat yourself up about having a cheat day. This probably isn’t your first, and it won’t be your last.
As long as you don’t make it a habit and follow the tips above after you do cheat you will not undo all the hard work you have put in on your Ketogenic Journey!
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