Wondering if you were to fall off the keto bandwagon? It may be surprising news to you – it is possible to have an occasional cheat day while on the keto diet – and still work your way to losing weight.
That said, cheating regularly to the point of a habit can put a dent in your progress, and worse, you could end up ruining your hard-earned ground.
Users of the ketogenic diet experienced rapid weight loss of up to 10lbs over two weeks.
These or many other keto stats prove the efficiency of this diet, but can we have some cheat days when you’re on this?
A cheat day on Keto is inevitable
Keto is a low-carb diet, while simultaneously advocating for a higher fat intake. It is probable to cheat on your ongoing keto diet. Why? Because since birth, you’ve been wired to lash at carb-rich foods at the first signs of hunger.
The good news is, that cheating occasionally if you are on a weight-loss regime, will not impede your progress too much, even though, it will temporarily throw you out of ketosis.
Presuming your major goal is weight loss, side-stepping from your keto diet will de-activate ketosis. However, doing so will not hamper your progress too much.
So if you occasionally go for that sweetened dessert or your favorite high-carb meal, there is no need to fret.
What happens when you cheat on a keto diet?
While cheating on a keto diet, you may wonder how your metabolism and body’s functioning are affected. Let’s explore what really happens inside your body when you consume extra carbs on a ketogenic diet cheat day:
1. With the influx of quick energy, you will experience a blood sugar hike. This will make your body go back to using glucose as the primary fuel until they are expended.
2. The production of ketones will halt.
3. Additional sugars will likely use up the glycogen stores, causing a temporary water-weight increase.
How to reset from cheat meals
Upon side-stepping from keto, you’ll have to strictly adhere to the diet to re-enter keto, and the whole process will take from a few days to a week, factoring in your carb consumption, physical activity, and metabolism.
Here are some strategies and dietary changes which can aid you in re-activating ketosis.
• Intermittent fasting to the rescue. Intermittent fasting along with the keto diet can help your body to use fuel from fats rather than carbohydrates.
• Take note of your carb consumption. Journal your daily carb consumption to make sure you don’t undervalue carb consumption.
• Fat-fasting: A fat-fast is a short-term, low-calorie diet that mimics the effects of fasting by engaging your body in ketosis.
• More exercise. Physical activity can actually diminish your glycogen reserves, the body’s primary energy storage. The resulting effect is the return of ketosis.
• Cheat once in a while. Cheat days aren’t or shouldn’t be a daily occurrence. If you can space them smartly, the less likely it is you’ll develop a habit.
• MCT supplements. MCTs, scientifically known as medium-chain triglyceride supplements, are easily absorbed fatty acids which are converted into ketones.
• Cheat before exercise. While on keto, it’s obviously best to not cheat. But if you just had to, better do it before your exercise sessions. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity, helping you get back on the keto track faster.
Measuring your body’s ketone levels
Practically, the most effective way to figure out if you have attained ketosis is to measure your blood- ketone markers.
There are many devices designed to check your body’s ketone levels such as blood ketone meters. You also have the option of urine strips and ketone-breath meters.
Of all of those, the ketone urine strip tends to be the most economical and effective choice.
Tips to refrain from keto-cheating
The urges to decoy keto diet can be strong, simply because we are so wired to survive on carbohydrates. However, some tips will help.
• Practice being mindful. Mindfulness helps brings awareness and control, which helps with your food cravings and impulses.
• Meal and snacks plan. A well-oiled dietary plan helps with more focus while reducing hunger pangs.
• Relishing your diet. Nothing compares to bringing your full awareness to your meals while enjoying your diet to the fullest.
• Ward the temptations away. Temptations can be evil. We are wired to go for the high-carb meals. Keeping away from your favorite high-carb meals can help those urges remain at bay.
• Look for accountability: Knowing that someone (a friend or a health specialist) checks on your progress and makes you feel accountable, can keep you remain focused on your goals.
Cheat days, for some people, can help them increase their motivation levels to stick to the keto diet. However, for others struggling with emotional binges or disordered eating tendencies, could have an otherwise negative effect.
The strategies, tips, and tricks mentioned in this article will surely help but will be more effective if you add self-control and mindfulness to your mental reserves.