Cheating on the ketogenic diet happens to everyone, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in big ways. It's not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your keto adventure. However, it has an effect on ketosis.
How Long Does It Take to Get Back into Ketosis if I Cheat on Keto?
Did You Cheat on Your Keto Diet?
Use the situation as a learning experience; test your ketone levels the next day with a ketone meter to see if you really have been kicked out of ketosis.
Okay. It’s Official. You’ve Been Kicked Out of Ketosis. How Long Will it Take to Get Back into Ketosis?
If you discover that your cheat did knock you out of ketosis, there is no way to estimate how long it would take you to recover. It depends on what and how much you ate, how adaptable your body is to the keto diet, how long you went off your low-carb meal plan, and your own unique body's sensitivities; every body is different and has varied reactions.
However, if you've been in ketosis for four weeks or more before your cheat meal, you got into ketosis easily when you initially started, you're regularly exercising, you didn't overdo it with your cheat, and you start intermittent fasting, you're more likely to return to ketosis soon.
Step 1: Stay strong
Consuming carbohydrates and sweets may cause desires for more. This vicious cycle of eating carbs, needing carbs, and then eating more carbs to fulfill your appetite has perpetuated obesity and left many of us sick, or at least not in optimal condition to begin with.
As you begin your attempts to get back into receiving energy from blood ketones, resist any cravings for carbohydrates, and don't be shocked if you experience any reentry side effects, or more particularly "keto flu" symptoms.
Remember that cravings and flu symptoms will pass if you stick to your plan, and your energy and mental clarity will return.
Step 2: Strictly follow the keto diet
It should go without saying that the best approach to return to ketosis is to closely adhere to a keto diet.
Dietary fluctuations will not benefit you. Any nutritionist, dietitian, or keto veteran will tell you that the key is to meal prep and then track your macronutrients (especially your net carbs) with a macro calculator; this way, you'll be able to ensure that your body burns body fat for fuel, your blood sugar levels drop, and you return to ketosis.
Also, arrange your meals so that you receive enough calories and aren't hungry and tempted to eat anything carb-heavy for satisfaction.
Step 3: Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting, or following a rotating schedule of fasting and eating, can help kickstart ketosis.
There are all kinds of fasts, from one day fasts to 24-hour fasts to fasts that last a week or more. But intermittent, or eat-stop-eat plans, create fasting windows. Some of the more popular intermittent fasting methods/schedules are the following:
- 16:8 (16 hours fasting per day followed by eating within an eight hour window)
- 14:10 (14 hours fasting per day followed by eating over a ten hour time frame)
- OMAD (one meal a day)
- 5:2 (eating 5 days per week, then conducting a partial fast for 2 days)
With each of these diet-plan options, you are still allowed to drink black tea, black coffee, and water during the fasting state. This helps to keep you hydrated and, in some cases, wards off hunger.
If You’re Reading This Because You’re Thinking About Cheating on Your Keto Diet!
Maybe you haven't "cheated" yet. Perhaps you're considering it because a big event is approaching, there's a restaurant you've been wanting to visit that isn't keto-friendly, or you simply miss lasagna. So you're wondering how long it takes to go back into ketosis if you cheat. If this is the case, we'd be delighted to give you with some motivation to keep on track.
Tip 1: Cheating does a disservice to all your hard work
If you've been following a keto diet for a time, you've probably noticed that you're feeling more energetic, lighter, and mentally alert; these are just a few of the health advantages. A large cheat, even for one meal, can stop your weight loss, make you feel sluggish, produce substantial brain fog, and perhaps lead you to experience keto flu symptoms all over again if you're new to keto. The fact is that everyone makes mistakes now and again. Try to remember why you started eating keto in the first place and attempt to get back into that mentality.
Tip 2: You will gain weight
If you've already lost weight on the keto diet, you won't recover it all with one or two indiscretions, but you will feel water retention and extra body weight from bloating, as carbohydrates cause your body to return to its fat-storing habits. (Once you're back in ketosis, your water weight will return to normal.) If you want to lose weight, you must also maintain a calorie deficit, so make sure you do that as well.
Tip 3: There are great keto recipes for your favorite foods and more
While on a keto diet, you may become tired of eating the same meals or miss some of your favorite foods. Here's the thing: you don't have to cheat to solve it. There are more and more delicious recipes available that will provide you with the satisfaction and flavor you desire without the carbohydrates, pasta, or sweets. Successful keto dieters understand that the secret is to locate keto-friendly foods and dishes that also taste great!
Tip 4: Keto treats can fill the void
There are an increasing number of delicious keto snacks and desserts on the market that allow you to grab for a gratifying treat when you're craving something sweet. However, not all goods branded "low-carb" or "keto" are suitable for the keto high-fat diet; some include sugar replacements that can increase your blood sugar and/or knock you out of ketosis.
Read product labels to learn whether they contain acceptable and unacceptable sweeteners, test your blood glucose before and after eating a new item to see if it has any negative effects, and keep an eye out for the best sugar-free alternatives to ensure you're eating keto-friendly foods that help rather than hinder.
Because what you ate, how much you ate, how long you cheated, and how accustomed your body is to the keto diet all influence your recovery time, there's no way to forecast when you'll return to ketosis if you "cheat" on the keto diet.
However, you WILL return to fat-burning ketosis, so do yourself a favor: don't be too harsh on yourself, and start eating to your macros (plenty of healthy fats and keeping track of your calorie intake) and following a keto meal plan again. You'll be right back on track in no time, so keto on!
- MyMojo Macros Calculator, Keto Mojo