Sometimes humans are just filled with thoughts of amazing, delicious foods. And most of the time we indulge in it without any guilt by having the best part of any diet-cheat days. It is amazing how just a 24-hour day can be so wonderful.
However, one thing you might have noticed about the keto diet is that there are absolutely no cheat days mentioned on it. It doesn’t really bother you when you start your diet, what with all the excitement and the concept of losing insane amounts of weight. But when the realization that you actually have to do the entire thing, it really sucks to realize that.
Now even though, most low-carb diets have cheat days (like Atkins), one must always keep in mind that keto diet is designed to make you lose weight way faster and with more efficiency than most of them. So it seems fitting like it will not have cheat days, right?
What is Cheating?
Most of the diets consider cheating to be part of the diet itself, necessary to maintain the diet. However, because of keto diet’s basic strictness and also it’s different mechanism as well as fast results, a lot of keto dieters do not have cheat days.
Cheating basically refers to derailing off of your diet, to keep yourself from derailing off the path of sanity. It breaks you mundane as heck routine and allows you to eat what you want basically.
Disadvantages of Having A Cheat Meal on Keto Diet
- It starts craving
- It ends your ketosis
- It will affect your hormones, big time
- Imbalance in your blood sugar levels
- Your Keto flu might come back
Benefits of Having A Cheat Meal
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 everyone’s 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.
What to Eat on Your Cheat Meal (safely)
It may be tempting to go all out, once you have started eating. But in between eating5-50 grams of carbohydrates lies your effort. It all depends on how far your cheat days are.
If you indulge only once or a few times in a year, you can eat pizza, pasta, whatever you like. However, if your cheat days are closer, you will need to keep yourself within limits. Make sure you eat fewer carbohydrates and if you are craving sugar, eat frosting, which will ruin your progress less than if you eat a sugared donut.
It may also help you to cheat frequently with foods that will not kick you out of ketosis. Some of these are:
- Fried chicken (no breadcrumbs!)
Getting Back into Ketosis After Cheat Meals
It does not take very long to get into ketosis after the cheat meal. However, it will be quite hard due to the keto flu. Your age, gender, health, and overall body muscle constitution will affect the time you will get into ketosis again. Also, if you eat a lot of barbs on your cheat day, and if most of it is wholegrain, you are in for a hard time before you enter ketosis again.
Basically, when your glucose reserves replenish, your body will turn to fats and shut down your carbohydrate digestion system and voila! You are in ketosis again. This adaption stage may take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.
There are both disadvantages and advantages of eating cheat meals on a keto diet. You can either stay on your keto course and not derail at all, which kind of makes it easier for you in the long term. You do not need to start from day 1, again. Nor do you need to experience those horrid flu-like symptoms and general hunger that happened during the start of your keto diet.