Keto is the boss. You could argue no style of eating offers more health, physical and mental benefits. Period. You know it. That’s why you’re here. It does boast a dark flip side. Such immense rewards can be coupled with severe consequences. Why is keto so different to other eating patterns? Well, once you kick yourself out of ketosis, with a high carb cheat meal, it can be very difficult to nestle back into that ketogenic sweet spot again. When you demolish that family sized bowl of pasta, your blood spikes to give you a rapidly available source of energy. This means your body switches back to glucose as a fuel source. Sadly, ketone production grinds to a halt and you may even pick up a little water weight. Fortunately, your body will use up these glucose and glycogen stores until they run out, at which point ketone production will resume. This may take longer than you might like, up to a few days, and the results aren’t always pretty says the research.
A Ketogenic Body Hates Cheat Meals
This is true, found a paper in the journal Nutrients. For people in ketosis, eating a single 75-gram dose of glucose – like a single large serve of fries or a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise – can injure and even create inflammation in your blood vessels. This means it can undo the positives you gained from your keto diet. Look, you’re never going to put all the weight back on, but your internal structure may suffer a little from this sudden change in fuel source. It’s not as if you’re suddenly put diesel in your Tesla, but more like if you’d put diesel in your Toyota Camry. You might feel bloated. Ashamed. Guilty. The keto-flu symptoms may even resume when you try to get back into ketosis. This doesn’t mean all your efforts have been cancelled. Well, unless you’ve eaten for ten men at the buffet. You’re not a robot and do deserve a minor reprieve. The solution?
Keto approved cheat meals.
Note the previous sentence. They’re meals. Not days. If you can plan for them then you’ll give yourself time to prepare so you can have your keto cake and eat it. If you’re craving bread. There’s keto-approved version that you can use to make a best ever sandwich. Want pizza? Look up how to make keto pizza. Sweet treats also don’t need to be a calorie bomb. There are plenty of decadent Keto deserts options.
If these aren’t available, then try to cheat before or right after a serious workout. Your body will be likely to gobble up those carbs and turn them into energy that’ll fuel a brutal CrossFit session. It may also be worth cheating after a main meal so you’re not eating to squash hunger and are cheating more for enjoyment.
It’s easy to inadvertently fall off the keto wagon. It happens. You may have wanted to be polite when eating at a friend’s house. You may have acted impulsively. It may have been a special occasion. Just shrug off these dietary missteps. Then get straight back on the wagon again. You might expect more hunger and cravings thereafter, but they’ll pass soon enough. Move on from negative emotions around that blowout meal or weekend. Consider it well deserved a psychological break from the keto. Learn from it. Pay attention to how you felt afterwards. Write those emotions down and revisit them the next time a fast-food urge hits you. Do this and you’ll find there’s a good chance you’ll be able to remember that choice wasn’t the best decision for you and you’ll stay on track to enjoy all the benefits keto is giving you.