Eat to Evolve - Blog Post
December 20, 2021
challenge,keto

Keto Reboot: What Happens if You Cheat?

Some diets let you cheat, but not Keto! The Keto Diet requires you to maintain a consistently low carb intake. The body will always want carbs, but you have to keep saying no. Otherwise, you’ll fall off the Keto train and have to complete the whole process of getting back on again.

Before you eat that slice of cake, take a look at what could happen if you cheat on Keto.

Falling out of ketosis: what to expect

In order to lose weight on a Keto Diet, your body needs to stay in ketosis. Ketosis means the cells are burning fat for energy instead of carbs. The Keto Diet is strict and requires you to eat no more than 25g to 30g of carbs per day (on average). Everyone is different, and some people can get away with more while others need to stay strictly to 25g or less. Because this is a very small number—one cheat meal is all it takes to disrupt ketosis and bring you back to square one.

Why? Because carbs will always be your body’s preferred source of energy. Your body will switch back to carbs the second it has enough grams to burn. Once you start burning carbs again, the liver will stop producing ketones, an energy source that comes from fat stores. A Keto dieter can fall out of ketosis within one day, and it takes several more to get back into it.

Prepare for the “Keto Flu”

After a cheat meal, you’ll have to restart the process of getting into ketosis. Many people who begin a Keto Diet experience what’s commonly referred to as the Keto Flu. Although it’s not recognized as a legitimate medical condition, the Keto Flu describes a group of symptoms that occur shortly after eliminating carbs from the diet.

Despite its name, the Keto Flu isn’t actually a Flu. Common symptoms of the Keto Flu include headache, brain fog, nausea, irritability and sleep disturbances. These symptoms usually last anywhere from a few days to one week. How fast you recover from the Keto Flu depends on your metabolic rate, exercise levels and how many grams of carbs you’re eating.

Tips for a quick recovery and ketosis reset

One way to speed through the Keto Flu is to eat a brief fat fast. Keto is already a high-fat diet, but this type of fast requires even more fat. You’ll need to almost entirely cut out carbs and eat only foods that are high in fat.

Another trick is to exercise more. Rigorous physical activity will burn through carbs a lot faster, leaving your body with fat as the only remaining energy source. This can shorten the Keto Flu by speeding up ketone production.

Most importantly, track your carb intake. It’s incredibly easy to overdo it on the carbs while on a Keto Diet. Check food labels for net carb content, and record the number of grams you eat per day in a journal.

Don’t get discouraged! 

Falling out of ketosis—especially accidentally—can make some dieters lose sight of their health and fitness goals. Remember that the Keto Flu only lasts a few days and even less if you’re committed to regaining ketosis. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you cheat or make a mistake. When you fall, what matters most is how you get back up.

Want to explore the benefits of the Keto diet further? Check out some of our meal plan options!

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