Can you have cheat meals while doing the keto diet?

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Isabel Aestelle received her B.A in Communication from Far Eastern University Manila in the Philippines. She fell in love with words when she first started writing poetries and short stories at the age of 10. Her passion in health and wellness are pretty much seen in almost everything she does.

cheat meal on the keto diet

Trying to maintain a strict low-carb diet could make you crave for a lot of unnecessary foods when doing a Ketogenic diet. There are days that you would want to give in with all the good food and enjoy a little but your mindset is pretty focused in losing weight.

The struggle is real. Isn’t it? Well you know what they would always say, it’s just a matter of priorities, my friend.

You may have heard of other low-carb dieters who schedule their cheat days over the weekends or any day in between weekdays. That is actually not a bad thing since it would be beneficial for your mental health as well. It is pretty rewarding to look forward to a day where you can get to give yourself a break from all the carb restriction that you have done for the past few days. However, if you’re on Keto, the consequences might be more dramatic.

Cheat days are fun, sure. But since Ketogenic is quite strict when it comes to carbs, cheating on your Keto diet is never a good idea.

Cheating on Keto will result in a number of consequences. Let’s try to find out the disadvantages of having a cheat meal on the keto diet.

Cheating will kick you out of Ketosis

If you’re planning to cheat on a carb-heavy meal, you should know by then that doing so will result for your body to leave Ketosis. If you’re guilty on munching on a cheat meal while doing Keto, one best way to know if you’re still in Ketosis is to have your Ketone levels checked. The amount of Ketones that your body has will determine if you’re still in Ketosis or not.

Furthermore, testing your Ketones could be done through the following:

  1. Urine Testing
  2. Blood Testing
  3. Breath Testing

Cheating will make you crave for more

If you’ve been doing Ketogenic diet for a long time already, your taste buds would primarily get used to the taste of the kind of foods that are approved for your weight loss. However, once you tried incorporating a cheat meal on the keto diet, your taste buds would adjust on what it thinks tastes better – which in this case is the cheat meal. You would then end up craving for more.

Cheating causes risks on the Keto flu

Leaving Ketosis and re-entering it again could make you struggle more with the Keto flu. This is because once your body is fully adopted with Keto diet, you will then get used to the common symptoms or side effects of the diet. Once you’ve been kicked out of Ketosis, the moment you re-enter it again, you will experience the same symptoms the second time around.

You must know by now that the side effects of Ketosis are not all about rainbows and butterflies. There are some negative side effects that you will have to go through as you adjust with Ketosis. The discomfort that you feel is not that pleasing which is why you have to make extra effort in order to avoid in experiencing the Keto flu again.

Cheating affects your fat adaptation

Maintaining a Keto diet have already caused your body to use fats as fuels to provide you with the amount of energy that you need. If you do a keto cheat day once a week, it may result to your body using glycogen or carbs as fuel instead of fats – this is for carb-heavy meals. You have already spent so much time and effort in making your body an ultimate fat-burning machine and in just one cheat meal, you will again have to start from the very top.

Cheating can spike your blood sugar levels

Several studies have stated that Keto dieting could be beneficial for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Having said, once you’ve cheated while doing the diet, the carbs you’ve consumed can spike up your blood sugar levels. If would be too risky for those who are sensitive with the effect of sugar and carbs to afford a cheat meal. Keto helps in stabilizing the blood sugar and if you choose to stall your diet, there are possible dangers that await you.

Having stated all those disadvantages, you might be convinced already to not cheat. Actually, there’s still a chance that you may enjoy a cheat meal while doing the Keto. Hence, you will only have to choose Keto-friendly snacks as alternatives for what you crave for during cheat days.

Can you have a cheat day on Keto diet? Yes. But, you will have to cheat “rightly”. This might bring confusion to you already. Well, keep in mind that carbs are pretty helpful in losing weight too. It’s just that when doing Keto, your carb intake will only be limited. However, in order to keep you sane and in order for you to stick with the diet for an extended period, healthy cheat days play a role.

During those days when you find your meals boring already, there are still some possible solutions that could equate to your healthy cheat meals.

Do the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)

Eating carbs during the CKD is pretty manageable since it doesn’t kick you out of Ketosis. Instead, it helps you lose weight and it also makes you leaner than ever.

If this interests you, read more about how to do the CKD properly.

Look for keto-friendly cheat meals

Meal preparation is one key on how you can come up with a Keto-friendly cheat meal. We do not want you to go impulse buying just because you’re hungry or you crave for something that you do not have enough time to look for a Keto-approved food. By doing so, you will be able to satisfy your cravings and at the same time stay healthy as you maintain a clean record in losing weight.

There are a lot of Keto-friendly snack recipes that you can find all over the internet. Aside from the satisfaction those healthy snacks could give you, you will feel less guilty as you enjoy carbs in a more Keto-friendly manner.

We understand your dilemmas when it comes to fighting off your cravings or giving in to keep you sane. However, as matured Keto dieters, you must be responsible enough to know the possible consequences of cheating on your diet.

Since there are a lot of cheat meals alternatives nowadays, a cheat day is not too impossible for you to experience. All you have to do is look for the right ingredients, proper procedures, and extra careful in consuming every cheat meal alongside your diet.

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