Cheated on keto? No worries! Follow these steps and you’ll be back in ketosis in no time!
Don’t want to read the entire post? Watch the video instead.
Ok, So you cheated. It’s ok, don’t freak out. We all do it. It’s hard to stick to Keto 365 days out of the year unless you have been practicing Keto for an extremely long time or your health depends on it.
You are probably feeling crappy right now, bloated may have a headache, and have gained up to 5lbs (don’t worry, it’s all water.) This my friend, is the carb hangover, and it sucks!
No worries, I made a list of my top tips on how to get back into Ketosis quickly. These are some of the tips I teach my clients inside by Holistic Clean Keto Program.
If you want more tips and someone to hold you accountable on your Keto Weight Loss Journey, click here to work with me.
After three years of practicing Keto, I’ve learned some tips and tricks for getting back after a cheat:
Steps to Getting Back Into Ketosis After a Cheat Day
1. Accept that you cheated and don’t let the cheating go on.
What this means is don’t let your cheat day turn into a cheat week, or even, God forbid, a cheat month! You had a bad day, went to a party or it was a holiday and temptation got the best of you. It’s ok. Own it and move on.
Don’t have the mindset that you ruined it and you have to wait until the following Monday to start back up like you always do every time your diet. Keto does not work this way. You will do more harm the longer you continue to cheat.
I have a bad habit of this myself, anytime I cheat, the next day it is so easy to justify myself to cheat again and start again the following Monday.
It also has to do with the carb cravings that come after a cheat. Once your body gets all that glucose and burns it out, it wants more, and more, which leaves you craving carbs the next day.
It’s easy to resist those cravings when you are in nutritional Ketosis because they usually go away by themselves, another perk of Keto. However, once you cheat, the “Carb Monster” comes back and wants to eat all the carbs, all day.
This is probably my biggest issue when it comes to cheating. I don’t know how to not let a cheat day turn into days. The proceeding tips usually help with this.
2. Do a Fast
One of the quickest ways to deplete your body of the glucose you just filled it with is by doing a fast. 24-hour water and coffee-only fast are ideal, however, if you can’t go that long, any intermittent fast will still be beneficial.
What does that look like? You can do OMAD (one meal a day) or eat within an 8hr, 6hr, or 4-hour eating window.
For example, I’ll do one 24-hr fast, then the days after that I will eat between 12 pm-4 pm or 12 pm – 6 pm
You don’t have to go crazy and fast for days and punish yourself for cheating.
Fasting is another tool in the toolbox to help your body focus on processing all that glucose it got and not worry about dealing with the new food as well.
- If you are curious about fasting, especially extended fasts, check out my post How I Did a One Week Fast and Survived.
3. Avoid eating dairy, nuts, and anything containing sweeteners
Why this tip? Over the years I have discovered that those foods stall my weight loss drastically. Eating too much dairy or too many nuts may cause your body to become inflamed and hold on to water.
You may think that you gained 5-6lbs of fat, but it’s really water that your body is holding on to.
After a few days of cutting out these inflammatory foods, your body will let go of that water and that “weight” will be gone.
It only makes sense to omit them after a cheat if you are trying to get into Keto faster.
Don’t worry, you can bring them back in again after you are in Ketosis, but be careful not to overdo it.
This is also known as eating “Clean Keto” and after experiencing a weight loss stall on Keto, I switched to this way of eating and lost 15 lbs in one month. I was so surprised.
I decided to put together a meal plan based on the exact foods I ate to help anyone else who is struggling with getting into ketosis, wants to lose more weight, or has hit a stall.
If you what to know exactly what I ate in this meal plan, you can read this post.
If you would like more information about the meal plan, click HERE.
4. Do Strength Traning Workouts
Weight Training is one of the most effective ways to get rid of all the carbs and sugar you just ate.
After a cheat day, I do a 30-minute Les Mills on Demand Body Pump session and it helps burn the excess glucose I just consumed. You can try Les Mills on Demand Free for 21 Days with THIS link.
This by far, is the most effective way for me to get back into ketosis after a cheat.
Another reason why this works for me is that if I just worked so hard to try to burn through all the carbs and sugar I ate the previous day, the last thing I want to do is load my body up with
5. Follow 20 grams of TOTAL carb regimen for up to a week.
So far, you have probably been counting net carbs (total carbs-fiber), but after you cheat, I encourage you to switch to counting just total carbs, don’t subtract the fiber, and keep it under 20 grams a day.
Limiting your carb intake to under 20 grams of total carbs will help you get back into Ketosis faster. After you are back in, you can go back to your old regimen.
Personally, I follow 20 grams of total carbs when I am doing Keto in general because it helps me to achieve optimal weight loss.
The point is, the fewer carbs you eat, the quicker your body will burn through the glucose and get you back into fat-burning mode.
6. Track and Measure
To help you stick to the plan and know exactly how many carbs you are eating you will need to track your food for the next week or so if you don’t already do this.
I don’t track every day when I am consistent with Keto, but if I cheat, I become meticulous about tracking which helps me get back into fat-burning mode quicker.
On the other hand, measuring your Ketones ensures that how you are eating is actually working.
Sure, there are ways to know you are in Ketosis without measuring your blood ketones, however, if you are newer to this way of eating it will be harder for you to know.
The only way to know 100% that you are in Ketosis is by testing your blood. I use a Keto Coach which has the most affordable test strips on the market.
Use this link and code “eatbefitexplore” to get 20% off checkout.
You don’t have to check each day. Once or twice a week until you are back into Ketosis is good enough. Then, just check occasionally to make sure you are still on the right track.
7. Drink a lot of water and take Electrolytes
I wouldn’t say this tip enables you to get back into Ketosis faster, however, it will save you from experiencing the Keto-Flu all over again.
Not to mention, how are you going to want to work out or fast if you are going through all the symptoms of the Keto Flu?
You probably won’t, which will make this process even longer. After a cheat, I drink Ultima Replenish every day, fill up my water bottle at least 3 times a day and drink zip fizz before my workout to give me a boost of energy.
(This tip is also part of my Top 7 Keto Mistakes I made when I first started Keto. I encourage you to read this post as well so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.)
More articles about Keto Diet:
- How to Break a Weight Loss Stall on Keto
- Do Calories Matter on Keto?
- Why You Should Clean Keto Carb Cycle
BONUS TIP: Find out why you are cheating in the first place!
Chances are, this isn’t your first or last time cheating on keto.
When you constantly “cheat” on your diet, it means one of these things:
- The diet is way too restrictive for you
- You haven’t dealt with your relationship with food and keep self-sabotaging
- Your hormones are imbalanced causing you to crave carbs and sugar all of the time
- Your gut isn’t getting enough fiber, making it really hard to stick with strict keto
- You don’t have the accountability or support that you need
If that sounds like anything like you, you’re in luck because this is EXACTLY what I help my clients with inside my signature Holistic Clean Keto weight loss program for women
I will help you lose the weight you want with a Holistic Clean Keto Lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable while eliminating all of the root reasons that are causing you to keep cheating in the first place.
In conclusion, I want to say that you shouldn’t beat yourself up about having a cheat day. This probably isn’t your first, and it won’t be your last.
As long as you don’t make it a habit and follow the tips above after you do cheat you will not undo all the hard work you have put in on your Ketogenic Journey!
Now get up, wipe the dust off and get back on the Keto Bus!!!
Looking for ways to lose weight fast on Keto? Read this post “How to lose weight Fast on Keto”.
More articles about Keto Diet:
This is such a helpful post!! I cheated on Keto this past weekend and followed all of these tips, took me 24 hours to get back into Ketosis! Thanks for writing this post to help us newbies!
Tracey, I am so glad these tips helped you!! I have had my fair share of cheat days lol. Welcome back to the Keto club 🙂
Thank you for this valuable information! I will be doing all of these steps to get back into Ketosis after my cheat day tomorrow
airbnb cleaning sydney says
A well-informative article, thanks for sharing this one.
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!
I loved this article, really felt helpful, I don’t feel so down about my cheat day now I can move on and work harder! Thank you!!
Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment! Don’t beat yourself up, we all have cheat days and it’s ok! Just get back up and keep going. You got this 🙂
Loved your article. Thank you !!
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!
Thanks a ton for this amazing article with exact and helpful tips….its the so far the best article available on the internet for someone who is doing keto and had a cheat day…
Wow your article is so non-judgemental and encouraging! You come across as human, humourous and entertaining all at once. Thank you for inspiring me!
Well thank you Cleo, that is a very kind thing to say!
Thank you so much. I felt really rubbish after 2cheat days but this article has reminded me we are all human and mess up at times!
Back to it tomorrow and I’m not so daunted by it now
Beryl Hughes says
I am 80 years of age and have been doing Keto for 5 months and have lost 6 kg and only have another 3 and 1/2 KGs to lose but find I have stalled for 3 weeks. I cant do all the exercise now but walk, play indoor bowls and croquet every week so do some exercise. How can I shift the last few kgs?
Hey Beryl! I’m hosting a free challenge this week. I think it would be great for you! I’ll be addressing weight loss stalls! Here is the link to sign up: https://bsbtribe.mykajabi.com/challenge
Julie Rogers says
Thankyou very helpfull I’m trying to get back into ketosis after a very long cheat weekend I ate so much cheese today and felt very bloated I’m so glad I’ve read your blog cuz now I’m going to cut the cheese out for a week or so see if my stomach goes down thankyou very much👌🏼☺️
You’re welcome Julie!
Wow that was sooo helpful 😊
Thank you ,,
You’re welcome. I’m glad I was able to help.
OMG this is gold pure!! thank you so much =)
Thank you, Andrea!
How do you view bullet proof coffee?
Lesya Holzapfel says
In what context? In general, if that is your breakfast, it’s fine. For getting back into keto, I don’t see the purpose.
I quite like looking through a post that will
make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!
Thank you for checking out my site!
I cheat because I love pizza too much haha. It’s my favorite food and I don’t think I can ever give it up for good. There are no good keto alternatives either. The good news is, if I give it up for two-three months until I am well fat adapted, then I can have a cheat day here and there. And by cheat day, I just mean eat some pizza. Not go crazy eating carby foods all day long, and certainly no candy or doughnuts or anything super sugary. I’ll eat my pizza, then fast the day after for at least 12 hours, typically more like 18-24 hrs, break my fast with a tablespoon of MCT oil and then be back into nutritional ketosis within 48 hours of cheating (according to my keto-mojo).
Hi Clarence! Thank you for your comment. Of course, we all love pizza but do you know I have a Keto Pizza recipe? Here it is https://eatbefitexplore.com/keto-pizza/
Hope you enjoy it!