The often embraced ‘cheat day’ is generally followed to motivate and reward efforts taken for strictly following a certain diet and a well known ketogenic diet is no exception. But is it possible to take an occasional cheat day on your keto diet to splurge on some high-carb foods?
A low-carb, fat-burning alternative, this diet relies heavily on reducing the intake of net carbs or certain foods in order to enter the body into ketosis. And when these ‘restricted’ items are re-introduced in the form of a cheat meal, it can really impact the body’s fat-burning state.
Impact Of Keto Cheat Day On Your Body
- Eating a high-carb food, even as an occasional treat, could take you out of ketosis.
- It prevents your body from becoming fat adapted and could slow down any progress made toward weight loss goal.
- Since, your glucose tolerance has depleted on keto, eating cheat meals can also cause blood sugar levels to spike.
- You may experience “keto flu” symptoms (headaches, nausea, fatigue, stomach pain and body aches, brain fog, mood swings etc.) again but that depends upon what kind of keto break you took.
Should You Cheat On Ketogenic Diet?
No doubt, cheat days, for any diet, come with risks. Because when you cheat, you step backwards and negatively impact any progress that you’ve made with your diet. But any diet that causes physical or emotional deprivation cannot be considered healthy. Right?
So, just try to be as strict as possible to the diet to prevent adverse effects. However, you can incorporate small amounts of carbs to your diet to make your meals feel more manageable.
Best Ways To Implement Keto Cheat Day
Whenever you decide to deviate from your keto meal plan, first take the time to pause, assess the situation, and ask yourself if that particular food is worth it. If you’re still feeling tempted to binge and are not willing to strictly adhere to ketosis, go for a low-carb diet over keto. There are a variety of keto-friendly alternatives or low-carb swaps to the foods you love. Or you can also create your favourite treats and comfort foods with healthy ingredients with a low net-carb count. Following a cyclic ketogenic diet also helps. In this diet, you have to follow a strict keto diet for six days a week followed by one ‘high-carb day. A small indulgence may help you stay the course and it would be easier for you to return to a state of ketosis.
By Dr Seema Nanda
Refer to her blog for more updates on Health and Wellness.