At the beginning of October 2017, I started my journey and dabbling with the ketogenic diet. I was pulled in by the allure of weight loss, improved brain function, and energy. But, I cheated on keto many, many times during that year's time frame.
I'd go keto for a month or two and then take a week break. Eat keto for 4 months, then take a break. I didn't consider myself cheating.
But, others would tell me that if I cheated on keto and I wouldn't get the full benefits.
But, when you're on a keto diet for FOUR months and you don't really see any results besides losing 5 pounds it's kind of depressing.
So... I would take breaks and evaluate what I was doing.
Should You Try a Keto Diet?
Whether you try a keto diet or not is completely up to you. Some people can withstand going keto and some are better with carbs.
For instance, my husband BURNS through food like crazy. He was eating keto with me for about two months and he would literally eat over 4000 calories a day and STILL be hungry.
Can you even imagine that?
In his case, eating carbs is what fills him up and keeps him from being ravenous. Some people might say that his hunger would have calmed down, but he was tired of struggling to get full every day.
And, one can only eat so much fat without feeling like a grease ball.
I Cheated On Keto and Here's a Little Bit Why
When I started keto I wanted it to be this miracle. The one thing that would finally allow me to shed this stupid weight that my body seems to never want to get rid of.
Here's the thing though...
It's not a miracle. You have to work at it. You actually need to initially track all the food you eat.
Do you realize how hard that is for someone that doesn't really think about food all that much OR someone who never uses recipes or exact measurements?
Yeah... it's kinda rough. I don't really measure when I make food, and most food I make is homemade. This means I have to input everything in a specific recipe maker and pray that next time I make the dish that I use the same shit to make it.
Keto Isn't For Everyone
Now, with all that griping out of the way. The ketogenic diet really is a great way to lose weight and feel great. I'm in a group with quite a few people who refuse to go back to a "normal" diet because if they eat carbs they suddenly feel like crap.
Maybe that's why it's so easy for me to fall off the keto train every now and then and eat some carbs. When I eat carbs I don't suddenly feel crappy.
I don't get a headache, I don't bloat, I don't get a stomach ache... None of that.
It made me wonder if a keto diet is even right for everyone or if maybe just a low-carb diet would be fine for me. There's a bit of a difference between low-carb and keto though.
Would I be picked on if I ditched keto?
Honestly, no one's opinion of you should ever be taken into consideration when it comes to your health. If you're feeling great on Keto then, by all means, keep on the keto train!
How to Rebound After You Cheated On Keto
Before I tell you what happened and why I cheated on keto (or took a diet break), I want to give you some tips for rebounding and getting back on track.
If you're finding yourself falling off track easily then these steps will help you ease back into your diet without much fuss.
1 Start slow
Nine times out of ten people fall off because they're restricting too much too soon.
Not everyone can handle a cold turkey approach and that is ok!
Go slowly and back down your carbs at a rate that is good for you.
2 Make sure you're enough drinking water
If you're not drinking enough water during the day then it's possible your body is retaining water.
Make sure you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water.
Example: 160 pounds would mean 80 ounces of water every day
3 Aim to eat the bulk of your carbs at supper time
Try to eat the majority of your carb count at night with your family.
This is where a lot of people struggle because if their family isn't eating keto then there is bound to be non-keto friendly food on the table.
Take a "keto until supper" approach and move from there into full keto.
4 Slowly cut back your carbs during the day
If you're still eating some non-keto carbs during the day then now is the time to start shaving those back.
Try to eat keto-friendly carb sources at breakfast and lunch as this will drastically reduce your overall carb intake.
5 Eventually, shave off the carbs at night
Once you've cut back your carbs during the day time you can shift to cutting back your carbs at night.
Try transitioning to lower carb sources and making sure there's plenty on the table so you're not feeling left out.
6 Consider trying intermittent fasting
If all else fails, you might be a good candidate for intermittent fasting!
A lot of times, many people do really well with intermittent fasting and low carb as an option for going keto.
You're either eating for 8 hours a day (or less than that) and therefore have less time to eat carbs. Though it's possible to eat tons of carbs, people typically aim to eat healthier low carb options.
Why I Cheated On the Keto Diet
Alrighty then! Let's get to the meat and.... cauliflower potatoes(?) of why I tend to bounce between keto and not keto.
This one is easy. I really missed carbs.
I love all things sweet potato, pumpkin, rice, enchiladas, Mexican, Asian, and yeah... I just missed my favorite dishes.
So, when I cheat, I really go all out before diving back into keto.
2 If I didn't eat on time I got nauseous
There was a time where if I didn't eat I would get REALLY nauseous and it would be like all day even after I ate. Which sucked because everyone kept saying if they didn't eat or forgot to eat they were good.
Yet, if I forgot to eat I'd get nauseous.
I still haven't figured this one out yet.
3 Had to constantly track everything... not sustainable for me
I hate tracking stuff. Honestly, I think it blows. But, with keto and if you want to get into ketosis... you have to track.
Going forward the only thing I'm going to be mindful of will be the number of carbs in the items I'm eating. That's it.
I think it will be easier. I'm going to call it Keto for the Intuitive Eater (don't worry I'll write about it).
4 Temptations were high when the family is full-on carb eaters
My husband loves his carbs... he has to have carbs. He tried keto and was ravenous 24-7.
It was horrible. He was like a madman in the kitchen trying to eat everything he could get his hands on.
After two months of that, I pardoned him from the keto diet and now he's doing way better and eating wayyyyyy less.
My pocketbook thanks him for getting off keto too.
5 Everyone's body is completely different
Some people can really handle and process carbs efficiently. I don't think it's right to make those folks give up foods that are healthy because someone said: "keto is amazing and you should do it because your body can run on fat."
Would that be wrong? I don't care honestly haha.
If you can handle carbs and you feel great, then you do you boo. If you eat carbs and bloat like a whale (or feel like you do) then maybe you should try Keto.
6 I started lifting weights
I felt really depleted when I started lifting weights. I was lacking energy really bad and trying to get through a workout was horrendous.
I tried doing a Targeted Keto Diet, but that didn't work really. I was eating all my carbs before my workout and then was left with very little wiggle room for any other meal.
So, I just upped my carb intake some (I think around 75g carbs) and felt much better.
Is that the case for everyone? I'm not sure, but I know it was for me.
7 Meh, why not?
It's a lifestyle and not something I feel has to be 100% strict honestly. Others will definitely say I'm wrong in this thinking, but that's them.
If you feel like adding extra carbs every so often is wrong or bad... then don't do it. It's your life and you get to make all the choices.
But, since this is a lifestyle choice and not some quick fix thing I think it's ok to have some extra carbs every now and then.
Moving Forward After You Cheat On Keto
Don't forget to pin this for later!