Ready for some nitty gritty stuff dealing with eating a ketogenic diet? Most diets and ways of eating encourage having a cheat day every so often to help stop the cravings. More power to them for those who want to do that but having cheat days on a ketogenic diet is not only a bad idea but it can actually be dangerous.
Switching to a keto way of eating means cutting out sugars and inflammatory foods. Instead you are eating a low carb and high fat diet. So what does that have to do with cheat days? When you decide to give in and eat that slice of cake you are switching your body into eating a high carb, high fat diet. This can cause heart attacks and many other health problems that are caused by having high bad cholesterol numbers.
When people are starting out they tend to rationalize that just doing it the one time wont hurt them. It takes 4-7 days on average to get your body into a state of ketosis. It takes an average of 2 months to get your body into a fully fat adapted state so that one cheat will have lasting effects of at least 2 months. Crazy right?!
If you haven’t started yet then you might not be too familiar with the phrase “keto flu”. For those of us who went through it I can promise that it’s horrible. Days of going through carb and sugar withdrawls causing headaches, fatigue, nausea, rashes and all sorts of other awful things. Sugar is one of the most addictive things that you can put into your body. Does it taste amazing? Oh my word yes it does but it tends to not agree with our bodies and it’s difficult to stop all at once. Every time you cheat you kick yourself out of ketosis and there is a very high chance of you having to go through the keto flu again. No fun!
Why is being fat adapted so important anyways? Basically being fat adapted is the normal, preferable metabolic state of the human animal. That means that instead of using sugar and carbs for energy you are using fat. Why do you think that eating the typical american diet our bodies start to put on fat? Ever wondered? It’s not because eating fat is bad but instead it’s because our body is storing it to use it as energy later. Because of the way of life thousands of years ago our bodies adapted to this so that during the winter months when plants weren’t really growing we could still gain energy and function from eating meat and the fat from meat. It’s also why people who eat a ketogenic diet tend to lose less muscle while losing weight than someone on a traditional weight loss diet.
If you are looking at eating keto for losing weight I want to mention a little known fact about this diet. When you are eating sugar’s and carbs (basically the same thing) you are constantly having to put it into your body for energy. You literally crash off of it and are starving soon after you just ate. Think about it, you just had thanksgiving dinner and only an hour or two later you are already digging into your left overs.
When you eat a keto diet you not only feel full longer because of the fat but your blood sugar isn’t going up and down as quickly. In fact many people who do this long term end up only eating one meal a day because their blood sugar holds out that long and you tend to not be that hungry. So not only are you using your stored fat for energy but you also are taking in much less calories.
I could keep going but I think you get the basics of why you shouldn’t cheat. There are many more reasons but really this way of eating has so many health benefits that you negate if you don’t commit to it fully. You may be looking at it just to lose some weight but if you commit to it 100% I promise you will have your relationship with food change entirely. Worried about what you are going to eat and what you are going to miss out on? Don’t worry! I’ve got your back.
Why would you want to cheat anyways? Not only can you have good dark chocolate but you get to eat cheese! That had me sold right away. Most important food group, right?
Want the best help with being keto? Let me send you the checklist to get you started and keep you on the right track!