Can you have a cheat day on KETO? [BEST CHEAT DAY STRATEGIES] (2023)

With almost any weight-loss diet, the inevitable question of whether you can have a cheat day comes up. A ketogenic diet makes it more complicated as it eliminates most of the foods that people would find themselves “cheating” with.

Which I guess is a good thing since they are typically calorie-rich, but nutrient-poor food choices that led to the extra weight in the first place.

Which still begs the question…

Can you have a cheat day on keto?

The answer is yes and no. It‘s not such a black and white subject no matter what diet you‘re on, keto or not. In fact, there are certain things at play even more so on a ketogenic diet you should be mindful of.

As with most answers, it usually depends…

Context is everything.

Can you have a cheat day on KETO? [BEST CHEAT DAY STRATEGIES] (1)

I‘ll preface this by saying I’m not a fan of cheat days on keto.

Let me rephrase that, I’m not a fan of cheat days on any “diet“ so I may be a little biased.

What‘s wrong with a keto cheat day you ask?

Personally, I think having a designated“cheat day” sets you up in the wrong mental space. Every day is inevitably spent looking forward to the infamous “cheat day.” Instead, live in the present and worry about what you should do THAT day to ensure you hit your goals.

Second, it leads down a rabbit hole of re-enforcing bad habits, possibly old ones that led you to gain weight in the first place, and binge cycles.

Can you have a cheat day on the keto diet?

There are certain named diets that allow for a “cheat day,” typically one day per week in which you‘re allowed to eat anything and everything. The thinking being, if you eat well on your diet six out of seven days a week, you‘re still ahead.

At first, this MAY sound like a good idea, but if you‘re like me and have fallen prey to this, then you know the truth.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Steven decides he wants to lose weight and goes on a diet. He sticks to the plan Monday thru Saturday and on Sunday he allows himself to eat whatever he‘s been craving all week.

Can you have a cheat day on KETO? [BEST CHEAT DAY STRATEGIES] (2)

Each cheat day he eats all the food he‘s been “missing out on,” and ends up eating himself sick and leading him to hating himself afterward. Eventually, he willingly abstains from cheating at all because he realized he didn‘t need it.

Yes, the Steven in the story is me, and yes… this is actually what I used to do.

Talk about insanity right? but I know many other people do this too, and it’s definitely not healthy. Not only is it not healthy physically, but mentally and emotionally it takes a toll.

But maybe you‘re not like me and can exercise a little restraint. For myself, and MANY others, once the floodgates have opened it’s game over.

You can undo a whole week of dieting, possibly even more, in a single day.


This leads me to how I typically like to characterize different individuals, You are an abstainer (like me) or a moderator.

Abstainer Vs. Moderator

Can you have a cheat day on KETO? [BEST CHEAT DAY STRATEGIES] (3)

The Abstainer

The classic abstainer will usually have an all-or-nothing mentality. It’s far easier for these individuals to give something up altogether than to indulge moderately.

Trying to moderate for these individuals becomes an internal struggle of:

Should I?

How much?

When can I?

It requires no self-control if you already know it‘s not a choice, whereas if you can do it sometimes… well that requires ENORMOUS self-control.

It might sound crazy on the surface, but it would surprise you how many individuals fit this mold…

You may be one.

ESPECIALLY since many of them resort to ketogenic diets.

The Moderator

Moderators do better when they avoid absolutes or strict rules. Having these black and white lines makes them feel trapped inside a box (metaphorically speaking).

These are your individuals that can take out a pint of ice cream and have one or two spoons before putting it back in. Those crazy guys and girls that can open a bag of Oreos and take out just one cookie instead of eating the whole sleeve.

Crazy right?!

3 things I recommend instead of having a cheat day on keto

While I wouldn’t recommend “cheat days” for the majority of people, I suggest some of the following instead:

Free meals (special occasions)

As the name implies, a free meal is a SINGLE meal of whatever you want, NOT an entire day. I would normally opt to save these for special occasions, 1 but you can also use it on your weekly date with the significant other.

Even better if you can keep it keto or save all those “keto-friendly ketofied junk food” treats for your free meal.

I almost guarantee you’ll feel better both physically and mentally by using this versus an all-out cheat day.

Refeed (cyclical ketogenic diet)

For the athletically inclined, a keto carb cycling approach or cyclical ketogenic diet may suit you both physically and mentally. This cyclical approach typically has you alternating between periods of strict keto days and days with a higher amount of carbs “refeed” days to help maximize performance.

Example: 5 – 6 days in ketosis alternated by 1 – 2 of higher carbs

I would reserve this method for those of you who are highly active and also are keto-adapted. 2

Remember, this isn’t a protocol to be used as an excuse to eat everything you want. There is still a strategic component to implementing a cyclical ketogenic diet, but it sure helps with carb cravings.

Diet break (1-2 week break periodically)
Can you have a cheat day on KETO? [BEST CHEAT DAY STRATEGIES] (4)

This is where I differ from the crowd, but sometimes I think it‘s good to actually take a break from dieting and/or being in ketosis.

Recent research suggests that alternating periods of dieting (calorie restriction) with periods of maintenance (eating enough to maintain weight) has been shown to benefit fat loss both physically and psychologically.

As we diet, our body begins to downregulate certain hormones in an attempt to preserve itself. Taking a diet break allows these hormones to recoup, making subsequent dieting weeks more fruitful.

How often and for how long you should take a break will largely depend on how much fat you have to lose and how long you’ve been dieting. The above is typically how often I would recommend taking diet breaks based on your body fat percentage. 3

For most people looking to lose weight, a cheat day sounds alluring, but the benefits are small if any.

Reasons you SHOULDN’T have a keto cheat day

Can easily sabotage your efforts, 1 step forward 1 step backward.

If keto weight loss is your goal, you might set yourself up to undo all the progress you made throughout the week, even if you were good 6 out of 7 days.

Just remember weight gain and weight loss results from how many calories you do or don‘t eat over time. You can easily eat so much in one day you erase all the progress from the previous 6 days.

Just have a look at the graphic below to get a visual of what might happen

Can you have a cheat day on KETO? [BEST CHEAT DAY STRATEGIES] (5)
You’ll feel horrible afterward

If you have a carb-heavy cheat meal or day, you might set yourself up to those dreaded feelings you had when first starting a ketogenic diet, AKA the keto flu.

After being on a ketogenic diet for some time, it dampens your ability to process sugar. It’s like when you first started a ketogenic diet, it required your body to get used to burning ketones.

If your cheat day consists of high carb foods, it’ll likely kick you out of ketosis, raise your blood sugar, and possibly lead to sugar cravings.

Does nothing physically

There really is no benefit to a cheat meal or cheat day besides the psychological break it gives you from dieting. You might have heard cheat days kickstart your metabolism or trick your body into burning fat, but there is literally no scientific evidence to support a single meal or day is enough to do anything.

*Don’t get me wrong… a psychological break is needed as much as a physical one.

This is also why I recommend longer breaks above of 1-2 weeks. One day is not long enough to do anything besides give yourself a mental break and maybe enough energy to hit another workout.

Instead, I would suggest strategic refeeds almost like keto carb cycling (cyclical ketogenic diet) or better yet, complete diet breaks where your goal is to simply maintain your weight for a period of time by raising calories back up to a level that is appropriate to maintain your weight.

Bad relationship with food

By having “cheat” days or meals you‘re reinforcing a bad relationship with food. There are no foods inherently good or bad (unless you have an allergy).

And if you feel the need to cheat, maybe it‘s time to rethink whether a ketogenic lifestyle is for you.

The best diet will be the one you‘re satisfied on and can adhere to over the long term.

Pigging out “just because”

Maybe you would have been fine continuing your fat loss journey, but instead of staying on track, you decided to have a cheat day just because it’s Sunday (or whatever day you make it). Again, sometimes it’s best to just go about your routine and save those “cheats” for special occasions instead of reoccurring scheduled days.

So if all of that above wasn’t enough to stop you then keep on reading for why you may want to incorporate them and what to do if you decide to…

Reasons you SHOULD have a keto cheat day

Psychological break

Again, a cheat “meal” can be a good psychological break from dieting.

Let’s face it, dieting is stressful and can take a mental toll. Allowing oneself to mentally clock out for a meal without thinking about it can be liberating and undo some stress.

Therefore, sometimes people drop a pound or two after going off plan, not because of some magical fat-burning that happens after a cheat day… but rather the mental break was enough to stimulate the release of some of the water weight masking weight loss on the scale from being too stressed.

Can “temporarily” increase performance

Sometimes a day with extra calories is enough to give you a little pep in your step for the next training session. Having enough energy to hit the gym hard can go a long way in helping preserve or even gain muscle.

Our goal when we lose weight is not to simply lose weight, but maintain our muscle and lose fat.

If you‘re not doing any resistance training, I would highly reconsider.

What to do if you have a cheat day on keto

So you have a free meal, a “cheat meal,” or at worst go off the rail for an entire day what should you do?

Jump back to what you were doing

Nothing. Just move on and continue your diet and training like normal. Don‘t feel the need to starve yourself or add in an “extra” cardio session.

Believe me, I used to do that all the time.

Exercising yourself to death to burn fat and calories is just another form of purging.4

Fast/Intermittent Fast (if jumping back into ketosis is a priority)

I know I said not to starve yourself the next day, but sometimes fasting or intermittent fasting is a good idea if you feel less than optimal. Doing so may allow you to enter back into ketosis and reap the benefits of reduced hunger and mental clarity once again.

How to best incorporate a cheat day on keto

Don‘t make it a day, make it a meal

Don’t have a keto cheat day, instead have a cheat meal, or what I commonly refer to as a “free” meal.

I don’t know about you, but a whole day of reckless eating is asking for trouble. Try to limit yourself to one meal where you let yourself have whatever you want.

Preferably have this meal at dinner so it can’t easily turn into a whole day of bingeing.

Don’t stress

Don‘t feel the need to “pre-compensate” cheat days/meals.

What do I mean by pre-compensate? Don‘t starve yourself or run yourself into the ground with exercise (before or after) to offset the meal.

One of the main reasons traditional exercise doesn’t always translate to what we would hope for in terms of weight loss can be explained by this theory of calorie compensation.

Somehow, if we add in exercise or overly restrict ourselves we gain this mindset we can eat more. While this is true, how much more we eat vs how much we ACTUALLY eat are two entirely different things.

This might explain why you would normally never eat a pint of ice cream, but now that it‘s “lower calorie” you might find yourself eating the whole pint… maybe even two.

Before you might have had a scoop and put the ice cream away, but since it’s low calories you justify eating more.

Create a calorie buffer

Going off the previous tip, while I don’t recommend starving yourself or fasting before your free meal, you could potentially make those meals smaller than usual.

If I ever want to create a “buffer” I’ll stick to protein and veggies with minimal carbs or fat throughout the day.

If you usually combine keto and intermittent fasting, then you‘ve already created your “buffer.”

Have a plan / plan ahead

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Sometimes the best strategy is to get ahead of it. If you plan to dine out for your free meal, try looking up the menu on their website and choosing what you will eat beforehand.

… and stick to it.

If no website exists, try looking up the menu photos on Yelp.

Prioritize protein

The way I like to think about a cheat meal is protein first, carbs and fat for taste. Focus on protein, fat, and veggie intake first to maximize satiety and reduce the chance of going of the rails.

This is a great strategy to use at a buffet or even those holiday potlucks where you tend to indulge a bit much.

Limit choices, not amounts

When people are presented with too many choices, like a buffet, they tend to eat more. Not only do more choices lead to eating more, but it also lends itself to less satisfaction overall.

FOMO is real.

Think about it… if you were to limit yourself to prime rib and chocolate cake, you would eat only so much of it before being full and satisfied.

But if I now offer you potatoes and ice cream, you’ll end up eating a lot more than had you stuck to only a couple of items.

Remember, you don’t have to sample EVERYTHING on the menu.

It’ll be there the next time you visit, trust me.

Pick your favorite thing on the menu or the food you‘ve been craving most and stay the course.

Keep them “keto-friendly”

With the myriad of “keto treats” and recipes floating around on Pinterest, you can literally recreate your old favorites and have them as your keto cheat.

Not only will you not feel as guilty, but you‘ll avoid the possibility of re going through the keto flu from knocking yourself out of ketosis.

Try not to have them too frequently

If you‘re going to indulge, definitely try not to do it too often. I usually suggest people save these for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or a vacation.

Having them too often may lead you on a roller coaster of highs and lows.

Even worse is if you let a cheat meal turn into a cheat week.

Final thoughts about if you can you have cheat days on keto

There is no need to beat yourself up or feel bad if you accidentally fall off track because it happens to EVERYONE. It’s when you fall off for one day and that day turns into days or longer where you’ll run into problems.

Progress isn‘t dictated by what you do once in a while, it’s dictated by what you do MOST of the time.

First, ask yourself why you “need” a cheat day. Do you need one because you need a mental break from dieting? Do you feel TOO restricted on a ketogenic diet?

While I wouldn’t recommend an entire day, a meal once in a while can definitely provide a nice psychological break.

If having a “cheat meal” once a week or however often is what it takes to keep you adherent (consistent) with your diet, then I’m all for it.

Or perhaps it’s time to take a break from dieting altogether for a period, usually a week or two before continuing your fat loss efforts.

Just don’t be fooled or fool yourself into thinking that having a cheat day is “stoking” your metabolism.



How long to fast after a cheat day on keto? ›

Overall, you can get back into ketosis as soon as 12-16 hours after your last cheat meal (with the help of fasting and exercise) or it can take as long as it did when you first started keto.

What happens if I have a cheat day on keto? ›

A full cheat day of consuming sugar, bread and pasta will take your body out of ketosis, which may take days to recover from. That's why Carrico suggests a cheat meal every now and then instead. You'll likely consume a lower number of carbs than you would on a full cheat day.

How many cheat days can I have on keto? ›

If your goal is calorie control, aim to cheat no more than once or twice a week. But if ketosis is important for your progress, consider cheating much less often, like once a month. And if you are new to a keto diet, wait at least a few weeks to get some progress going before even considering cheats.

Is one cheat day enough? ›

Yes. In fact, having a regularly scheduled cheat day each week can actually be good for weight loss by preventing binges, reducing cravings, providing a mental break from dieting, and boosting metabolism—if it's done in a healthy way.

Will one cheat day hurt keto? ›

Having a cheat day on keto will very likely bring you out of ketosis, and it can take up to about a week to get back to using fat for energy.

Can you do 5 days on 2 days off keto? ›

Keto cycling doesn't have a set definition. Some people choose to have five or six days on keto followed by a day or two off. Others will do keto for 10 to 12 days followed by three to four days off. Devine typically doesn't recommend taking more than two days off keto.

Can I eat carbs once a week on keto? ›

The standard ketosis diet is not for everyone. Adding clean carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, squash, and white rice once a week helps your body function properly. Your brain, your body, and your joints will all benefit from cyclical ketosis.

Can you eat too few carbs on keto? ›

Severe carb limits can cause your body to break down fat into ketones for energy. This is called ketosis. Ketosis can cause side effects such as bad breath, headache, fatigue and weakness. It's not clear what kind of possible long-term health risks a low-carb diet may pose.

Can I have a slice of pizza on keto? ›

Pizza. Yes, pizza can also be keto-safe, but Boyer said that you'll want to use cauliflower crust (can be made homemade or found in the freezer section) made with almond flour instead of carb-filled pizza dough.

How many carbs can I eat and stay in ketosis? ›

The ketogenic diet typically reduces total carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams a day—less than the amount found in a medium plain bagel—and can be as low as 20 grams a day. Generally, popular ketogenic resources suggest an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein.

How much weight can you lose in 2 weeks on keto? ›

The lowdown. The keto diet changes the way your metabolism works by encouraging it to use ketone bodies instead of glucose for energy production. In the first couple of weeks, it's possible to lose up to ten pounds. After that, you could be losing one to two pounds per week.

How much is OK for a cheat day? ›

How many calories should I eat on a cheat day? 'There is not an exact number of calories that you can eat on a cheat day but a good guideline to follow is to not consume more than 150 per cent of your regular calorie intake/limit,' according to Bodies by Byrne, run by a nutritionist and fitness instructor.

Will 1 cheat day ruin your progress? ›

Do cheat days ruin your progress? A cheat day every once in a while will not erase weeks and months of consistent workouts and healthy eating. Cheat days can help keep you stay motivated long-term if you practice mindful eating. But remember, this doesn't mean you can get carried away on cheat days.

Will I gain weight if I cheat one day? ›

In order to gain a pound of fat, you would need to add about 500 calories a day on top of your normal diet, every day, for about 7 days. This makes gaining any significant amount of fat from even the craziest all-out cheat days extremely unlikely.

What sweets can I eat on keto? ›

Healthline's picks of the best keto candies
  • SmartSweets Gummy Bears.
  • ChocZero White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.
  • Lily's Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels.
  • Go Better Keto Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Cups.
  • Stevita Naturals Hard Candy.
  • Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels in Sea Salt.
  • Dr. ...
  • BHU Keto Truffle Fat Bombs.
Jun 10, 2022

How do I kick start ketosis again? ›

In fact, nutritionists say these seven tips can help get you back into ketosis in no time.
  1. Let go of a perfectionist mind-set. ...
  2. Have a game plan. ...
  3. Set reasonable, achievable goals. ...
  4. Don't quit carbs 'cold turkey' ...
  5. Use salt during the transition. ...
  6. Stay hydrated. ...
  7. Try a more sustainable version of keto.
Jan 3, 2020

Does one meal a day cause ketosis? ›

A one meal a day or OMAD approach is an advanced intermittent fasting method that promotes weight loss, saves time in the kitchen, speeds up ketosis, and helps you maintain healthy blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

What are the hardest days of keto? ›

Pro tip: If possible, I recommend starting the keto diet on a Thursday, as days 3 and 4 are usually the hardest part of the transition.

Is it OK to do keto 6 days a week? ›

Stick to a standard keto diet 5–6 days per week

During standard ketogenic days, it's important to consume 20-50 grams of carbs per day. During this phase of the cyclical keto diet, healthy fats should deliver approximately 65-90% of your total calorie intake.

Can you eat grapes on keto? ›

Despite the many health benefits of fruit, there is an issue with some fruits on the keto diet. Grapes and bananas, for instance, contain high quantities of carbs. 1 cup of grapes has approximately 26 grams and a medium banana, 24 grams of carbohydrate. As a rule, these fruits should be avoided.

How do I know when I am in ketosis? ›

10 Signs and Symptoms That You're in Ketosis
  1. Bad breath. ...
  2. Weight loss. ...
  3. Increased ketones in the blood. ...
  4. Increased ketones in the breath or urine. ...
  5. Appetite suppression. ...
  6. Increased focus and energy. ...
  7. Short-term fatigue. ...
  8. Short-term decreases in performance.

Does exercise cancel out carbs on keto? ›

Imagine that you eat 30 grams of carbs before your workout. As soon as you burn 120 calories, you have burned off the carbs consumed and you are back in ketosis. You can accomplish this in under 30 minutes if you are exercising vigorously.

Is popcorn on keto? ›

Once you figure out how many daily carbs your body can take in to remain in ketosis, you can divvy up your allotment however you like, but popcorn can easily fit in a ketogenic eating plan. “For all intents and purposes, it is a keto-friendly food,” says Rissetto.

How many carbs is cheating on keto? ›

While cheating may be helpful for some eating patterns, it's far from ideal for the keto diet. That's because this diet relies on your body staying in ketosis. To do so, you need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day. Eating more than 50 grams can kick your body out of ketosis ( 2 ).

What kicks you out of ketosis? ›

Regular and artificial sweeteners can kick you out of ketosis. Stevia is calorie- and carb-free and will not kick you out. Other keto-approved sweeteners are fine to eat in moderation and should not cause a problem. Can exercise kick me out of ketosis?

What kind of bread is keto friendly? ›

Cloud bread, or oopsie bread, is very popular with low-carb and keto dieters. Cloud bread is a protein-rich alternative to regular bread and makes an excellent sandwich base or English muffin replacement. There are various recipes for cloud bread, but a simple version is as follows.

Can you eat hot dogs on keto? ›

Low in carbs and high in fat, sausages and hot dogs are keto-friendly! Although we recommend eating processed meats sparingly, hot dogs and sausages can be a great meal choice if you're following a flexible keto diet. And don't forget adding chicken sausage, turkey hot dogs, and tofu dogs to the grill, too.

Can you eat ranch on keto? ›

Yes! Much like you, we also love the taste of ranch and love even more that it is keto-friendly. Indulge in our delicious, house-made, creamy ranch dressing. At zero calories per serving, there's not guilting into dipping this seasoning on all of your well-loved dishes!

Are fried wings keto? ›

Yes, chicken wings are keto! Carbs in wings are naturally low, so you can enjoy wings on keto often — if you prepare them right.

Why do I feel sick after cheating on keto? ›

If you've been low-carb for weeks or months, one cheat meal (especially a super high-carb cheat meal) can send your body into a tizzy. Specifically, you're at risk for blood sugar spikes, which can cause dizziness, shakiness, headaches, fatigue, and lethargy.

Will one cheat day a week ruin my diet? ›

The question: Will one "cheat day" a week ruin your weight-loss plans? The expert: Rachel Beller, M.S., R.D., author of Eat to Lose, Eat to Win. The answer: No, in fact, it's encouraged!

Can you lose weight on 50 carbs a day? ›

Some people reduce their daily carb intake with the aim of losing weight, cutting down to around 50–150 grams per day. Research has shown that low carb diets can be part of an effective weight loss strategy.

How can I speed up my ketosis weight loss? ›

7 tips for reaching ketosis faster
  1. Significantly reducing the carbohydrate intake. ...
  2. Increasing physical activity. ...
  3. Fasting for short periods. ...
  4. Increasing healthful fat intake. ...
  5. Testing ketone levels. ...
  6. Checking protein intake. ...
  7. Consuming more MCT oil.

Can you eat 30 carbs and be in ketosis? ›

Carbohydrate tolerance varies among individuals. Some people may need to limit themselves to no more than 30 grams of total carbohydrates per day to remain in nutritional ketosis and maintain its benefits; while others may be able to consume more.

How long to lose 40 pounds on keto? ›

With a rate of weight loss of 1-2 pounds each week, about 5-6 months is how long to lose 40 pounds on keto.

How long does it take to lose weight on keto without exercise? ›

Generally, you'll need to adhere to a caloric deficit of around 500 calories per day. At this rate, you should start to see noticeable weight loss after anywhere from 10 to 21 days.

Does exercise speed up weight loss in ketosis? ›

Absolutely! Working out is one key strategy when it comes to achieving your health goals, and that includes when you're on the keto diet. A recent study found that working out while doing keto can increase weight loss from fat stores without affecting lean muscle mass.

Is it OK to eat whatever you want on a cheat day? ›

On a cheat day, you are allowed to eat whatever you want. It is possible that you may not count the calories as on a normal day. While some choose to go all out, some choose a less extreme version and increase their daily calorie intake with healthy, high-calorie foods.

What is the healthiest cheat meal? ›

10 Ideas for Your Next Treat or Cheat Meal
  1. Coffee. As long as you're avoiding extra sugar, coffee can be a soothing and flavorful option for a daily treat. ...
  2. Smoothies or Acai Bowls. ...
  3. Pancakes. ...
  4. Peanut Butter with Bananas. ...
  5. Nut Butters. ...
  6. Turkey Burgers. ...
  7. Sweet Potato Fries. ...
  8. Chicken Wings.

How to do a cheat day properly? ›

How to Have the Optimal Cheat Day
  1. Make It a Meal. ...
  2. Opt for Fresh Foods Over Processed Ones. ...
  3. Plan It Out. ...
  4. Focus on What You Really Want. ...
  5. Pace Yourself. ...
  6. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. ...
  7. Splurge Earlier in the Day. ...
  8. Pay Attention to How You Feel.

What is the best thing to do after a cheat day? ›

The day after your cheat day, make sure you drink more water than usual. This can help flush out the sugar, salt, and any other toxins you've ingested. Not only that, but drinking water can fill your stomach and stave off hunger so you won't overeat once again.

Why do I lose weight after a cheat day? ›

Research shows that after a cheat meal, the body increases its metabolism, causing you to burn calories faster. This is caused by increased levels of leptin, a hormone secreted by fat cells and responsible for maintaining energy balance in the body.

What if I ate 4000 calories on a cheat day? ›

No, it will not make you fat immediately. Although you should avoid many more “cheat days.” Fats needs to build up in order for you to gain weight. So if you ate 4,000 calories for the next few days, you would probably gain a couple of pounds. Just continue your diet and you should be fine.

Do you gain weight on keto cheat day? ›

Your blood sugar will spike, making an abundance of quick energy available and causing your body to switch back to glucose as a source of fuel. Ketone production will stop. A majority of the sugars you eat will likely be used to replenish glycogen stores. This may cause a temporary gain in water weight.

What should I eat on a cheat day? ›

These are some cheat day recipes that will make it count!
  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders. ...
  • Mac and Cheese. ...
  • Chocolate Cream Pie. ...
  • Gail Simmons' Epic Spaghetti Pie. ...
  • Honey's Coconut Cupcakes. ...
  • Chicken Nachos. ...
  • Chicken Pot Pie. ...
  • Baileys Chocolate Truffles.

How many extra calories should you have on a cheat day? ›

Ideally, eat just 300 calories extra in your cheat meal, and do not eat till you are sick during the cheat meal. 2. Consider cheat meal as an opportunity to reset metabolism: Choose the meal that would help you in the weight loss process, aka, in jumpstarting a sluggish metabolism.

How many hours should I fast after cheat day? ›

One of the most effective tools for this is to utilize Intermittent Fasting and fast for 12-16 hours after your "cheat" meal. Intermittent Fasting helps to shift your body into fat burning mode and reduce the reliance on blood glucose, allowing it to naturally stabilize.

Should I fast the day after a cheat day? ›

A good time to fast would be after a cheat day, when you've ingested extra calories and other toxins. It doesn't even need to be a whole dedicated to fasting. Instead, you can just skip a meal or consolidate eating all your calories into one window of time.

How do I restart my keto after a long break? ›

In fact, nutritionists say these seven tips can help get you back into ketosis in no time.
  1. Let go of a perfectionist mind-set. ...
  2. Have a game plan. ...
  3. Set reasonable, achievable goals. ...
  4. Don't quit carbs 'cold turkey' ...
  5. Use salt during the transition. ...
  6. Stay hydrated. ...
  7. Try a more sustainable version of keto.
Jan 3, 2020

Will a 24 hour fast put me in ketosis? ›

Going on a 24-hour fast before you start the keto diet can actually put your body in a state of ketosis. During that period, your body will burn through its glucose reserves, which will set you up to begin burning body fat and dietary fat for fuel.

What is the fastest way to lose weight on a cheat day? ›

The following tips will help you to deal with the day after a cheat day: easy and effective!
  1. Hello protein and veggies! The day after your cheat day you should choose a high protein and veggie day. ...
  2. Bumping up a calorie burn – but don't over-do-it! ...
  3. Drink water – lots of water! ...
  4. Move on! Hold on!
Jan 18, 2016

How many pounds do you gain on a cheat day? ›

But if on a cheat day, you decide to eat and drink whatever you want and load up to 300 grams of carbohydrates (the average number of carbs eaten by men, according to the US Department of Agriculture), you would be retaining around 1kg of water or 2.2 pounds.

Why did I gain 5 pounds after a cheat day? ›

Why does a cheat day cause you to gain weight? A cheat day causes some large weight increases, but weight because of water, not fat. Depending on what kind of diet you were on, loading up on carbs on a cheat day can increase your weight noticeably.

Is it okay to eat anything on cheat day? ›

On a cheat day, you are allowed to eat whatever you want. It is possible that you may not count the calories as on a normal day. While some choose to go all out, some choose a less extreme version and increase their daily calorie intake with healthy, high-calorie foods.

Can you go back to normal after keto? ›

Transitioning off the keto diet should take a few weeks. About 14 days is pretty reasonable for your body to adjust to the change. Some people find it helpful to increase their carb intake each day by about 10 percent, while others use an app to help keep track.

How do you feel when you come out of ketosis? ›

You may experience "keto flu" symptoms again, depending on your metabolism and what kind of keto break you took. You might also have headaches, nausea, fatigue, stomach pain and body aches, brain fog, and mood swings.


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