I figured out 18 hacks for a keto cheat day through trial and error, so you don’t have to. They helped many people quickly recover from a cheat day and will help you too.
Can You Have a Cheat Day on Keto?
Why will you have a cheat day on keto? Because there will be infrequent occasions with your family or friends you want to enjoy without restrictions. And that’s just human.
Moreover, you don’t want to be that annoying person mentioning your diet every five minutes and spreading the uncomfortable feeling you want to limit others on special events or holidays too.
Additionally, there might be some favorite dishes, for example, the dessert your grandma used to bake for you, that you don’t want to miss for the rest of your life.
Experiencing other cultures is a tolerable reason to cheat on your ketogenic diet, while a colleague’s birthday at work is not.
But you won’t reap the desired benefits if you go off track to fit in, be polite, or just because you are in a hurry.
Especially when aiming at weight loss, it will be demoralizing to regain weight after you seriously put in the effort.
Maintaining a ketogenic diet is fundamental for sustainable weight loss and health. It’s instead a lifestyle than just another diet.
Keto can be tremendously effective and save time when you optimize your daily habits. Showing busy people how to do this the right way is exactly what my FREE 7-Step Guide with 30-Day Challenge Plan is all about.
Nevertheless, an unprepared keto cheat day promotes weight gain and inflammation.
For this reason, I developed an ultimate guide to minimize your health and weight drawbacks when going off your diet program.
Hence, these 18 evidence-based tips describe everything you need to know about having cheat days on keto.
How Often Should You Have a Cheat Day on Keto?
Certainly, not once a week. Because that way, you can barely get into ketosis. Since a single cheat day may knock you out of ketosis for up to 3 days, you can’t cheat once a week.
If we do the math, you end up not burning fat for energy half the week with a regular cheat day on keto. Of course, recovery time depends on how well your body is used to burn fat for energy.
So if you are fat-adapted, you can get back into ketosis more quickly after a cheat day. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend cheating if you are starting.
Hence, the more you get used to the keto lifestyle, the more comfortable you can make an exception. Especially if you follow my tips on keto cheat recovery, you can even get back into ketosis in a matter of hours.
With this in mind, understanding that the ketogenic diet as a lifestyle to maximize many health benefits rather than another fad diet will help you to get results.
Nevertheless, I would plan a keto cheat day once a quarter. And do it for an occasion you’re looking forward to.
Eventually, if we are honest, you will be tempted more often than you would like to. Therefore, a planned keto cheat day once a week will set you up for failure.
Keto Cheat Day Plateau
Overcoming a plateau with a cheat day sounds too good to be true because it is.
But don’t worry. Hitting a keto plateau after dropping the first pounds is a regular thing.
Since your brain regulates your body weight with the help of hormones, there is a body weight set point.
Our bodies focus on stability. Likewise, the same area in your brain regulates stable body temperature.
But you already set your body up for weight loss since a ketogenic diet lowers insulin levels. And insulin is the primary regulator of the body weight set point.
Especially if you are insulin resistant, it can take many weeks to alter the set point by improving food quality.
With this in mind, the following tips are aimed at often overlooked additional reasons for a weight-loss stall, helping you to overcome it more quickly:
- Eating frequently: You don’t need six meals daily to lose weight. But you need extended periods without eating to allow insulin levels to drop. Therefore, skip breakfast. And you started intermittent fasting, which works excellently with keto.
- Stress: The stress hormone cortisol triggers insulin and promotes weight gain even if you’re not eating. Thus start meditation, yoga, or regular exercise to counteract the overlooked effects of stress.
- Lectins: These plant proteins can bind to your insulin receptors and cause weight gain (Shechter 1983). Therefore, eliminate high-lectin foods like tomatoes, peppers, and legumes from a ketogenic diet.
- Processed Food: Eat real food! No matter how often the package says keto-approved. Fake food consists of artificial sweeteners and many other chemical additives, inhibiting weight loss.
- Diet Soda: Artificial sweeteners might not spike blood sugar, but they spike insulin. Thus, diet soda supports weight gain and cravings.
What to Know Before Your Cheat Day on Keto
Exposing your metabolism to a carb binge has to be prepared correctly to call the project a success. But it’s
To make your life way easier you must clarify general questions about intention and timing first. Furthermore, there are actions you can already take before having a cheat meal to significantly reduce drawbacks.
#1 There is No Need for Carb Refeed
You might have heard that you should refeed on carbohydrates now and then while being on a low-carb diet.
But the need for dietary restoration of carbohydrate levels in your muscles is a myth that is particularly sticky in circles of strength training enthusiasts.
Nevertheless, it’s a fact that your liver can produce sufficient carbohydrates through a process called gluconeogenesis out of other substances like protein or even stored fat (Fung 2016).
Have you ever heard about essential carbohydrates? No? That’s because there are none. Carbs are the only macro-nutrient humans don’t need to survive.
So if you came here out of the wrong necessity to replenish your carbohydrate stores after an intensive workout, you are already done. There is no reason to do so.
Furthermore, the tempting idea of a keto cheat day breaking a plateau will instead counteract weight loss ambitions based on my experience.
#2 Don’t Cheat If You Are Not Fat-Adapted
If you just started your new way of eating, keep in mind that it will take three to six weeks until your body can adjust to the high-fat low-carb ketogenic lifestyle.
Your endocrine system hormones and pathways need to adapt to your diet long-term.
Therefore, you should not interrupt this phase. Otherwise, adjusting your body to tap into fat for energy will take much longer and more effort.
Eventually, you want to clarify to what extent you can use fat for energy.
Thus, if you are not fat-adapted, it will take 20 hours or longer to get back on track. Furthermore, keep in mind that the resulting psychological effects won’t bring you closer to your goals too.
#3 It’s Not a Big Deal
Have you ever viewed your diet from an evolutionary perspective? There’s a reason why we are omnivores. Fat is the cleanest fuel we can burn for energy, but our stone-age ancestors made dietary exceptions regularly.
Because nature made it very tempting for them to feast on carbohydrates when possible.
Fruits and honey rich in fructose – a significant driver of insulin resistance in liver cells and hence of weight gain – could have been a ticket for survival 40,000 years ago (Gundry 2017).
But, the opportunities for high carbohydrate food were rare and limited to autumn. Fruits also weren’t designed and farmed candies, like they are today.
Because they needed to build up fat reserves, our ancestors used to feast on the sugar nature provided excessively whenever possible.
In food scarce winters, they had to live just on their body fat for days, weeks, or even longer. We have developed a fancy term for this ancient human habit – intermittent fasting.
With this in mind, the human body is designed to eat a high amounts of carbohydrates now and then. That’s not a big deal.
But we are confusing the exception to the general rule in Western society promoted by the food industry.
What I want you to make sure is that you keep that fact in mind, too, and your cheat day on keto is staying the exception. Getting off your regular high-fat diet track is a familiar thing to your body.
It’s totally fine and won’t do much harm as long as you get right back on your ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting schedule afterward.
So, stop feeling guilty, enjoy your holiday with your family or the big party with friends. But get back into ketosis quickly and choose your cheating opportunities wisely.
#4 Limit the Time for Cheat Days on Keto
There certainly are special occasions to cheat on your diet but don’t take them as an excuse for excessive behavior.
The longer you expose your body to high amounts of carbohydrates, the more efficient the elevated insulin levels in your blood will store excess energy as body fat.
With this in mind, especially the holiday season tempts one to eat loads of high carbohydrate foods over an extended amount of time.
In the case of one-time celebrations and generally, whenever possible, limit your route of the track to a single cheat meal and call it a Friday or Saturday night.
Hence, avoid snacking, get it over in single meals, and ideally keep the cheating time frame short. The quicker you stick back to your keto diet, the smaller the drawbacks to your body and desired results.
#5 Exercise Before Your Cheat Day on Keto
Here’s a classical trick you might have heard of, especially if you’ve been hanging out with athletes. But you might not know why it makes sense. Thus, I will cover that quickly.
Your body stores carbohydrates as glycogen in your liver and skeletal muscles for short-term energy expenditure. Body fat, on the other hand, is a more long-term type of energy storage.
Before you eat larger amounts of carbs, you want to make sure that your glycogen stores are empty. Your body can store about 1,500 to 2,000 calories as glycogen.
If glycogen stores are full, excess carbohydrates will be turned into fat by a process called de novo lipogenesis in the liver (Fung 2016).
For this reason, we want to support the depletion of glycogen stores by exercising to minimize the chance that excess carbohydrates of the cheat meal are stored as fat.
#6 Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Before a Cheat Meal on Keto
Our ancestors have known the health benefits of apple cider vinegar for centuries.
Diluted apple cider vinegar has a history as a weight loss drink. Because of its antimicrobial properties, vinegar was also used to clean wounds in times before antibiotics.
Today, sushi chefs add vinegar to their rice, or people put it on potato chips and french fries. Such addition of vinegar to carbohydrate is smart.
Apple cider vinegar on keto does not alter the carbohydrates consumed but has a protective effect on the induced insulin response.
Japanese researchers showed that adding vinegar (acetic acid) to white rice is lowering its glycemic index – the relative rise in blood sugar levels – by almost 40 percent (Sugiyama et al. 2003).
Moreover, another study suggests that taking two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with cheat meals high in carbohydrates lowers blood sugar and insulin levels by 34 percent.
Additionally, consuming the acetic acid shortly before a meal turned out to be more effective than taking it hours in advance (Johnston et al. 2010).
Making use of this trick is one of the most helpful things you can do to reduce the carbohydrate impact of your cheat meal or cheat day on keto.
You also can’t go wrong with consuming more than two teaspoons of vinegar since scientists have shown that acetic acid increases satiety and lowers average caloric intake per day (Johnston and Buller 2005).
If you asked yourself why apple cider vinegar on keto seems to be so popular, there is a reason too. Apple cider vinegar is our weapon of choice because it contains not only acetic acid but also pectins.
Pectin is a soluble fiber (we’ll cover that in a minute, see #10) that has similar protective effects on your carbohydrate consumption as vinegar.
Keto Cheat Meal Ideas
Cheating on the keto diet consciously can make a vast difference when it comes to limiting the damage to your metabolism.
With knowledge about how to eat a high carbohydrate meal the smart way, you can significantly reduce the effort to shift your metabolism back to burning ketone bodies for energy afterward.
For this reason you shouldn’t ever get off your diet program out of impulsivity.
To already have a plan for any situation, I recommend grabbing yourself a copy of my FREE PDF Guide with a 30-Day Challenge Plan.
Building awareness of how food choices are impacting your hormone system is what it’s all about.
#7 Prefer Real Food
This one should be a no-brainer, but it isn’t.
Walking around with an awareness of what might be processed food and what is real food made out of raw ingredients is a fundamental skill you shouldn’t ignore while cheating on your diet.
Shelf-stable and readily seasoned foods like bakery goods, bars, and marinated vegetables or meat will most likely contain low-quality vegetable oils, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals or additives.
For example, researchers have proven that the popular additive monosodium glutamate significantly elevates insulin levels and hence promotes weight gain (Chevassus and Renard et al. 2002).
Furthermore, if you can make sure that your cheat day on keto is limited to organic carbs, you can cut out dangerous herbicides like glyphosate too.
The usual suspects to avoid whenever possible are the most genetically modified (GMO) crops soy, corn, canola and cottonseed. These will show up in the form of highly refined plant oils too.
Besides the fact that real food tastes better, choosing it over fake food will also reduce the number of empty calories consumed.
Nutrient-dense choices adding vitamins and minerals to your meal are more likely to slow down digestion and counteract insulin secretion.
In short, go for blackberries instead of blackberry-flavored yogurt or the more nutrient-dense sweet potatoes instead of regular mashed potatoes which might be instant.
#8 Don’t Overeat on Keto Cheat Days
It’s way more likely to overeat on a cheat meal than on a high-fat ketogenic dish. Why is that a fact? Because there are two significant circumstances inhibiting feeling saturated:
- The addictive positive feedback loop of sugar
- The absence of satiety hormones
In contrast to salt, sugar has a positive feedback system – the more you consume it, the more you crave it.
Scientists have shown that the intense sweetness of refined sugar – especially when including a high amount of fructose – can surpass the reward of cocaine in your brain (Lenoir and Serre et al. 2007).
Results of a study at Princeton University even suggest that sugar can make eight times as addictive as cocaine (Avena and Rada et al. 2008).
Furthermore, dishes high in refined carbohydrates will not induce secretion of satiety hormones in amounts a high-fat whole food meal would.
Hormones like the peptide YY, GLP-1 (mainly triggered by animal protein), or leptin act as signals to your brain’s center for satiety – the hypothalamus. (Austin and Marks 2009)
In conclusion, we all know how easy it is to overeat on cake while it’s going to be a real challenge to do so on bacon.
Therefore, do yourself a favor and stop at a certain point – it’s not going to be more fun anyway, and you will regret it.
The more you eat, the more effectively excess energy is going to be stored as body fat due to the huge insulin spike. And yes, it will also be an effort to lose that excess weight when getting back to keto.
#9 Choose Foods with Soluble Fiber
Fiber is the carbohydrate proportion of plant foods the human body can’t digest. Since it’s an anti-nutrient, it substracts rather than adds.
That’s great news for your cheat day on keto since fiber can help reduce absorption and digestion.
Given that, you can utilize food with soluble fiber to reduce carbohydrate absorption and as a result, dampen blood glucose and insulin levels.
Furthermore, it bulks up foods, forms a gel, which decreases energy density, and supports satiety.
Beans and berries are examples of foods high in soluble fiber. Avocados are among the best low carb foods high in soluble fiber since they are nutrient-dense and rich in electrolytes, vitamins, as well as healthy fatty acids.
Moreover, avocados help to absorb fat-soluble nutrients from other food sources (Mercola 2017).
In one study, researchers exposed two groups of type 2 diabetics to the same amount of carbohydrates and calories.
The group with a bigger proportion of fiber in their meal showed significantly lower blood sugar and insulin spikes (Chandalia and Garg et al. 2000).
Once again, we have to conclude that real foods are the better option. Nature has foreseen fiber in raw food to counteract the effects of other carbohydrates.
Because it’s the processing of foods, which is removing protective factors like fiber or healthy fats and causing harm.
In short, pick the least processed version of plant foods to eat the unrefined carbohydrates and reap the protective benefits of fiber whenever you cheat on keto.
#10 Aim at Fatter Cheat Meals
Fats have a protective effect, similar to the one of fiber, and can lower the glycemic index of consumed carbohydrates.
Therefore, leverage butter, coconut oil, or olive oil to make carbs less easy to digest and dampen the rise in blood sugar and insulin levels induced by your cheat meal whenever possible.
On top of that, if you also aim at the fat on your cheat day on keto, you are more likely to stay saturated and ditch carb-induced cravings.
Healthy fats stimulate the secretion of leptin and cholecystokinin (CCK), another satiety hormone that has been shown to reduce food intake (McLaughlin and Lomax et al. 1998).
Given these points, don’t make the mistake to consume too much fat in addition to whatever you are cheating with on your diet and overeat.
Excess energy is going to be stored more efficiently as body fat due to higher insulin levels.
Instead, aim at fatter variants of dishes, if you can choose. For example, prefer fatty meat over filet cuts or heavy butter-based desserts over low-fat yogurt cakes with fruits (additional fructose).
#11 Avoid Too Much Fructose
Keeping fructose intake low is always a good idea. Fructose is the sweet molecule besides glucose in table sugar. Meals low in glucose but high in fructose result in less blood sugar, but that comes at a cost.
Fructose is a liver toxin like alcohol and, therefore, mainly metabolized by the liver. It directly contributes to insulin resistance in liver and muscle tissue, fatty liver disease, and belly fat (Tappy and Lê 2010).
With that in mind, avoid fructose in combination with alcohol. Vodka with juice, or jelly in conjunction with beer, will keep your liver busy for quite a while.
Hence, it will take much longer to empty your glycogen stores to get back into ketosis and burn fat for energy again.
Generally, I’m focusing on sustainably reducing body fat, but nothing helps most people lose weight faster than understanding the significant impact of fructose hidden in natural and processed foods.
Leveraging my FREE PDF Guide with a 30 Day Challenge Plan, it’s not uncommon for people to lose 10 – 20 pounds within a few weeks based on their brand new nutritional awareness.
#12 Handle Alcohol on Keto Wisely
Given that you will most likely have a cheat day on keto for a social event, alcohol consumption will often go hand in hand with it.
Always prefer pure spirits with sparkling water over cocktails. In short, don’t add additional fructose and glucose to the alcohol.
Wine is a convenient choice since it contains less residual sugar than you might think if it’s a dry wine like chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, or pinot grigio.
In contrast, beer is a worse choice, since more carbohydrates accompany the alcohol. If you want to drink beer, pick quality over quantity.
For example, craft beer is more likely to have higher quality ingredients and usually comes in smaller portions.
Although alcohol is a traditional part of many celebrations, you are better off keeping the amount and time frame of consumption small.
For this reason, start drinking water before you overconsume and generally feel better the next day.
Since I experimented and tested blood ketone levels a lot, the surprising bottom line is that alcohol doesn’t impair ketosis as long as not combined with a cheat meal. That’s especially true for drinks low in residual sugar, like dry wine and clear spirits.
In short, don’t let an alcoholic drink justify a high carbohydrate cheat meal, since it’s the latter that’s going to kick you out of ketosis for sure.
Nevertheless, alcohol keeps your liver busy, supports many diseases, and hence should stay an exception.
Keto Cheat Day Recovery
The transformation from burning glucose for energy to the metabolic state of ketosis can be a time-consuming task that can even take up to one week.
Therefore, here’s what to do after a cheat day on keto to speed things up. If you followed the 12 points above, we already pathed a favorable starting position.
In that case, the following tips will help you to get back into ketosis after a cheat meal in as little as 8 to 24 hours.
Do you think that sounds a little bit too optimistic? Fortunately, I did a field experiment to show you what is possible.
First, I have to admit that I’m not perfect. So now and then, when there’s an exceptional night with family and friends going on, I cheat on my diet with some drinks.
But I always try to limit the alcohol to dry wine or in some cases clear spirits as explained above.
In the picture below, you can see on the left how an excessive night without additional carbohydrate consumption can almost kick you out of ketosis.
I used simple urine ketone test stripes that work well for little money and deliver results in seconds.
On the right side, you can see a picture taken 10 hours later on the same day. The photos display the exact timestamps.
As you can see, while comparing, I went from almost negative to deep purple in that short amount of time.
And that’s what these 18 powerful tips can do. After going into your cheat day with the necessary awareness and mindset, the following points are crucial to go from about 0.25 mmol/L to 10 mmol/L in no time:
#13 Kickstart Ketosis with Fasting
It’s my personal experience that a cheat meal can kick you out of ketosis and hence, the ability to burn fat for a vast amount of time.
So what you want to do is to reduce your insulin levels as fast as possible and start to increase your blood ketone levels again.
With this in mind, there is this simple and most effective method for cheat day recovery – not eating for an extended amount of time.
Fasting after a cheat day on keto helps your body to recover from the consequences of high carbohydrate consumption.
To get the best results, I suggest to at least extend your intermittent fasting window to 24 hours. Therefore stick to plain green tea, coffee, and (mineral) water for hydration.
If you already have been fat-adapted, this is how you get into ketosis in one day.
But I even prefer to stretch the time frame over 36 to 48 hours when possible, since you can reap the benefits of another eight hours of sleep. Hence, you can get back into deeper ketosis.
Additionally, the hunger hormone ghrelin will also decrease overnight, making it simple to get back onto a 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol at noon.
#14 Exercise After a Cheat Day on Keto
One of the significant side effects of a cheat day on keto will be the storage of sugar in the form of glycogen. Exercise is a great tool to burn off those excess carbohydrates stored in muscle and liver tissue.
The faster you can deplete glycogen stores, the quicker your body can tap into stored fat again. If you are exercising the next day, ideally do it in a fasted state to enhance results.
#15 Use Apple Cider Vinegar After Cheat Meals
Although its consumption is very potent before a high carbohydrate meal, a diluted apple cider vinegar weight loss drink is also great for cheat day recovery, even on the next day.
A cheat meal on keto will induce unusually high blood glucose levels, followed by a blood sugar crash. But the health benefits of apple cider vinegar can help you to recover from low blood sugar levels.
Additionally, it’s rich in the electrolyte potassium, which reduces carbohydrate impact and again helps to stabilize blood glucose levels. Hence, apple cider vinegar after carbs is generally a good idea.
#16 Use the Health Benefits of Salt
Despite its bad reputation induced by mainstream media, salt offers health advantages as a natural counterpart to sugar (DiNicolantonio 2017).
High sugar consumption promotes insulin resistance and the storage of body fat, while salt intake enhances insulin sensitivity and supports weight loss (Sakuyama and Katoh et al. 2016).
Therefore, salt can help to buffer insulin spikes, inhibit blood sugar crashes, and stabilize blood glucose levels post carbohydrate cheat meal.
The smartest choices to consume the essential electrolyte sodium to bounce back from sweet treats are in the form of real sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.
Since these types of salt are usually purer and don’t contain additives like anti-caking agents.
#17 Drink Mineral Water After a Cheat Day on Keto
Since we now know about the health benefits of the essential electrolytes potassium and sodium, we want them to stay in our bodies to do their job.
Unfortunately, depleting glycogen stores to get back into ketosis quickly will cause your body to flush out water.
In this case, parts of those valuable minerals will leave the body, too, leaving you in an electrolyte imbalance (Duchowny 2005).
With this in mind, it is even more important to get enough salt and potassium, for example, in the form of olives and avocados.
Moreover, dehydration can cause other side effects like headaches. Thus, we want to drink plenty of water when recovering from a cheat day on keto to stay hydrated.
For this reason, my tip is to drink water from a mineral spring. Since it offers most of the essential electrolytes that just left your body, mineral water is a great choice.
Depending on the spring where it’s from, you can usually provide your body with the benefits of the electrolytes potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium with mineral water.
Additionally, sufficient water intake helps you to stay saturated and avoid cravings.
#18 Go for Foods With Healthy Fats
Using fat as the primary energy source is the underlying purpose of a ketogenic diet, which is helping you to lose weight, prevent diseases, and increase mitochondria health.
With this in mind, you want to get back into ketosis quickly. Therefore, fat intake will help your body to increase blood ketone levels faster.
With this intention, you might also want to check your blood ketone levels using urine test strips or a ketone monitoring device. Remember, eating keto is about providing 75 percent of energy by foods with healthy fats.
Additionally, fatty acids will support satiety and counteract sugar cravings induced by the high carbohydrate consumption and followed blood sugar crash (see #8 and #10).
With this in mind, boost your keto diet cheat day recovery with the following foods with healthy fats:
- coconut oil
- coconut milk
- MCT oil
- extra virgin olive oil
- avocado (oil)
- cod liver (oil)
- fish roe
- grass-fed or pastured meat
- grass-fed butter
- pastured eggs
- macadamia nuts
When cheating on the keto diet, judging if the occasion is worth the drawbacks is up to you.
Yes, you will store excess energy as fat more efficiently, and it will take a decent amount of time to be able to tap into fat again.
But if you made your way down here, I am convinced that you want to have a cheat day on keto for the right reason. And that’s sticking to it long-term without emotional deprivation due to strict limitations.
Leverage these 18 steps as a comprehensive toolset. So you can get off-track consciously, minimize the damage, and get back into ketosis quickly.
Moreover, you can also bring keto-friendly alternatives like a delicious low-carb pecan pie to share with your loved ones on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Nevertheless, keep in mind to not expand your cheating period over several days in the holiday season.
Call the rare event with friends a night, not a weekend. And get the cheat day over in one huge meal rather than in several smaller ones.
And pay attention to your body. I’ve learned from holiday cheat meals which foods negatively affect my digestion and mood so that I want to avoid them in the future.
Are you ready to make the high-fat diet an amazing lifestyle that lasts? The easiest way to take action right now is to download yourself a copy of my FREE PDF Guide with a 30-Day Challenge Plan.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dieting for, how overweight you think you are, or how hopeless your situation may seem, if you apply these 7 steps to weight loss and longevity then I promise you’re going to see results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will one cheat day ruin ketosis?
A carbohydrate-intensive cheat day on keto will definitely kick you out of ketosis for about 1-3 days.
Can you cheat on keto?
Yes, you can. And it’s not a big deal when you are fat-adapted and prepared for the cheat day on keto. It’s just human to have a cheat day on special occasions with family and friends once in a while.
Is it OK to cheat once a week on keto?
While it is OK to cheat once in a while on special occasions, you shouldn’t cheat once a week on keto. Simply because one cheat day can kick you out of ketosis for up to 3 days. Hence, you would limit the results drastically by cheating once a week on keto.
How long should you do keto?
The ketogenic diet is a lifestyle rather than a short-term diet. Keto aims to keep insulin levels low, burn fat for energy, and prevent diseases. Therefore, results are best when the low-carb high-fat way of eating stays our preferred diet in the long run.
A – K
Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008;32(1):20-39. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2007.04.019. Epub 2007 May 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 17617461; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2235907.
Chandalia M, Garg A, Lutjohann D, von Bergmann K, Grundy SM, Brinkley LJ. Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2000 May 11;342(19):1392-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200005113421903. PubMed PMID: 10805824.
Chevassus H, Renard E, Bertrand G, Mourand I, Puech R, Molinier N, Bockaert J, Petit P, Bringer J. Effects of oral monosodium (L)-glutamate on insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in healthy volunteers. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Jun;53(6):641-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2002.01596.x. PubMed PMID: 12047489; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1874333.
Duchowny MS. Food for thought: the ketogenic diet and adverse effects in children. Epilepsy Curr. 2005 Jul-Aug;5(4):152-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1535-7511.2005.00044.x. PubMed PMID: 16151526; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1198735.
Johnston CS, Buller AJ. Vinegar and peanut products as complementary foods to reduce postprandial glycemia. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Dec;105(12):1939-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.07.012. PubMed PMID: 16321601.
Johnston CS, Steplewska I, Long CA, Harris LN, Ryals RH. Examination of the antiglycemic properties of vinegar in healthy adults. Ann Nutr Metab. 2010;56(1):74-9. doi: 10.1159/000272133. PubMed PMID: 20068289.
L – S
Lenoir M, Serre F, Cantin L, Ahmed SH. Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward. PLoS One. 2007 Aug 1;2(8):e698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000698. PubMed PMID: 17668074; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1931610.
McLaughlin JT, Lomax RB, Hall L, Dockray GJ, Thompson DG, Warhurst G. Fatty acids stimulate cholecystokinin secretion via an acyl chain length-specific, Ca2+-dependent mechanism in the enteroendocrine cell line STC-1. J Physiol. 1998 Nov 15;513 (Pt 1):11-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7793.1998.011by.x. PubMed PMID: 9782155; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2231256.
Sakuyama H, Katoh M, Wakabayashi H, Zulli A, Kruzliak P, Uehara Y. Influence of gestational salt restriction in fetal growth and in development of diseases in adulthood. J Biomed Sci. 2016 Jan 20;23:12. doi: 10.1186/s12929-016-0233-8. Review. PubMed PMID: 26787358; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4719732.
Sugiyama M, Tang AC, Wakaki Y, Koyama W. Glycemic index of single and mixed meal foods among common Japanese foods with white rice as a reference food. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun;57(6):743-52. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601606. PubMed PMID: 12792658.
T – Z
Teff KL, Elliott SS, Tschöp M, Kieffer TJ, Rader D, Heiman M, Townsend RR, Keim NL, D’Alessio D, Havel PJ. Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jun;89(6):2963-72. doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-031855. PubMed PMID: 15181085.
Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Please understand that products or companies need to meet my high standards. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Stephan is a writer and a true man of science, holding multiple diplomas and master's degrees in different research areas. His greatest passion is closing the gap between the conventional perception of health and the latest scientific evidence – always following the data.