Is cheating bad on the Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenic Lifestyle

You have probably seen so many posts about not cheating on your diet and why you shouldn’t. I hope to help you understand why it is very important not to cheat.

The Ketogenic lifestyle is all about healing your body inside and out. It can take several months for your body to realize the change and to begin healing. It is a learning process everyday. It requires you to continue to look at ingredients while shopping, it forces you to question food choices in restaurants, and even at home or at a friends house. If you are new and learning, just know you will get through it. You WILL be able to make those choices and say “NO, THANK YOU” politely, of course when given food by your friends or family.

Deciding to live a Ketogenic Lifestyle is the toughest/easiest choice you will make regarding your health. I promise after the initial “keto flu” you might experience, you will feel so much better. You will find energy you never knew you had, sleep better, mood will improve, and SHOOT even your confidence! If you are struggling with infertility, various health conditions, hormone imbalances such as anxiety and depression, it will improve those conditions! I have seen hundreds of people post about how this lifestyle has changed them for the better!!

Many articles will tell you not to cheat, you will read the first sentence and maybe move on and do want you want to do, and if it makes you happy, I’m not hear to tell you not to! 😉 But, I am going to try and persuade you very hard as to not DO IT!!! I’ll even scream in my movie voice, ‘DON’T DO IT!!!!!!” as I’m holding onto your attention with every finger typing vigorously. 😉

Many people (even in some keto groups, “carb cycling” groups, etc) will tell you that a “cheat day” or two won’t hurt you. There are many articles that boast about carb cycling, etc. But, I am here to tell you, that YOU should not do that! Do not cheat!

I think I’m going to have a cheat day!

Ask yourself this first, why? Why did you decide to live this lifestyle? Was it because you want to lose weight? Was it because you want to decrease your blood pressure and come off all of your diabetic medication? Is it because you have conditions such at PCOS and are wanting to get pregnant?

Keep those in mind when you decide you want a cheat day.

Why is cheating so bad?

Let me tell you why! Because in the 10 months I have been living this (woe, way of eating), I have had probably too many cheat days. I have decided to go back to drinking my diet coke (poison) and have stalled because of it. What, I have noticed as well, it has caused me to crave the bad foods again. I am bloated when I drink it and it just doesn’t make my belly feel good. As much as I don’t want to admit it, because I have a serious addiction to it, but alas I have. ” Hi, my name is Amanda, I am a diet coke, diet dr pepper addict”. Cheating also sends a wave of symptoms that will return when you make that choice. You will be starting over and risk the endless cycle of binging.

What goes on in our body when we cheat? What symptoms have you noticed?

Lets look into the science a little bit.

• Cheating will affect fat adaptation– while in ketosis, your body is learning and altering the hormones in your body(so much so, I even had an irregular period when I first started), it has increased enzyme production in order to burn fat as fuel. Cheating one day a week or several back to back will prevent you from entering Ketosis and it won’t keep you there either. While you are sabotaging all your efforts getting and staying in Ketosis eating that carb loaded meal or cake, your body will suffer and you will feel it. And, risk all those healthy benefits that you have worked so hard to achieve!!

It will Spike Your Blood Sugar
Think about all the meals you eat during the day. The main benefits of this way of eating is that it decreases sugar in the body. It decreases the body’s insulin response because we are not fueling it will 3000 calories worth of carbs and sugar. This is why it works so well with Type 2 Diabetics, and many other conditions. They are able to control their diets, stop taking the medications, and learn how to eat real food. Once you cheat your blood sugar will spike and ultimately make you feel awful!

Let’s talk about cravings – Wow, does it increase your cravings!! 
I already touched on my diet coke and the cravings it has caused. One of the first things I noticed when I began this woe was everything started to taste sweet. My taste buds changed. Healthy food tasted better. Even water started tasting sweet!! WATER, really?!!! There are still times that I think food has sugar in it when it doesn’t because my taste buds are no longer flooded with fake sugars altering what food should really taste like. Over time, that cup of spinach taste so much better because now you really know the benefits and its just not a cup of greens anymore, it’s yummy!! You are eating it to fuel your body, getting in your fat in by adding butter or bacon grease, and reaping all the healthy benefits and helping turn your body into fat burning mode! When you decided to cheat, you are almost resetting those nice little taste buds again. But, once you get back on track to keto, you will crave those chips or cookies again. Remember those endorphins you learned about? You are triggering those again making your brain and body want it again. It felt good eating it at the time, it tasted good at the time, but is/was it worth it? It will make it harder to jump back into keto the more and more you do it. You will find yourself again gaining weight and back to where you started.

The famous Keto-Flu
Let’s talk about the symptoms: low energy, bloating, headaches, fatigue, body cramps. These are all symptoms you will experience when/if you enter the keto- flu. If you decide to cheat and start the cycle of cheating, you might experience these symptoms again and again. Remember when we talked about your mood improving? And, remember all those hormones that are stabilizing now that you are fueling your body with what it needs? How does it make you feel? You have this awesome sense of well being, energy, sleeping better, happier right? Let us throw some cheat meals in, alter the hormones again. You may feel your emotions (sad, depressed, guilty, anxious, etc) return. I know I didn’t want some of those emotions to return. I really enjoy having energy and no bloat!

• What your body might experience/what you will feel. Symptoms:
These are the symptoms I felt when I knew I might have ate something with sugar, or when I had a cheat meal. I have experienced various different symptoms that include: increased inflammation (in my joints, in my hips, in my back, in my knees, my throat) , low energy (flu like), sad (not wanting to do anything-lack of energy). When you are fueling your body with garbage, you notice these symptoms now when you eat something that is bad or had hidden sugar. Not too mention the damage that is being caused inside your body, and all those great health benefits that you worked so hard to obtain!!

I am not here to make you feel bad or judge you! Remember, in the beginning, I told you I have cheated way more times than I needed. But, it’s all about choices.

We have to remember why we chose this lifestyle in the first place. 🙂

I chose to become healthier. I was steadily increasing in weight every year. I have a stressful job, and see the awful havoc everyday on what diet has on the body. I also see that the Standard American Diet, of ADA diet is not the best diet. I have seen so many benefits with myself and others from this way of eating, that it will take months to list them! And, pages of pictures I wish I could share, and testimonials. Even I have seen awesome benefits in the little time I have done this!
This way of eating decreases the bad cholesterol, decreases blood pressure, allows people to get off diabetic medications, decreases risk of heart attacks and strokes! I can say that because it has tons of research already to prove it!

There is multiple research regarding cancer patients. Being on the keto diet has decreased allowed people with cancer to live longer and also has allowed them to come off chemo meds early because of this diet modification!! If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what will. Again, I say that because I see it!! I’m not just reiterating what people say on boards, or posts, or websites, etc.