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So you cheated! And now you need to figure out how to get back in Ketosis? Here's what I learned after my Fat Tuesday Carb Feast…
How To Get Back In Ketosis
Jamie here! Yesterday was Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday) and I was soooo determined to stay on track. At 7 weeks into Keto and 22 lbs down, I didn't want to mess up my progress. But then I made a red velvet cake (for the kids!) and I bought Fat Tuesday junk food (for the kids!) … and then while I was hanging out with the family and making pizza rolls I came to a decision. I AM GOING TO EAT SOME YUMMY STUFF TODAY.
So, for supper I baked myself a Totino's Pepperoni pizza and I LOVED EVERY BITE. (My husband thinks I'm crazy but I can't help it, I love these things!)
Then I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound! So I enjoyed a double helping of chips and salsa.
And later while cutting the cake and looking for the Baby Jesus, I just figured… might as well have an enormous slice!
In bed last night I added it up – and my Fat Tuesday feast was around 160 carbs.
ONE HUNDRED. AND SIXTY. CARBS. 😱😱
So what the heck do I do to get back on track after a cheat day?
4 Tips To Restart Ketosis
(Check out my friend Jennifer's new COOKBOOK KETO FRIENDLY RECIPES HERE if you're looking for Keto cooking and ideas!)
Don't Give Up!
First things first – don't beat yourself up about it!
Even though we're trying to get healthier or lose weight (or both) that doesn't mean we can't enjoy life. Eating the things you really love once in awhile can make you not feel too deprived. That's a solid psychological benefit if you ask me, and could help you stay strong and Keto-On for the long term!
Okay, but now that we've hugged it out – what are we going to do with ourselves? How can I get BACK into Ketosis?
Use Fasting To Get Back Into Ketosis Quickly
Loads of articles I've read recommend intermittent fasting as one surefire way to get into ketosis more quickly. (Here's a good one and also here) There's a lot of info out there about intermittent fasting, but I'll let you do your homework about it. If you're a first time faster, you may want to start with a 12-hour fast.
Examples of a 12-Hour fast:
- Stop eating at 8pm and don't have ANY CALORIES AT ALL (even cream in your coffee!) until 8 am.
- Finish eating at Midnight (Hello – night owl here!) and don't have any calories until Noon the next day.
This gives your body a chance to use up the carbs you just ate, as well as fat stores you already have. If you have extremely awesome willpower, lots of folks recommend a 16:8 fast. That means they fast for 16 hours, and only eat their meals during an 8 hour window.
Examples of a 16:8 Fast:
- Eat an early supper – end at 6pm. Have Black coffee/Tea for breakfast (adding Stevia sweetener is fine!) and start eating at 10am
- Have a late supper – end at 8pm. Have Black coffee/tea for breakfast and eat lunch at 12pm.
So – not impossible right?
Hiking up and down hills with my bestie Tessie – despite the cold!
Exercise Those Evil Carbs Away!
So let's say you just ate 160 carbs (ahem) and completely topped off your body's glycogen stores. Exercising is one great way to use them up before your body turns them into fat. Grab your bestie and go do some running (or if you're as out of shape as me, maybe some slow, labored jogging…) But not just once – do it a few times in the first few days after your cheat.
If you already go to the gym regularly – ramp up your routine a bit after you've gone off track.
Strictly Limit Carbs to Restart Ketosis
Get back to limiting carbs to 15-20 per day! It's time to be a little more strict on yourself than normal. If you're not sure what your carb limit is (it varies by weight/height/etc…) – I recommend getting the Carb Manager app. It's a little hard to get used to at first, but was extremely helpful for me to know where my boundaries were when I started.
Also – maybe it's time to try out some new recipes so you don't feel so stuck in a rut that you crave cheat foods. My friend Kasey has a whole lot of amazingly good and easy Keto recipes here! She does a meal plan every week and runs a FB group that I'm a part of.
How Long Does It Take To Get Back Into Ketosis?
Experts say that you could get back into Ketosis within as little as 12 hours (assuming you're a young, trim, athletic male who's been doing Keto awhile and who's body is already fat adapted.) 🙄
Now for the rest of us – it could take 2-7 days. I am crossing my fingers for 2, and I'll update this post when I have an answer!
I'm using Ketone Test Strips to test myself, paired with the knowledge that I always get really dry mouth when I'm in Ketosis. These aren't always the most accurate ways to tell if you're in ketosis. You can use a blood monitor like this one to be really sure.
What's Your Experience?
I'm still so new to this – and I would love to hear from any of you who regularly have an off-track day and have been able to get back into ketosis relatively quickly. How long do you fast? How much do you exercise, if any? How long does it normally take you?
LAURIE'S SUCCESS STRATEGY:
If you could use lots of structure and help along your journey – this is the weight loss program that was super successful for Laurie! She lost 82 lbs and recommends this program above all others she's tried! It incorporates Keto 2 days a week – as well as principles of intermittent fasting – but it's not as strict as regular Keto overall 🙂