Nutritional Infidelity: Cheating on Your Diet and Falling Out of Ketosis
The bedroom door suddenly opens. You hear the distinct sound of your wife’s phone, hitting the ground. In a voice teeming with a mix of pain and anger, she gasps, “How could you!?” You lay scantily clad next to the epicenter of her rage. Top still off, glistening in the morning sunlight, she’s laying next to you. Mrs. Dazs. Better known as Häagen-Dazs Banana Peanut Butter Chip. She has always been your weakness. “But, we have been doing so good on our keto diet, what else have you been eating when I’m not around!?” Scorns your wife. As you sit, the ice cream mustache now drying on your perplexed face, you think, “really, how bad is one slip up?”
This question deserves a more in-depth investigation. So, let’s investigate.
Cheating on keto is done either with poor choices or by overeating.
Here are two examples.
It’s the end of a night out. I’ve been exceptionally good about staying keto all day. I’m currently at an after-hours house party with a beautiful girl I’ve been vibing with all night. She says she’s hungry, so we venture into the kitchen.
She looks in the refrigerator and pulls out a giant tub of fettuccine alfredo. She grabs a fork and with a coy smile moves to feed me a bite. As someone used to alienating those who show me affection, I usually have no problem saying no to any non-regulation food offers, but given that I’d like to not come off as that psycho who denies being hand-fed by Jennifer Aniston’s 25-year-old doppelganger, I eat the alfredo. Repeatedly.
I have attended a Snoop Dogg concert. There is a pungent odor in the air, and I soon find myself exceptionally hungry. I have been excellent about my food choices recently and want to keep on the right track. As I look over the wasteland that is the concert food court selection, I see it. My keto holy grail: Jalapeno-cheddar sausage on a stick. After eating a link quite quickly, I make the game-time decision to go ahead and grab a second one to eat during the remainder of the show.
Two hours later, after numerous sausage re-ups, I am now 64% sausage by weight. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the amount of protein in the sausages, and when I checked my blood ketones after the show, I was thrown completely out of ketosis. This can happen with many seemingly different “keto-friendly” foods either from too much protein or from carbs deceptively hidden by small serving sizes.
After both of these examples, I typically have the same response. If I’ve been particularly egregious, I might fast for a day, but often I do nothing. I go back to my standard routine of managing my total calories, macronutrient content, and feeding window. Life happens.
Don’t scorn yourself for living your life and enjoying your favorite, delicious, non-ketogenic foods every once in a while. Cheating happens. Hopefully not in your relationship, but definitely in your diet. There will always be situations that dictate a deviation from your diet. There are even ways you can use cheat days to increase your metabolism. That will require a more in-depth post. In the meantime, you should Google “Cyclical Ketogenic Diet” for more information to hold you over until I make a post explicitly covering the topic.
Even though life happens, and cheating on your diet happens from time to time, I am not saying you aren’t hindering your goals by doing so. You usually are. Both eating bad foods and overeating are negatively impacting your results and slowing your progress in attaining your goals.
Health, however, is a marathon, not a sprint. Think long-term and focus on the positive impacts you get from making smarter food choices. Remember the nagging regret and pitted nausea you felt for two hours after you decided to eat the remaining half of your nieces birthday cake.
John Terry is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ketonia. As a long-time follower of the ketogenic diet. John handles the entirety of the business operations behind Ketonia as well as all of the client relations. Over the last 7 years of being keto, John has completely immersed himself in the nutrition, literature, and science behind the ketogenic diet to help friends, family, and Ketonians better understand the keto diet.
*John is not a certified medical professional and urges you to consult with your doctor prior to making any diet changes.
Interested in learning more about the Ketogenic diet? In order to reach your goals with keto, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the ketogenic lifestyle. Check out more of our learning center articles to Understanding Keto here.
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