After eating a ketogenic diet, your jaw-dropping results will give you all the proof you need to believe commitment to the plan works.
Sadly, commitments sometimes come with issues.
After all, life is chock full of chocolatey temptations, and a highly effective diet plan can have a flip side.
Keto is not the same as any other diet plan, and here's what you need to know about when your food choices go on vacation.
Keto Is a Long-Term Commitment
Returning to that ketogenic sweet spot can be challenging if you kick yourself out of ketosis thanks to a late-night fling with a pasta bowl.
Your blood sugar spikes, delivering a swiftly available energy source.
Your body switches back to using glucose as fuel, halting the production of ketones.
Your body will use up these glucose and glycogen stores until they run out, at which point ketone production will resume.
Ketone creation may take longer than you might like, sometimes days.
What's more, when you're in ketosis, cheating with a single 75-gram dose of glucose – like an 18 oz serving of grape juice or a pancake stack - may injure and even create inflammation in your blood vessels, found a paper in the journal Nutrients.
You won't put the weight back on, but your internal health may suffer.
To avoid this, here's an easy list of what not to do.
The Worst Ways to Cheat on a Keto Diet
1. Follow the impulse to eat emotionally.
There's no telling what's in food if it's unplanned, especially if it's eaten to relieve stress.
The solution is to plan and map out what you will eat to help yourself forge rock-solid willpower.
To help, you should have a selection of ketogenic-friendly foods nearby (ahem, It's Skinny pasta) for when those cravings for your favorite comfort foods hit.
2. Get too hungry and give in to snacks.
You know the drill, you're on the road, and your stomach is cannibalizing itself while making embarrassingly loud noises.
The fast-food drive-through may seem like a natural choice.
Mmm…. just this once, especially if you don't eat the bread, right?
There are all sorts of hidden carbs and additives, not to mention poor food quality.
Rather pack durable keto-friendly food sources, such as nuts, jerky, or dried seaweed.
You can forget these snacks in your car’s glove box or gym bag without spoilage.
The Best Way to Cheat on a Keto Diet
1. Blow out the candles.
Life deserves celebrations.
Milestones and family birthdays should be happy times.
They shouldn't weigh you down with nutritional worries.
Live a little by planning to indulge when the time is right.
Do this by lowering your carb intake the day before you know you will enjoy a little birthday cake.
Okay, so it may exceed your carb quota for the day--because you probably don't know what's in the cake--but don't let that spoil your fun.
Better yet, bring your keto-friendly dessert and share it with everyone!
2. After a workout.
Celebrate the fact that you don't HAVE to exercise.
Instead, you GET to exercise.
Do this by eating those carbs before you train.
Your body will likely gobble up those carbs and turn them into energy fueling a brutal sweat session.
You can also do this directly after your workout, as it's a more forgiving time.
Be Kind to Yourself
You're not a robot.
It's easy to inadvertently fall off the keto wagon.
Just shrug off this dietary misstep.
Then get straight back on the wagon again.
Consider it a psychological break from the keto.
Learn from it.
Pay attention to how you feel after you eat.
Write it down, then reflect on those to help stay the course and enjoy every minute of your journey.