Cheated On Keto. Now What?

The holidays is a time for life enjoyment, we get that. We know just as well as you do that you may be feeling some guilt this morning after over-indulging in the food and booze yesterday. We went a little overboard ourselves. But, as my husband said yesterday, one day does NOT determine the rest of our lives. And for once he was actually right! LOL!

The poor guy is really feeling it this morning. The “flu-like” symptoms have returned with a vengeance. His body just isn’t used to all the carbs since he started November 1st with his low carb diet. He didn’t even go full on keto and he’s down almost 35 pounds in 2 months. So I wanted to share with you a few tips and tricks I’ve shared with him this morning in case y’all are feeling the same way too.

Let’s start with the good news first. One cheat meal may not be enough to kick you out of ketosis. But that’s not your green light to start cheating a little bit every single day. Whether you stay in or out of ketosis all depends on several factors:

  • Your body type
  • Your normal daily carb amount
  • How much you went over your carb allowance
  • Whether or not you’re fat adapted
  • Your activity level

If you’ve been practicing the keto way of life for awhile now and can say that you’re fat adapted, you may be able to use the occasional carbs from a cheat meal instead of causing damage. Meaning your body won’t revert back to using them as it’s main source of energy right away since you’re fat adapted.

However, most ketoers aren’t this lucky. Anything over their 25g of carbs will kick them out of ketosis. Honestly it’s really easy to do with the holidays considering the carb count in just one of these popular foods:

  • Mashed potatoes and gravy: 35g
  • Peanut Butter Blossom (1 cookie): 11g
  • Glazed Ham: 5g carbs per slice
  • Yams: 21g one serving
  • Green Bean Casserole: 17g
  • Lasagna: 19g
  • One Beer: 13g

These are just a handful of the foods that were available over the last 2 days in my family! Yikes!!

So, now it’s time for the bad news: when you have a cheat meal on keto, you may experience:

#1 High blood sugar levels. As your body works to process the carbs and sugar from your cheat meal, more glucose releases into the bloodstream. When your body recognizes this surge of sugar, it sends out insulin to push that glucose out of the blood stream and into the cells to be used as energy. High insulin levels not only stall fat loss, they can also lead to weight gain.

#2 You may experience high sugar cravings: Sugar is addictive. All it takes is one cheat meal to get your brain jonesing for sugar again thanks to it’s opiate-like effects.  Whether you’re on the hunt for cupcakes or bread, the longer you’ve been without sugar, the harder it will be to resist once you’ve had a taste of the sweet stuff.

#3 You may experience a terrible sugar crash! Even if you don’t touch a single sweet or dessert, carbs from a roll or night of beer drinking all turn to glucose just like ice cream. And since your sensitivity for sweetness goes way up when you remove so much of it from your diet on keto, just the smallest amount of sugar can do major damage.

If you don’t give into those sugar cravings (like we are hoping), you may experience:

  • Light headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Crankiness and irritability
  • Hanger

Now, let’s talk about having a cheat WEEK. You may be in for a bad time.

Ketosis is most likely now in your rearview mirror. No matter how fat adapted you may be, a week of cheat meals will certainly kick you out of ketosis and fat adaption mode.

If you go back to keto, you may just experience some of these symptoms:

  • Stomach aches and pains
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Brainfog
  • Nausea
  • Irritablity
  • Muscle cramping and soreness
  • Sinus-like symptoms
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Heart palpatations


Let’s talk about the ways to get your butt back in ketosis!

#1 INTERMITTENT FASTING. In order to get back into ketosis, you need to burn through all those carbs you gave your body during that cheat. Intermittent fasting is the best and easiest way to torch the glycogen reserves. Get as close to zero carbs as you can to think of this as your keto RESTART button.

Have a bulletproof coffee with mct oil. These healthy fats will stabilize your blood sugar and increase ketone production so you can fast longer. Stay away from carbs and eat a meal packed with fat when you’re truly hungry after the 13-18 hour fasting window. Repeat this process the following day. If you can do this every other day for the first week, you’ll be golden.


#2 DRINK LOTS OF WATER! There’s 2 major reasons to do this:

–       You’re going to experience a lot of cravings. The water will help fill you up! Wean yourself off of carbs and your stomach WILL BE crying for more. Water temporary fills the stomach and will help void the cravings.

–       You’ll be losing your glycogen stores which means the body will be flushing water instead of holding onto it. You could risk dehydration and headaches if you don’t replenish.

·      Make sure to take your electrolytes during this time!

#3 Whenever you’re hungry aim for fat. Since you’ll be avoiding the carbs, you’ll want to stick to high fat meals and snacks. Not only will this help keep you full, you’ll also be pushing your body ever so slowly into ketosis.

Stick to leafy greens like spinach, spring mix salad, arugula, romaine and avocado if you need a few low carb veggies along with your fat.

#4 Try one fave keto recipe each day for the first week. This will remind you of why you started keto in the first place. THE FAT! The ohhhhh soooo good fat!!

#5 EXERCISE. Yes, it may be miserable. We know. Don’t consider exercise as a punishment. It’s actually really good for your body, as you probably know. Not eating carbs will use up all the extra glycogen you packed on during the holiday, but you can also force your body to use this up faster by exercising. Now, you don’t have to go run a marathon, just turn it up a bit. Whether it’s an extra 10 minutes, a few more reps to your workout, or just moving period, your body will use up your carb reserves to supply your muscles with the fuel you need. Get that heart rate up!

#5 Get quality REM sleep. Your body’s chance of resetting and repairing itself happens while you sleep. In the quiet hours of the night, it can work on all the processes it’s too busy to take care of during the day.

#6 Take a shortcut with Exogenous Ketones. Your body is a ketone-producing machine when you’re in ketosis. But you can speed up the process by supplying your body with ketones from an outside source.

Xtreme Ketosis or Xtreme Keto-caps to the rescue today guys!!

#7 Most importantly—don’t give up! You may be tempted to let a single cheat meal turn into a cheat day that turns into a cheat week. You’ve got this under control!!

How long will it take you to get back into ketosis?

It should take 2-7 days, depending on your previous diet and physically active you are.

REMEMBER- THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW IS LIMIT THE CARBS. If you don’t do this, the rest will not help you get into ketosis.

Don’t forget the electrolytes!!

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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of TS Transformations, her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.

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