Keto Cheat! Getting Back On Track
At some point along your Keto journey, you may face the adversity of derailing and becoming a keto cheat. It might be at the start of your journey as your body and mind is adapting to your new lifestyle, it could be whilst you are on holiday or perhaps it could be the result of a single moment of weakness. Rest assured, it happens to most of us. Let’s face it, we’re all human and non of us are perfect. The key to overcoming falling off the wagon is to accept that it has happened, stop making excuses and get straight back on track.
It most definitely helps to know what triggers your own inner food demons. Everyone is different and some lucky people may never ever experience the urge to derail – I am literally green with envy of these fortunate few! Familiarise yourself with the kinds of circumstances and situations that may cause you to derail with the very best intentions of avoidance.
Keto Cheat: Why might it happen?
There are lots of reasons we often derail:
- Not feeling strong enough to fight off the cravings
- Emotional or comfort eating
- Consuming too much alcohol resulting in bad decision making! Step away from the greasy pizza as you stagger home from a heavy night out!
- A weight plateau within the first few weeks/ month of beginning keto can make you feel disheartened – old eating habits may start to creep back in. The likely reason for the plateau is that you are not yet fully keto adapted so hang on in there!
- Social eating whilst out may make it difficult to choose a keto friendly option when faced with so many sugary, carby alternatives! Especially when your dining partners are all indulging!
- Artificial sweeteners and sugars can trigger cravings for sweet foods, which can lead to a sugar binge! I speak from first hand experience on this example. If i even so much as have a small taste of ice cream it sends my brain into overdrive and i literally can not think of anything else but sugar. When and where can i get my hands on my next sugar fix? My brain then makes all the excuses for me to go and have a sugar party, which can be disastrous! See my blog on Snacking
During the keto adaption phase, while your body is adapting to your new lifestyle, it can be very normal to feel an urge to resort to your old eating habits. Your body and mind are faced with a head to head battle. Your mind will be telling you to give in and become a keto cheat, just learn to block out the voices and ignore their hungry, sugary cries!
Have no fear – there are ways to prevent yourself from derailing. I’ve learned from personal experience that derailing often occurs as the result of a rash and hasty decision and can spiral out of control at a rapid pace. Plan ahead as much as possible and leave no room for those momentary seconds of weakness to even exist.
Here are some key prevention methods that can be used to stop yourself from becoming a keto cheat:
- Keep menus/ meal times varied using a wide variety of ingredients to prevent boredom
- Try a new recipe each week. Keep things exciting and new!
- Use healthy fats to stave off the cravings – coffee with double cream/butter for example often saves me.
- There are keto versions of almost every meal that you might be missing the taste of! Get creative in the kitchen and make the keto friendly version to satisfy your craving.
- Avoid ‘cheat days’. Not only do they undo all your hard work, they often spiral out of control making it difficult to get back on track.
- Don’t use food as a reward mechanism. Treat yourself to a new item of clothing instead and feel confident wearing it.
- When eating out plan ahead. Look at the menu online and choose in advance. You can ask for items without sauces and take your own olive oil or homemade sauces to use as an alternative instead.
- Set regular goals to keep yourself on track. Having something to aim for can help to keep you focused. See my other blog on Goal Setting
- Keep a food diary. (MyFitnessPal app) Writing down your foods may prevent you from derailing and help to maintain focus.
Getting back on track:
OK, so you may have had a moment of weakness. Pick yourself up and get straight back on track. There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself, just accept what’s happened as being part of being human and move on. The longer you leave it, the more excuses you’ll find not to get back on track. It’ll become harder and harder to find the motivation as the days pass by and before you know it, you’ve given up and you can’t let that happen! You’re not a keto cheat! Failure is not an option!
- Accept the fact you’re going to be in Hell for at least the next 3 days, facing crippling sugar and carb cravings! Don’t prolong the pain by dragging it all out, get right back to it, you are not a keto cheat!
- Stop making excuses and get back on track! The longer you leave it, the harder it will become and the harder it will be to get back to being fat adapted.
- You can’t out exercise a bad diet! Exercise might help take your mind off the cravings though.
- Never ever give up! Failure is not an option.
- The pain that you feel whilst trying to get back into ketosis should be enough to put you off cheating ever again! The pain you experience is the weakness leaving your body. Stay strong, you can do it!
- Scales – everyone reacts to the numbers differently. Some become obsessed by them, others hide from them and for others, it helps to keep them focused. Only you know which one of these you are. Personally, if I derail, I like to know what damage I have done (although I know that the majority of it will be water weight). I find that seeing the number and the extra pounds on the scales helps me to get right back on track. I find that if I don’t do this, one poor meal choice rapidly becomes a really bad week whereby I massively derail!