What’s up, everyone?! No product review this week because I have some other exciting things lined up for later in the year instead 🙂 Today, I want to share some tips for you that will come in handy around the holiday season. Specifically, I want to talk about how to get back into ketosis after a treat meal.
A note on “cheat” meals
If you’re new to this blog, you’ll know that I don’t like to call these meals “cheat” meals because that implies that you’re on some sort of strict diet. Keto, at least for me, isn’t strict. It’s flexible and changes with my needs. Sometimes I want to be cleaner with my meals and other times I just need some comfort food. Rest assured, whatever you need from a way-of-eating, keto can help.
Getting back into ketosis
Before we talk about specific steps you can take, we need to make sure that you understand what ketosis is. Ketosis is a nutritional state that results from your body’s burning of ketones for fuel. Most diets involve your body’s reliance on carbohydrates, with minimal or an equivalent amount of fats, to burn energy stores and keep going. Since ketosis requires fats for fuel, you need to greatly lower your carbohydrate intake and increase your protein and fat intake.
For more details on what ketosis is, check out my eBook for beginners (it’s a free download!): Basic Bitch Keto
What happens when you go off plan? Well, depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis and whether or not you’re fat-adapted, your body may revert to prioritizing carbohydrates for fuel. This means that you’ll feel pretty tired if you give it a little burst of carbs and then take them away. This feeling is also referred to as the “Keto Flu.” I talk more about KF in my eBook above but don’t worry, it’s not the real flu. It’s just an electrolyte imbalance.
So here’s what you need to know to get back into ketosis.
How to get back on the keto wagon
You can do this the easy way or the hard way. I prefer the option that’s less stressful. Here’s what I do (and don’t to).
DON’T punish yourself
Extended fasting, egg fasts, carnivore, and other restrictive methods of eating have their place. Some people really enjoy these things. I don’t. If keto is really a sustainable way of eating for you, then you won’t feel the need to “punish” yourself to get back on it. These overcorrections are rooted in eating disorder culture whether you realize it or not. If you ate something you didn’t plan to, own it, and move on. Do your best to do better next time. If you need real help with an eating disorder, check out NEDA.
DO eat your favorite things (the keto versions)
Keto is easiest when you’re eating your favorite foods. Some of mine include Mississippi pot roast, buffalo chicken dip, raspberry feta chicken salad, and charcuterie. When I’m getting back into ketosis, I schedule these meals into my weekly routine so I have something to look forward to. Don’t follow up a carby meal with something you hate. The comparison of the two will stress you out.
DON’T buy supplements
Y’all… ketones aren’t going to override the hard work. There is no magic pill to get into nutritional ketosis. Check out this tiktok for an explanation. The same goes for other products like fat burners, diet pills, etc. Don’t waste your money. These won’t do anything your body doesn’t already do. Just give yourself some grace and relax. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
DO get some rest
Stress causes excess cortisol which can result in water retention, weight gain (yes, even in ketosis and on a calorie deficit), and lost sleep. Set aside some time to do something other than think about food. You need it, trust me. Do some crafts, go on a long walk, or take a drive around the neighborhood. Find something to get your mind moving at a leisurely pace.
DON’T do HIIT or cardio
You’re not going to do your best because your body is too busy looking for carbs to find your body’s reserves right now. Give it a rest and come back later. On that note, if you want to stay active, do some recovery. Yoga, a walk, a slow bike ride, or kayaking are great ways to keep moving at a (temporarily) slow pace.
I know this list seems short and (maybe) common sense, but sometimes it’s helpful to be reminded that it’s easy to get back into ketosis. There’s no special trick to getting back in the game. You just need to take the (next) first step. A lot of this food stuff is a mental game. You should know that you’re stronger than those impulses and it’s absolutely possible to do keto long-term. You just have to want it.
I hope you have a great day!
Until next time,