My Cheat Day On Keto

No body’s perfect and sometimes you just gotta cheat.. This post is about my cheat day on keto and how I felt the next day.

Yes, I cheated on Keto!

One of the biggest challenges people have when they change their lifestyle is figuring out how to deal with life events that happen where there simply aren’t good options as to what you can eat.

And my clients often ask me the question: Can I cheat on keto? My answer to them is always the same. You can do anything you want. It is totally up to you.

You see, Keto and low carb are lifestyles not diets. Low Carb High Fat is how I will eat for the rest of my life for many reasons. The number one reason is that I am able to control my weight. But the other benefits are amazing too. I have great energy, no inflammation and no health issues. I love waking up feeling amazing.

Because I feel so amazing eating this way, I very rarely have a cheat day on keto. However, when I do, I take carb blockers and I get right back on track the next day.

As an experiment, last night I had a bit of a cheat day, actually that is a lie. I totally went crazy but I’m okay with it. I went to an anniversary party and I was way off plan. I think it’s okay because sometimes you need to just splurge a bit.

Lets see, I ate pork, potatoes, chips, brownies and 2 beers and they were not light beers. So needless to say, I had a very high carb night packed with sugar and lots of crap. And of course drinking alcohol isn’t the best thing either.

So today, I wanted to document for you how I’m feeling. In a word….Shitty! LOL!

To be exact, I am totally bloated. And my hands are really swollen I feel puffy all over. I couldn’t get my rings off if I tried. Also, my vision is totally blurry this morning which is a bit scary. And I have a small headache.

So what this tells me, is that my body hates carbs and it really doesn’t pay off to splurge. It is fun in the moment but we all pay for it the next day. But I think there are some cheat day benefits. One is that I get it out of my system. The other, it reminds me that I am doing a great thing for my body by eating low carb.

This really makes me feel grateful that I started this keto lifestyle as I know I will be avoiding many issues that others who eat carbs end up dealing with down the road.

Total will be all about getting back on track after cheating on keto.

So far I have been drinking coffee with my Collagen Powder. And I took all of my vitamins. I will be doing intermittent fasting until dinner. All this means is that I will simply not eat breakfast or lunch. This is easy for me as often I only have one meal a day. This helps to keep my blood sugar nice and low.

I will drink lots of mineral water and maybe some green tea. It really is about cleansing my system. By tomorrow I will be back to feeling great!

One point that I want to make is that a cheat day is something that I only did after I hit my weight loss goal. I’ve been this healthy weight for over 4 years. This was a controlled cheat, meaning I knew I was going to do it and I was prepared to get right back to may healthy way of eating the next day.

So if you cheat on keto, please don’t beat yourself up. This isn’t a diet. And you are not perfect. Just get back on track the next day. But don’t continue to cheat because then you may spiral out of control and it will be much harder to get back to eating healthy.

Be kind to yourself today! I’d love to hear about how you deal with cheat day. Please leave me a comment below!

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26 thoughts on “My Cheat Day On Keto”

  1. Thank you for reminding us that if we have a cheat day, that there is no reason to panic!  Things happen and sometimes, just like your party you attended, we need to let go a bit.  However, the results the next day may not be worth it and that is something we need to evaluate.  Is the bloating, inflammation, headache worth the previous day’s activities?. Personally, sometimes it very well might be.  However, as I have become older, those effects tend to be more severe and I would rather not deal with them.

    1. I feel the same way. Each time I splurge it is different. Some times my keto binge is worth it, other times it isn’t worth it at all.

  2. Now this website is something I am really interested in.  I am approaching 50 and this is right up my street.  I am definitely going to bookmark your website. I have never tried the keto diet before but I do and try to watch my carbs although been in the UK a few beers at the football at the weekend is a definite.  I agree the next day after having my beers and my chips on a Saturday I feel dehydrated etc.  Then I go back to been healthy throughout the rest of the week

    1. Good for you for being aware of the carbs. Most people don’t realize how carbs can cause problems in our bodies. I am a lot like you. I eat clean during the week for sure and most weekends, but sometimes I just want a beer.

  3. Talk about how to make a person feel good. I love your honesty. So many things we do are wrapped up tightly in guilt if we stray from the plan. Sometimes it’s hard work, so having the occasional ‘blowout’ isn’t so life changing and certainly not worth getting all upset about.

    I totally agree that it’s about making sure you don’t fall down that slippery slope. It is indeed a good reminder of why we’ve chosen the lifestyle we have, to avoid feeling the way you do today.

    My own treat is milk chocolate and or sugar. I gave both up in January and haven’t looked back. Do I miss them ? sometimes but that’s OK. When I have ‘lapsed’ I am soon reminded of the benefits. A few squares of chocolate and within the space of half an hour I’m yawning like it’s bedtime. It makes me feel so tired. So while I’m dozing at the computer I am also thinking to myself, never again.

    Of course there will another time and that’s alright. I never want to resent anything I am doing, not when I know that the long and short term results are me leading a better quality of life. 

    1. You are right. Once people resent the lifestyle they will go back to eating the way they used to. And that is not good for them. It is nice knowing it is okay to not be perfect. No one is perfect.

  4. This is very enlightening. First, you reiterated that Keto is a lifestyle and not a diet. The way I see it is that you positively embraced your chosen food intake that gives you a better result which is loosing weight. It’s different if you perceive it as a diet because weight loss is targeted first rather than following what you think is best for you.

    It also makes a lot of sense to be kind to ourselves and not be so strict in following a certain lifestyle or even diet. I think accepting that things could possibly turn out different can help to make ourselves feel better, as long as we know our limitation and we can set it right again. An adherence to a strict diet can be depressing sometimes because you feel that you are depriving yourself to eat food that you crave. Thanks for giving a new perspective on cheat day issues. having an cheat day from to time is acceptable as long as we do counter measures and we don’t make this as an excuse to loose discipline. 

    1. You are welcome and thank you for your take on it. I sort of think of this as a controlled cheat. Meaning I had it planned out and I knew how I would handle thing the next day.

  5. Hi, Wendy!

    I’m on a low carb diet, and I must admit that I sometimes feel like I’m going to lose my mind.

    I cheated the day before yesterday and yesterday. Yes, that’s two days in a row, and to be honest, I feel so bad right now. I just looked at my reflection in the mirror shortly before my bath, and I’m like, “Duh, look at all that fat!”

    However, I can’t guarantee that I won’t cheat again. It’s so hard not to cheat with all the good food around: cheese samboosas, chocolate cake, shawarma, chocolate sweets (got a large assorted chocolate gift box sitting on my table right now), ice cream, etc.

    And, yes, I’ll feel guilty later on.

    1. Oh no!!! I can relate though because changing a lifestyle can be difficult. How long have you been on keto? If it is only recently then you may have been going through keto flu. This is when our body goes through a sort of cleans. And if you don’t get enough electrolytes it can be hard to get through. But then it gets easy peasy because cravings for carbs and sugar go away. This makes it much easier to stick to this lifestyle.

      I’m sure your face is beautiful. Fat doesn’t show up that quickly although you probably were a little puffy. But the important thing is to not beat yourself up and get back on track.

      And get the crap out of your house! I don’t keep any carbs in my house. I think it would be too tempting for me. If all I have is healthy choices, it makes my life much easier. 

      Be proud of yourself! You are doing great!

  6. I always make my weekends for cheat day and resume my Keto lifestyle on my weekdays. You are absolutely right that no one is perfect, there are so many pressure around us on the daily basis either friends, alcohol and craving (especially that time of the month for me). This is the first that I heard about carb blockers, does it work? It is interesting I can totally relate to you on my cheat day but never put them on perspective like you did such as getting the craving out of my system and also I am doing something good for my body. I mostly feel guilt but from now on I am going to look at it like you said. 

    My day is very similar to you, I do not eat breakfast or dinner and I mostly drink lots of black coffee and club sodas. Then I come home to eat my home cooked dinner or if I am lazy I do take out but I tried to stay away from takeouts since they add too much salt and msg and also too expensive.

    I will start forgiving myself from now on. Thanks for putting things in perspective for me. 


    1. It sounds like you are doing great with this way of eating. And yes, you need to forgive yourself when you are not perfect. All you can do is your best. And yes, carb blockers do work. I use them when I’m going to have a glass of wine or a beer and it seems to make a difference to me.

  7. Hi Wendy,

    This is a great article since I’ve been fighting with my bodyfat for a very long time. When I searched on google, your article just jumped out, so I gave it a read! I think I also have the swelling problem the next day after I drank beer, and I would feel my face and my body is like a balloon.

    I also like the idea that we should keep a low-carb diet every day to prevent us from high blood sugar. It’s like a hit on my head since I just found myself eating lots of spaghetti or rice for both lunch and dinner. It’s time to go on the right track as you do.

    Anyway, I would plan my diet with more healthy & low-carb food to prevent myself from getting not healthy. Thanks for this amazing article!

  8. Cheating once is okay but doing it consistently is bad. The first time I cheated on keto, my kids made me do it unintentionally. I just started with keto then and I came from work to smell the aromas filling the house. I took chocolate, chicken and virtually all carb related foods I could get my hands on. Seriously, I felt bad the following day and since then, I have been preventing myself from cheating again. Though sometimes, the urge is stronger but we should stick to our lifestyle and not the cheating one.

    1. I’m the same way. I rarely do it because the next day, I almost feel like I am hung over. Always I regret it. But it happens. You just get back on the wagon. I wish you all the best with Keto. I would love to hear your story!

  9. I think that having a cheat on a lifestyle is something that is quite inevitable because the lifestyle is not what were used to initially. I have also cheated, not just once but it was when I started off initially. It was really hard for me. I don’t see my self cheating keto anymore though. So I think its quite normal. The feeling that comes after might just be an issue of how strong our conscience is. Lol

  10. Hello Wendy, I’m in my late 40’s and wanting to keep my shape on a balance have been giving me a little headache, because the idea of changing my diet makes me worry alot. Yes, adapting to a new diet is really hard, dropping you favorite drink, meal and my snacks, I don’t joke with it. I’m glad to see you actually cheat but make sure you don’t make it an habit. Thanks for sharing. 

    1. Dane, Changing a lifestyle is very scary! And not fun because the sugar in most foods is very addictive. But you gain so much with a low carb way of living. You will have more energy for workouts, less foggy head and much less inflammation. Also you may even lose weight. Weight loss happens in the kitchen. It is about what we put in our mouths. 

  11. Thanks so much for drawing our attention to this, yeah cheat day is pardonable and you don’t really need to feel bitter about it. It is totally understandable.but I do take beers sometimes with food with high sugar content and yet I don’t feel bloated next day, maybe is fair to say the way our bodies react to diet differs. 

    1. Do you do Keto, Charles? The reason why I ask is because I don’t remember feeling bloated either. But now after 4 years on Keto, if I have a beer I am really bloated. I don’t think body knows how to digest the carbs.

  12. Fabulous article! Thank you! I am in my 40’s and learned that once I hit that big 4-0 so much changed in my body. I began holding weight around my belly area (which was never a problem before). And… just cutting my calories did NOT work for me. I began doing keto about 3 months ago. I am down 20 pounds. I would LOVE to lose about 20 more! I can’t imagine cheating right now as I just feel fabulous. It is indescribable how you feel while in keto! It is good to know that once I do hit my goal weight that as long as I have the right mindset, I will be able to afford a cheat day every now and then! Thanks again!

  13. Cheat meals can cause some people to feel out of control and emotionally unstable on their diet with the harsh change between clean keto foods and junk foods. You will agree with me that the ketogenic diet is at times very hard to follow long term, although sometimes cheat meals can make it hard to jump back into it, most times i feel like giving up on keto diet but this post has encouraged me to understand that taking a cheat meal isn’t once in a long while isn’t enough to ruin my diet. Thanks.

    1. The key is to realize this is a lifestyle, not a diet. It is about keeping carbs low and being in ketosis 99% of the time. But once someone has been doing low carb, high fat for a while one cheat day isn’t the end of the world. 

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