Cheat Days thoughts

(Ken) #21

Sure, I would agree that waiting until adapted, and actually experiencing metabolic effect is optimal. But, having said that, it is not actually necessary. In the early stages, having occaisional carbs will suspend lipolysis, but it will not reverse reverse adaptation. It will merely slow progress down, although there are lot’s of people who eat some carbs on the Weekends and are very successful at losing fat. Once things are normalized and one is in Maintenance, things are very easy.

That is a personal choice, not Heresy, and should not be ridiculed by applying Dogma.

(Wendy) #22

My husband will have a cheat day. Then be pissed off for doing it. Takes about 3 days to get back on track.
If you need a cheat. Just have a Chaffle. Have some whip cream and 2 strawberries cut up on it. You will feel like you cheated, and tends to give you the goodie fix. Without messing up ketosis. Just a thought!!

(John) #23

I really dislike even the word “cheat”. Cheating implies (even inside your brain) something that is wrong, and you should feel bad about. This is your life, and this is your health, and all of these are your choices. You are not cheating, you are making decisions. All choices have consequences (good, bad, or indifferent), as does the choice on what to put in your mouth. Sometimes I make the choice to have more carbs than I do other times. On my wife’s birthday I made the choice to have a small piece of cake with her. I personally try to make choices that generally will improve my health so when I want to make choices that don’t, it doesn’t turn into a detriment. But I don’t consider it a “cheat” because I don’t think it’s inherently bad, and I don’t think I should feel bad for doing it.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #24

@JEV Think of it this way. A lot of folks here got themselves into deep metabolic poo poo before they finally resorted to keto to try to fix themselves. Since it was eating carbs that got them into trouble and relinquishing carbs that got them out, eating more than incidental carbs associated with otherwise healthy food cheats themselves. So calling it a ‘cheat’ reminds them of reality and keeps them focused on not indulging habits and/or addictions that ruined their health in the first place. If not applicable to you, great.

(John) #25

100% agree. The other thing that impacts many people that get themselves into trouble with carbs is feeling bad about themselves – purely psychological. Since the word “cheat” implies you are being bad (even if only used to yourself), it also has the effect of getting people down on themselves, which can cause a spiral – I was bad now, so what’s the point, I might as well do all the things. If you take the word out, and still go by the philosophy that it’s best for your health to make choices that are best for your health, you tend to make the same healthy choices, at least most of the time. And if you don’t, it doesn’t tend to trigger spirals. Words have power. Words matter even if only used in your own head. As an example, I’d be willing to bet that’s why you see lots of use of the Keto way of eating vs. the Keto diet, as that word diet has negative connotations as well. That’s all I’m trying to talk about. :slight_smile:

(Ellenor Bjornsdottir (spare me thy resistant starch spiel)) #26

using it in a yo-yo cycle (such as breaking 5 times in 2 years) is definitely better than not using it at all, because at least sometimes you are getting that lower insulin benefit.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #27

My personal experience was I never had any metabolic issues that led me to keto. Had no food cravings or addictions, never had much excess weight, etc. I began keto as an older person simply because many benefits come from ketosis that otherwise don’t. My attitude is that I’m eating a healthy way and have no reason not to continue to do so. Before I went keto I had many fave carb-rich foods. I dropped them all cold-turkey for the first year and never missed a single one of them. Thus, I don’t really understand the desire to ‘cheat’ or ‘decide to eat’ something that might or does in fact interfere with ketosis.

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #28

I just came across this interview with Dr. Robert Cywes, in which he sheds some light on this discussion:

(L) #29

If I cheat I don’t have a whole day - I’ll have one thing and still try and manage my carbs! Eg I usually stick to 20g a day so I’m a cheat day I’ll allow myself to go to 40 or 50g a day. This usually allows me enough leeway to have a little something I can’t usually!

Today I’ve been naughty though, around 60g carbs and feeling a little guilty for first time since I started in February. However the results per week make me want to stick to the diet 90% of the time - it’s just the occasional food item that gets the better of me!

You’re human, try and be strict with the cheats but kind to yourself x


That’s how I eat every day, floating in the ~60g range. I’m still alive and loosing weight every week. If you’re keeping an eye on everything don’t sweat it.

(Ted ) #31

I recall when I first started my road to reducing carbs in my eating, I cut out sugar and grains, but still managed to sneak in a burger and fries or a pizza from favorite restaurants from time to time as a “reward” for reaching benchmarks for weight loss. After losing between 90 to 100 pounds in the space of about two years, I don’t even think about doing that anymore because I simply don’t crave it, and I also keep in mind my achievement this month of keeping that weight off and maintaining my goal weight for a full year. Do I slip up at all? Sure I do, but I’m finding that those incidents are few and far between…and getting further between by the day, keeping the focus on what’s best for me all around. Yes, I could still do the occasional burger and fries or pizza and still maintain, but I just don’t feel that I want or need to anymore. Why jeopardize the good things that have happened?

(Full Metal KETO AF) #32

@Top40Ted Congratulations on your success Ted and welcome to the forum. Those are fantastic accomplishments. :cowboy_hat_face:


Congrats on your big loss! :slight_smile:
It’s the ideal thing. When you don’t go off keto often (or ever) because you simply don’t desire that and maybe partially because keto is so good for you.
It’s different when someone feels horribly restricted on long-term keto and they feel just as good when they eat some more carbs sometimes. Sticking to keto wouldn’t worth it for me then (even if I could do it but nope, I am a hedonist, I eat what I want and can). I have more and more strict days but I don’t feel them particularly restrictive, I like them. It’s like fasting is nice when it comes naturally but I am against forceful fasting.

(Ken) #34

There is still a lack of understanding the differences between Lipolysis and Lipogenesis in this thread.

Virtually everytime you eat, you secrete insulin and suspend Lipolysis. It’s a matter of for how long. Eating VLCHF, or if you prefer the misnomer “Keto” its not for very long, and you quickly return to burning fat. Typically an insulin spike lasts.about two hours. If you eat a larger amount of carbs the amount of time of lipolytic suspension merely lasts longer, as they digest and are preferentially used by your body. If you really consume a larger amount, then excess is first stored in the muscles as Glycogen, and once muscles are full the remainder is stored as glycogen in the Liver. This takes a large amount of excess carbs as your body is also using them for energy at the same time. It is far out of the realm of the occasional carb meal a couple of times per Week.

Forty years ago when I was training, and the horrible complex carb based cut was my method, it would typically take a week following the end of my cut to start adding glycogen back. This was because I was eating at Maintenance levels, and adding glycogen requires a caloric excess.

All this concern about the occasional carb meal is really meaningless in terms of Science, as you simply cannot get anywhere near converting back to Lipogenesis, which requires an overcompensation of liver glycogen.

In reality, a real “Cheat” would only occur if you ate so many carbs to actually start the lipogenic process of fat creation, such as going back to a chronic NAD pattern, and certainly no one here is suggesting that.

In reality, carb consumption all the way up to total liver recompensation is just one thing (that so many here reject on religious purity and the resulting faith based, unscientific subjective morality) and that is Maintenance.


I’m not a believer in cheat days for me personally so I don’t do them. I do keto cheat days. If I feel like some salty chips I eat pork rinds made with pork and lard only. Spray on some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and spices and voila, salty, indulgent snack. Want sweet fruit? Take some strawberries or raspberries, sprinkle with enough monk fruit/erythritol to sweeten, cover in high fat, creamy yogurt and done. Cheese still feels like cheating to me. Eating nice fatty cuts of meat, pork bellies, pork cracklins left over from making lard etc. all still feels like cheating to me. I’ve made flatbreads with coconut flour, and various other imititation but still keto friendly concoctions. I had several friends go with the cheat days on weekends and all have fallen off the keto wagon eventually and gone back to SAD eating and gained most, or all the weight back. Everyone is different, some can do it some can’t, but my advice would be to avoid the cheat days if you can, and if you can’t make them keto days by whipping up keto alternatives that feel indulgent.


Fair enough. But many of us find that pizza doesn’t like us. And there is a whole range of what pizza can be. So some pizzas with fake mozzarella will cause problems, some pizzas with low carb bases and full fat fully fermented fantastic cheese (and meats) are totally on plan for your health goals.

The important points all look covered in the discussion above. The key to cheat days is looking for low-carb substitutes for food that is craved but unhealthy in the metabolic condition you find yourself in. Check out the pizza recipes in the forum. They are more delicious and satisfying than what can be bought at a store.

I think the Dr Cywes food addiction information is important. As well as @Top40Ted Ted’s realisation after some time staying mainly low carb eating.

Allow your body time to heal and pizza becomes interesting to look at rather than eat (it’s another way to appreciate the artistry).


Cheat is an anagram of teach. Use the same letters. Just rearrange them. If you feel not so good after a day of higher carb, or processed food eating, then you are having a teach day. The teach day follows the cheat day.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #38

I don’t particularly like cheat applied to KETO. Cheating means you get results you don’t deserve by breaking rules. You can’t cheat KETO. Eating off plan will NEVER help you move towards your goals. Get where you want to be first. I prefer the term “off plan eating” to cheating because it’s being more honest with yourself. You’re not sticking with the plan. :cowboy_hat_face:


day to day………actually meal by meal.
don’t go here and pretend you can control a year and 1/2 into the future when your only focus should be ‘do not allow that cheat day of crazy crap food’ you are planning in like…you said: But sometime soon I will have one, though I am willing to wait up to another month before I have it.

why plan failure? Why plan your addictions into your life that make it harder?

Your thoughts should be how do I work keto to my best advantage every single day and make my next meal…just my next meal as good as it can be on keto? Learn that first before you jump a year in advance or you decide you will eat whatever crap garbage food in a month or so?

just some thoughts on it all…big change is hard and our thoughts drag us everywhere.

but in the bitter end, ONLY YOUR NEXT MEAL continues in life and pray to the heavens you get that next meal ya know…cause life has 0 guarantees of even getting that next meal. Live in the moment, your meal you are cooking is what ya got, make it all in keto and healthy and enjoy it and make it suit you :slight_smile: it truly is all we got in the end.,.meal by meal and commitment to health. All we got :slight_smile: Again, just some thoughts to help changes happen as we all go thru :sunny:


I started the Ketogenic way of life and intermittent fasting over a year ago. I do extended fasting as well. Have lost 50-55 pounds during that time. And, I love pizza too. But I don’t love it enough to undo all the health benefits I’ve gained while disciplining myself not to eat regular pizza. Instead, I found a great alternative that can be modified to suit your own personal tastes. It freezes well, so you can make a bunch, slice and freeze individual servings. Even if you’re not a fabulous home-cook, this is still super easy.

This work-around is fantastic, and you won’t feel the least bit deprived. Get out a mixing bowl, an 11 by14 sheet pan, some parchment paper - and crank the oven to 400f. Spread the paper to cover the sheet pan. Grab these items:
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 cups shredded mozzerela
3 eggs
1tsp garlic powder
1T Italian seasonings.
Mix all of those ingredients into a big gloppy mess, and spread evenly across the parchment-lined pan. Bake for around 15 min-20min until the edges start to brown. This is your new “crust”.
While the crust is baking, gather your toppings- whatever you like. I usually go with some or all of the following:
turkey sausage crumbled, sundried tomatoes, olives, onions, banana peppers, roasted red peppers, fresh basil…really whatever you normally like on pizza.
Heat the toppings up in pan and set aside.
Take your crust out of the oven, but leave the oven on. You’ll need it in a minute.
Take about 1/3 - 1/2ciup of pizza sauce - and for this you need to find one that contains the lowest amount of carbs with no added sugar. (The Walmart brand is fine, but our local grocer had one that tasted better - just search those out and find one that you can live with.) Spread the sauce all over the pizza crust. Spread out your heated toppings across the pizza. Sprinkle with more shredded mozzerela, and return it to the oven for 3-5 min until the cheese is all gooey.
Remove, cut, and enjoy.

Because my diet is primarily carnivore now, I consider this pizza to be a “treat” or “cheat” nowadays. Its not off the Keto plan, but, with all the veggies, I can’t really call it carnivore. It a good substitute when pizza becomes a craving. Just try it and see what you think.

Not sure if you’re open to trying your hand at cooking, but if you can bring yourself to try something new - then - perhaps you can learn to make some new Keto-friendly foods so you won’t have “cheat” and undo all the progress you’ve acheived. HTH.