Say you got some things you shouldn’t eat for Easter, but you’re going to eat them anyway. Is it better to just eat a pile in one day and move on, or spread lower levels of carbs over a few days?
I suppose you would have to assess whether a lump of carbohydrate all at once would raise your serum glucose and hence your insulin unacceptably high, or whether you are recovered enough at this point that you could safely spread out your carb load and stay within your tolerance. This would appear to be true regardless of whether your reason for eating this way is to heal metabolic damage or to shed excess stored fat.
The biochemistry of this is that carbohydrate, which is glucose molecules arranged in various ways, elevates our serum glucose. That alone does damage to the body. The resulting insulin response, which is intended to minimise that damage, also does damage of its own, if insulin rises too high. Not to mention that insulin, among its very many jobs in the body, traps fatty acids in fat tissue and keeps them there until insulin drops again.
Good question… It’s best to stay low and enjoy the hell out of it if you ask me but I needed a lot of time to be able to do that.
It depends, I guess. Some people says they can overload their bodies without problem. I still think we should be nicer to our lovely bodies, making sure we are fine as much as possible. The body dutifully minds its own business, living the keto woe and BAM! Tons of sugar. It’s not polite. I only would do that if I couldn’t resist at all. (Once I attended a cake competition. That was intense. And once I received a big amount of exotic candy… And some of them were just irresistible. No regrets but I hope I am a better person now I felt not too bad afterwards but it’s a risk as sometimes I feel some sugar shock even on keto if I just grab some grapes and eat it without aftercare. That’s some fatty protein for me But I heard that’s individual too.
And even if your body says nothing, it can be harmed. Probably rare occasions aren’t a big deal but still, don’t shock your body with a lot of carbs and various problematic stuff if possible.)
For me (and probably for everyone) amount, duration and type of carbs all matter.
Theoretically (okay, I experienced it too), eating more at once or spreading it out may be similar but there is a limit - and I personally need to balance it out with normal food so if I don’t want massively overeat, I keep the carbs somewhat low-ish anyway.
I probably would try both and decide if I was the old me.
- I would give the treat to someone else if possible. To someone who can handle it or - or not but they eat such things anyway so no harm is done.
- If I really want to try it, I only give away most of it. (I usually do that if the amount is big.)
- I do my best to use small amounts - and without spreading it out, I keep long times between having it. It may work with my usual and possibly tempting sugary gifts, chocolate and biscuits. If it’s something that spoils easily, I use the previous options. But I have a good target for this, that helps a lot.
- And if I fail, oh well, I drink a lot of black coffee afterwards (feels so great when I am carb poisoned) and eat as low-carb as comfortably possible. I don’t fast for long as many others in this situation, my hunger doesn’t work that way.
Mentally, emotionally, logistically or what…
Both options may be the ideal one, it depends, really.
Messing things up in one go and going back quickly vs possibly getting used to carby treats every day and even without that danger, being off keto longer…?
I still think both aren’t the best idea especially if the carbs are very numerous. I surely had problems with both if I managed to eat too much carbs in a week. 1 crazy day? 7 moderate ones? Neither worked.
Start eating and see what happens. Maybe you’ll find them too sweet, or you’ll get a tummy ache, or a small taste will feel like enough.
Well, I ate the treats because for me the risk of getting back in the habit of eating them daily felt higher than going off track in a big way one day. Now I can just stop thinking about it and get back to making the next right choice.
That’s how I handle it too. I have to put a clear hard stop to it, not “control ” portions for days.
Big cheat, build up your stores and start burning them back off the next day. Spread over days will just make it take longer to fix.
I don’t cheat often, but when I do, I cheat hard in a short span of time (ie: a day). I find that my cravings for carby things don’t get worse if I don’t prolong my exposure to them.
I fear that if I have carbs throughout the course of a week or more that it would re-ignite my cravings for sweets and would make it much harder to go back to strict keto.