(KM) #1

Maybe this belongs in a category that doesn’t exist, something like long-term keto. I’ve been keto on and off for at least 10 years, close to carnivore for two, my metabolic markers and weight are both satisfactory to me. As far as I’m concerned, keto works, maybe carnivore works even better, and the closer I stick to the script, the better. However:

Today was my anniversary. We went out, the restaurant I’d hoped to eat at apparently failed a month after I discovered it. So, we wound up at an old favorite.

I ordered my fave beer. Not dry red wine. I ordered, gasp, breaded deep fried fish with probably seed oil tartar sauce, I left about half the breading behind. I did sub green beans, probably prepped in a seed oil, for seasoned fries. No dessert.

My question: if you’re gonna cheat say, three times a year, would you just go all out? The fries, the dessert, All the breading? Or would you do what I did, and walk a Slightly less wrong line? (I guess you can choose neither, I could have had the wine and a steak at twice the price. Yes, I know my best case. My question is, did my sacrifice really make a difference, or would you have just “gone for it”?

(Pete A) #2

Go for it. And learn from it.

Food is used to celebrate, bond, fill a need to “deserve” it etc.

We were raised that way. Once in awhile gotta stuff your face!


I’d never go “all out” because that ends in disaster, but when I want to eat something, I eat something. The entire point of eating correctly most of the time is you have the wiggle room to eat what you want to when that feeling comes, there should never be guilt in being normal and enjoying yourself. That’s the different between eating a certain WOE, and your WOE being your religion.


I don’t cheat, I go off (I can’t help starting with that, it’s important for me and it’s a reflex). Very often but that is my reality and it’s good enough for me, usually.

Unless some stupid compulsion or especially strong rebellious inner self temper tantrum would hit, I would eat whatever I like. So nope, I wouldn’t go “all out”. That’s inferior food, bad, bad hedonist, stop it! :upside_down_face:

But it depends on the food I guess. I don’t want to go too far as it’s a bad deal, not hedonistic. And I don’t need that food. But if it tempts me, sure, I eat it, that’s how I work, I have this all the time. If I do carnivore for 2 weeks, everyone can be assured I never got tempted by something non-carni during that time… I can’t and don’t want to resist temptation. Maybe that’s why I am different? As I have this all the time…?

Hm… If I can THINK as I am still in a proper state for that, of course I don’t want to go too far. That’s not good. And my little extras are usually perfect. Sometimes a bigger one but not too much. I don’t need that, it’s a wrong idea, I will feel worse and that’s not hedonistic, you know… Feels bad mentally too as I messed it up, I didn’t follow my own brain, that bothers me.

But if you, your sane mind decides about going far and you know you can handle it well, that’s a different situation. I can understand that. I almost can understand myself eating something super carby in not tiny amount if that is a good idea - but it just never is for me.

Probably you did a bit better for your body but if it felt a sacrifice, maybe the mental loss is worse than the physical win…? I obviously can’t have any idea about it as I don’t see the first and I don’t even know the latter. If my body doesn’t complain at all, I usually find it a good deal to get a huge extra joy. A little extra joy vs stomachache, nope (well, ANY amount of joy vs pain, NOPE). And I have my principles even when I go off. As I am off so much, I need rules for those times and I don’t like to break them even extremely rarely. Of course they are nice, easy enough rules, they are to protect me and maximalize my joy, not to restrict and force me, I don’t do that. They are results of knowledge and experience about how I should eat to feel the best in the end.

You do this very rarely and there is no danger to fall off the wagon, right? And surely you won’t feel particularly unwell as then you wouldn’t do it… So it’s just about potential tiny health effects? Maybe principles and right attitude (but very occasionally many of us make an exception and we don’t even feel bad about it)?

I had the “oh if I broke it, let’s go far” attitude for a long time, even when I suspected or even know it’s not the right one. Not anymore. And as I don’t desire to go far, I usually don’t. If I desire it and suspect I can get away with it, no problem and it’s really rare, I do.
What you should do, I have no idea but I am almost asleep anyway, it’s late here now.
It doesn’t help that I can imagine several scenarios and sometimes one decision is the best, sometimes the other and even the reasons for it are different… It’s too complex, I would need to be in your situation to decide. (And my not thinking parts might do something else. But it happens less and less, it’s a bit surreal, actually… I became a less impulsive person regarding food.)

(Geoffrey) #5

I can’t cheat. It’s simply not in me to go that direction in my diet. I guess you could say that’s my religion but I wouldn’t say that because it would be blasphemous but I would say it’s my commitment to my health.
Buttttt…if I were not that committed and was willing to go off track once in a great while I believe it would be better to go as clean as you can and still have fun. Be less bad than sinfully bad.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #6

Sure. Definitely. All it would take to get me started, in fact, is one potato chip. And within the year, I would weigh a hundred pounds more.

Next time, give it a shot, and see how it goes. And then come back and tell us about it. If you are one of the lucky ones, it will be a few days or weeks later, not a few years.


I would have done what you did. Slightly less the wrong line. It’s easier to backpedal out of yet you still get some enjoyment of flavor memories. I think your sacrifice made a difference. I have only eaten bad food one bite here and there. I don’t order it. I’ll grab a bit off my son’s plate maybe but that’s it. And that one bite is enjoyed and is enough. For myself I always order something I really love that fits Keto. I would have paid for the steak. And if it were a special occasion then who cares about the expense?? It’s special. As for desert I would have brought my own homemade one. :rofl: I’ve even brought my own Keto bagels with me to restaurants when I want eggs Benedict for breakfast. Lolol. You’d be amazed how many are accommodating and take it back to the chef to prepare my dish with. But if I wanted to enjoy a rich desert, I don’t think I could. It’s all way too sweet for me now. I know it wouldn’t taste the same, and if it did it could screw with my two year record. I’m aiming for three years now and I don’t want to screw it up. So maybe one bite, and then I would e joy my own healthy desert. I have so many that having it once home works too.

Now as for a delicious drink, that’s where I have cheated a couple times in the past two years. I will order a specialty drink and enjoy it but I have only one. Surprisingly even the ones I tasted sugar in didn’t keep me out of ketosis for long. I was back in the saddle within 24 hours. Love that about Keto.

I think finding ways to still have the pleasure or enjoyment without diving off the edge head first is the best way to go. It’s a partial cheat. It’s less disruptive. I think you did it well.


I might not be as experienced as others. I been on and off keto for 2 years and constantly falling off the horse. Up and down. Each time I fallen it took me months to start again with weight higher and higher. This time I also fallen as you remember few weeks ago with red wine and then all the carbs with it. At the time I felt that I should have cheated with something better such as cake or my nemesis bread!!! Nevertheless this time my mental state was so much more focused and I went straight back on the horse. It took me 12 hours to get back in to ketosis. I don’t plan on doing it in the future but if it does it does and with a gods help and help from this supportive group I’ll just pick myself up. It’s a human nature. Our life revolves around food or did before. Don’t feel guilty or feel bad about it. :+1:


Sometimes we should stick to our fond memories though as eating the stuff again is disappointing. I got somewhat sensitive to flour, I dislike a strong raw flour flavor and I get it from many items, no matter how well-cooked they are. And not from others. Bread still don’t tastes too floury despite it has a big percentage while the little roux in a dish bothers me.

It’s pointless for me to eat vegs too as I really dislike even most of my old big favs.

But if we still enjoy eating something stuff and we are sure we can handle it well… Hmmm, I still would avoid eating the worst things if possible :smiley: So, if I can avoid eating something real bad, I will. If I can’t, I fight as much as I can and lose, oh well, I tried. I don’t just decide it’s fine but I need this attitude, I have off days all the time so I need them to be good enough. And when it’s something very special and I want to go further… I still have my standards and I simply don’t get extra joy from going truly wild. I did that a lot in my life, I don’t feel I need that anymore.
Nowadays my high-carb days are just because my rebellious inner self took the wheel (that’s one reason I care about it and indulge a bit when needed. I mean condiment level plant matter instead of being super strict, little dairy instead of nothing…). Or a wild tempting food appears and it would be a pity not to eat it… Inevitable things and they ensure I will go back to carnivore right away or at least real soon. The more wild I get, the less I can resist going back so I don’t need to fair staying on high-carb, it’s impossible since very many years :wink:

When I can actually choose, I usually choose some “still fine” food that maximalizes the enjoyment.
And I train myself to be happy with carnivore or in the worst case, ketovore food. They are pretty good.

I have this myself. I don’t eat out ever but I almost never cook carby food for me. I may taste whatever my SO cooks or whatever I made for him.

It sometimes works, sometimes not. I can’t stop after 1-2-3 slices of bread and thankfully it has some restraining effect… I can stop after 10-20g apple (unless it’s very very tasty) so I only stay away very successfully for longer term when I am committed to carnivore for a while. Of course it’s my SO’s apple, he is eating it all the time and sometimes I ask for a slice.
But in most cases, a little taste did the trick, I tasted, I know what it is like, it’s enough.

While I usually eat dessert, I can go without one if I am not at home :slight_smile: I would be happy with the knowledge I will have some at home. I don’t buy desserts as they are very inferior to mine and probably just borderline edible due to the excessive sweetness. I have more and more SWEET carnivore desserts. I don’t want to know how normal sweets tastes like now :smiley: They already were inedibly sweet before carnivore! Even 1 year into low-carb. Even for my high-carber SO eating natural sugars all the time… So I am safe there. (I can eat the rare really tasty overly sweet stuff but it takes a huge amount of black coffee.)

I would drink the beer, probably sharing it with my SO as I probably haven’t drink more than 2dl (usually less) since many years… I like dry wine just fine but I wouldn’t pay for a bottle to drink one and my SO can’t help there, we never can drink a whole bottle in a week unless we are into spiced wine in holiday season and force it a bit.

It’s interesting to see how different people with very different circumstances do their decisions about these things :slight_smile:

My dictionary doesn’t have that word :smiley: But I do feel like not needing to go far…

(Marianne) #10

I “cheated” around my birthday and did almost exactly like you did. I had a fish fry and tarter sauce and ate all of it. In addition, instead of fries, I ordered angel hair with marinara. That was it and it was wonderful and completely satisfying. It wasn’t a “trigger” for me and I knew that. Next day, I resumed my clean keto/carnivore without any issue or awakened cravings. I didn’t dream about when the next “special occasion” might be where I could do it again. It was a nonevent.

There were years on this that I wouldn’t dream of letting a piece of high carb food touch my lips, seriously. I still would never entertain any trigger foods like sweets, baked good, etc., but I have lightened up concerning my feelings about a special meal 2-3 times per year. One thing I would have done differently from what you described is pass on the beer. It has way too many empty carbs, but then I don’t like beer, so that’s easy for me to say.

I think if you can indulge in a special meal on a few rare occasions, I say go for it. I would never have that include any real trigger foods, however.


I can’t just go for it. Never will ever again. Been there done that and that stupid thru it was just horrible.

If one can --more power to that person I guess I should say? I was that cocky many a times and failed easily…but if I go off I am gonna be a trainwreck of crazy with like a sugar dive into a long term nightmare, gain it all back and be sicky icky sluggy again, I tell ya now, I can not start again ever.

SO I hold my plan tight to me. It is exactly where I want to be and with that, with the best darn well being/healthier place, why would I ever leave that?

I say there is no cheat in life for me. There is only one’s truths to themselves and know yourself, either hold tight to it or let go and maybe ya do ok, maybe it messes up your entire yrs of what one knows who they should be but we say screw that.

I won’t do that path anymore. No cheat, off plan, just this one time, no more excuses are even in my vocabulary any more. That stupid is over for me and good riddance.

One thing I learned I can easily and always ‘eat the best damn food from my eating lifestyle’ thru any celebration, holiday, event, or whatever. I hold true to me. That is what makes me personally proud in my day actually.

If I now dived into breading, oils, fries, chips, wild spices/herbs, taters, and more right now to a massive night of eating I would end up in the friggin’ ER on deaths door so that thought of ‘going for it’ actually will never happen. I ain’t going there LOL I ain’t voluntarily poisoning myself at this stage in my journey :slight_smile:

everyone has to hold true to their truths, do that one won’t have that word cheat in there anymore, one finds their real peace with their own food lifestyle. Make a plan that suits you and works for you and ‘cheat’ goes away, excuses aren’t there, you don’t feel guilty and all that.

there is not a day now in my eating plan I ever feel a guilt associated with my food. omgosh that relief my eating lifestyle has given me has been heaven sent actually.

(this is me personally speaking about me LOL) Just how I am now on my time on changing me :sunny:, everyone’s mileage is gonna vary widely on this and everyone’s path will be their own :slight_smile:

(Robin) #12

I rarely intend to cheat. BUT when dining out, there are times I’ll go ahead and order some meat that I know had some sugar in the rub or marinade. And I just don’t worry about it. It’s infrequent and I never feel affected by it. So I go ahead and enjoy it.


since I am relaxed carnivore and easily allow condiments that do not effect me in my way of eating out, just like you, this will never be a cheat or excuse thought to me ever. There is no guilt assocation at all. I allow condiments as they suit me at all times so again, I get to never ever have to use I ‘cheated’ cause my relaxed carnivore allowing some condiments is ME and me alone while still holding my woe.

so are ya really ever cheating? here R? nope :slight_smile: You are on your exact plan and not roaming off it so? IF YOU are a ‘strict’ carnivore and you walk into ‘relaxed’ did ya cheat? I don’t know, that one is up to you personally to define :wink: Just a general chat on it!

(Robin) #14

Agreed. I really don’t think of it as cheating either. And I’ve never been one to declare I am 100% strict carnivore. I am 100% where my body took me quite naturally. Just kept eliminating troublesome foods and found myself in carni territory…


great post

(KM) #16

Wow! Thank you all for the replies.

It’s fascinating to see how far we range in philosophy about this.

Perhaps I should have called the post, “Fish n Slips” :laughing:. I agree that the concept of “cheating” isn’t precisely how I feel about my meal. I made a deliberate choice to eat things I don’t normally eat, there was no sense that I simply had to eat those foods, or that I was committing a crime. I wanted to. I didn’t fall off the wagon, in other words. I nodded, stepped down, cheerfully rolled in the mud, and climbed back up again.

This may be a weird distinction, but I feel that eating one of my favorite “before” meals in a restaurant (rather than just buying inappropriate groceries) was helpful. I’ve never been a person who feels comfortable eating out multiple times a week. So there’s no sense of hey, that was so good I’ll just go back and do it again today, and tomorrow (whereas that would seem much more of a slippery slope if it were an inexpensive grocery item.)

So, reporting back … I feel fine. I don’t feel guilty or anxious. For breakfast I had … coffee, with half n half and collagen. For lunch I had … a couple of slices of cold lamb, and a cup of tea. For dinner I’ll have loads of roast chicken and possibly a green salad. Just like every other day. I have escaped unscathed, apparently!

On the flip side, I’m actually still remembering my meal with fondness, it was thankfully delicious. I don’t regret the foods I ate, but I don’t regret the parts I skipped, either. I feel pretty balanced about the choice, overall.


Wow, it seems you made a good decision then :slight_smile: That’s how one should do it if they go off at all.

@Fangs: I have a similar attitude… I do eat sweetener on my carnivore-ish as it’s in my mustard (that’s what, 1g erythritol per week? probably less) and I can’t avoid it without giving up mustard… I even ate like 2g horseradish (with some added sugar) at and aster Easter for a few days, not anymore… That’s not perfect but still good enough (saying no is possible but I need to choose where I do that as it’s little nothing but if I feel restricted, I go off earlier) - but if I would add sweetener to my desserts, that would be off eating to me (with some risk, possibly. I don’t want to go back to eating sweets all the time, that was keto and carnivore cured me of it). It still would be a pretty good woe but not my chosen default one. Sometimes we need fixed rules as they helps us out. We shouldn’t be too forceful or anxious though.

(Eve) #18

I decided to have a hot cross bun this Easter, and just enjoy it without guilt. I was happy with only one and it hasnt triggered any eating problems. For me, if l decide to never ever have a high carb food, it may make it harder to stick to the keto WOE, giving me a deprived feeling therefore causing resentment. Having said that, literally months go by and l don’t eat anything “bad” , and when l do , it is very minor. No interest really, but it is nice I have given myself the permission if l wanted to … and therfore probably want it less!


Same for me except I can’t decide on such a thing. Very unrealistic. I even will have high-carb days in the future, I know that. Very rarely but I will.
High-carb food? I had those all the time on keto just in tiny amounts :wink: Maybe that doesn’t count one.

I have this on carnivore-ish too, by the way, I can’t be too strict as that wouldn’t end well. I need to be as free as possible regarding the items I actually desire a tiny bit. If I don’t want something and it’s usually not a good item for me, I should keep away (it’s good training, it gets easier as time passes).
And I am still at the phase where I need my off days too. I don’t decide on them, they inevitably happen. But sometimes I may decide on an off, keto day to avoid going off and eating high-carb that I won’t even necessarily enjoy (after a point but I keep eating because the food is triggering. some items are like that and I have and like some of those).

It reminds me of Scylla and Charybdis as so many things do :slight_smile: I rather sacrifice something for Scylla than swept into Charybdis. Sometimes we just can’t smoothly (or fighting tooth and nail) sail between them. I definitely can’t. Scylla is my inner rebel here, the freedom fighter, the crazy wild one that HATES feeling denied and restricted. So I don’t ever try hard. Just what feels fine. And the crazy one STILL comes eventually… But if I am good, it will be content with a little extra. Say, a walnut pancake (the pancake is fully carnivore as those are the best. so good we Hungarians have thin ones!) and not a pound of bread with butter and honey. (Not like I keep honey at home often. I know my limits. It’s good for practice though. On very off times.)
More like 2 walnut pancakes, who eats only one? Not me.

So we gotta do what we gotta do. Not too much restriction and not too little either. Lucky ones don’t have both - or any! Very unlucky ones fight all the time I suppose. I am in the middle. I am on carnivore(-ish) day #8 and I wasn’t tempted this far, just bored of my pork here and there. I eat whatever I fancy (so my only problem is eating when I don’t fancy anything). Even if it’s a sorrel leaf for Scylla that day. I have problems with its coffee addiction, that’s annoying, I don’t enjoy coffee anymore (except with cream but I enjoy some tea and absolutely nothing with cream too).

Sorry, maybe no one wanted my deep self-analysis or what can I call this. I personally find it interesting but I need to be interested in order to handle it. Maybe some people just use willpower and don’t even feel deprived, I need thinking, inner talking and persuading, who knows what kind of mind games, training…

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #20

This powerful post by Karen sums up exactly why I don’t dare “cheatt.” I’d be cheating myself of the way of life that I want and returning to the prison carbs kept me in for years.

That’s the key: “I never feel affected by it.” I may get to that point, eventually, but I’m by no means there yet. I have enough experience listening to addicts and alcoholics that I know it’s usually much easier to stay clean and sober than to start the process of recovery all over again from the beginning. And from things I’ve read on these forums, the same holds true for carb addicts.