Falling off the keto wagon


This is just a curiosity question. First I have no plans nor desires to “fall off the keto wagon”, however I live in the real world and things happen either intentionally or accidentally. So I’m curious on what the process is, if any, if you consume too many carbs on a day or two? I would assume that you just adjust and press on but I’d like to see what everyone thinks. Also , i’m not talking about a full blown carb overload or refeed but something like having a couple of beers or eating some fries, etc. (just a couple examples) exceeding the normal keto limit of carbs for a day

(Pete A) #2

Jump back on the horse ASAP. Like a plate of bacon!

In order to stop cravings

Good luck.

(Bob M) #3

If you’re not the type to spiral into carbs, then a time period (dessert, dinner, even a vacation) with carbs won’t hurt in the long run. Just get back on later.

If you’re the kind that is carb-addicted and carbs cause your downfall, you might want to abstain or at least limit the damage.

(Edith) #4

When I have a day of “debauchery” as I call it, I just start the following day with bacon and eggs and tend to make the day almost zero carb.

(Robin) #5

Day of debauchery. Great term.

(Robin) #6

Unless it’s severe and extended, there isn’t a problem. No biggie. Just think of it as a speed bump… say whoops and carry one.


Luckily I’m not a huge carb eater to begin with so I don’t see me spiraling down the carb hole. Thanks for the input!


I just come back, no matter how much carbs I had (except I have no options after a very carby day, my desires points at carnivore then and I usually eat according to my desires. I desire being healthy and feeling well so I don’t just desire random things and anyway, our preferences are subject to change, I trained myself a bit to want better things, it wasn’t horrible to begin with but there was a big room for improvement).

There are people who fast or something but I fast when it’s easy anyway and never if it’s hard so it’s not a tool for me and I find it totally unnecessary for myself. It’s individual like about everything food related. I have no problem with going off a lot, it seems my body only has problems with getting too much non-animal net carbs per week. The occasional carby day feels fine if I was really low before. I have read why it shouldn’t happen but it does in my life… And I am low afterwards anyway. Some people can’t come back easily (while I can’t NOT come back), they should have a different approach. And of course, it matters how you eat when off. What are the carbs and how much, obviously. The same amount of carbs may feel very different if they come from different sources. And if I do it stupidly, eating a lot of sugar that doesn’t even worth it, that makes me displeased. I never ever could feel guilty and very very rarely have regrets but mistakes happen and I like to learn from them (I needed a lot of repetitions… and training… and great keto food though I always had that).

(Joey) #9

Carbs do damage slowly but surely.

The slowly part is both a blessing and a curse…

The curse: We can easily ignore the damage taking place since (for most folks) it’s not happening instantaneously.

The blessing: An occasional excursion from carb-restriction isn’t as critical as some would suggest, since slowly cuts both ways.

So if you ever “fall off that wagon,” just pick yourself up and aim your travels back in a healthier direction.

(Doug) #10

A good bit of the time, I’m lying on the ground, looking up, hoping I won’t see a mirror, because then I’d have to say, “You stupid so-and-so…”

But the wagon is faithful; it’s always there. :slightly_smiling_face::+1:


I’m wondering if I’m mislabeling my day of debauchery days. I don’t really have them technically because I never choose things like “fries”. I don’t eat non-Keto approved foods. So I wonder if I’m causing myself anxiety or bad feelings when I really shouldn’t, and I’m wondering how to view my less than typical days where I fall off my preferred macros wagon.

I’ll give a recent example…

Please keep in mind I’m not carnivore so any fresh vegetables are not considered non-Keto to me. Two days ago I did something I haven’t done in over a year: I had what I called an “emotional binge day”. I could tell it was controlled by emotional comfort needs and not true hunger. I was tired all day and it caused a binge session for my lunch starting at 3pm. I came home from the gym and ate my protein as usual, the rest of my ribeye steak from prior day, about 5-6oz, Then I saw the remaining leftovers of a yummy cucumber tomato salad I made for my husband over the weekend when I was fasting but couldn’t eat, and thought “why not!?” and ate the rest of that, about 1C, Then I still felt like enjoying something more (wasn’t hungry, this was all emotional,) so I filled 2 long celery stalks with sugar free peanut butter. But noooo, that just wasn’t giving me the warm hugs I wanted. So I start opening every cabinet and fridge/freezer. I saw a half-empty pint container of Rebel Keto chocolate Ice-cream (1C) and devoured it. Hugs received.

So, nothing was non-Keto, but the ice-cream was what I would call “dirty Keto.” I haven’t eaten any Keto ice cream for well over a year. Even though it uses healthier sugar substitutes it’s rather high in total carbs and has a longer list of ingredients than I like to opt for when I buy anything processed or prepackaged. So … dirty in my book. My entire binge most definitely made my day >50g total carbs, especially since I would still eat something for a late dinner later. This wasn’t an OMAD session. So that’s why I labeled it a cheat day and felt guilty and upset with myself.

But was it?

What does cheating represent on Keto? Is it turning to lower quality, non-Keto approved foods? Or is it even when going above a ceiling of carbs that take you out of the ketosis zone, regardless the quality of food? I assume most people consider cheating to mean they ate food from the SAD diet.

(KM) #12

I’m a bit immature about it all. I’m pretty strict with myself but I only get really irritated or depressed with the occasional excursion into what I call “the 50 carb zone” (basically what you describe, low carb but not my usual limits or foods) if I have a noticeable reaction. If the scale, or my clothing tell me I’m going in the wrong direction, then I’m perturbed.


So having been a trainer for 30+ years and coached my fair share of bodybuilders and other weigh lifting disciplines , it is not unusual for anyone that has had a good gym session to need to refuel more than what they normally would, happens to gym goers all the time. It’s your body saying that you haven’t fueled it enough after a tough training session or haven’t fueled it enough for a time period. This is regardless of the type of diet that someone may be on. Now there is a limit, if the eating goes on for a marathon session or is continuous then that’s an issue. but it sounds like you may have deprived your body the fuel it needs for longer time period than normal…just a thought


Keto Answer: The evil carbs will spike your insulin, undo all the progress you’ve made, set you back weeks, you’ll get fat, gain back 20lbs, and go blind in one eye.

Real Life Answer. It doesn’t matter. You’ll start with nearly depleted glycogen, the carbs will reload liver glycogen will pull you out of ketosis, THEN, your muscles will start reloaded (that’s a good thing), if you eat enough carbs to refill both liver AND glycogen stores, then you could spill over and store some as fat, minus what you’d be burning as fuel, which would be the preferred fuel source when it’s available.

After you burn off your liver glycogen which doesn’t take long, you go back into ketosis, it takes a while for the muscle glycogen to go, but that’s not hurting you so who cares, the scale is lying with that one. So short answer, if you’re eating correct keto meals the majority of the time, don’t worry about it.

But just for a dose of reality on the beers, a couple beers is like eating half a loaf of bread, literally! That’s on the terrible side of the equation, and I say that as a former totally out of his mind craft beer snob. Have it, just don’t think it’s not a terrible carb source, it is. But eat right 90% of the time, and don’t worry about it.


:rofl: “go blind in one eye” Thanks for the coffee I just spit out my nose in laughter :laughing:

(Edith) #16

My days of debauchery are really not that bad. :rofl: After seven years of low carb, a day of debauchery means I had one carb heavy meal such as we went to a Mexican restaurant and I ate tortilla chip and the rice and beans that came with the meal. Or I went to a party and snacked more than usual.

I have food intolerances (gluten and dairy) that make it challenging to go completely off the rails since most party food usually contains both. Even so, I do a reset. It’s a not only a physical reset but a mental one.

Edit: Adding a few more thoughts.

It could be that after your workout your body was just looking for a little more carb than usual? I had something similar happen a few weeks ago. I’d had a very active day, and I had a taste for icecream. I just could not stop thinking about it, so I bought a pint of Oatley and enjoyed it while we were watching some TV. It totally took care of whatever my body was looking for. I gave the rest to my daughter. Haven’t thought about it since. If your itch was scratched, maybe it was something you needed?


It must be individual but going off keto (some of us never “cheat”, we just deliberately or accidentally eat a ton of carb. I cheat no one) means we don’t eat keto. What it means for someone varies. To me, keto is where I am in ketosis so if I eat 50g from carnivore food, I don’t consider it keto. But if I eat 6 different sugary fruits and/or some bread with honey while staying properly low with my carbs, it’s keto to me. And off eating as my on eating is very close to carnivore. If I eat a strawberry or a lettuce leaf, it’s technically off eating but I don’t have a very clean default (it’s carnivore-ISH, after all, my own definition and I don’t want to explain, what for? but it allows a very limited amount of non-animal matter in tiny amounts) so I just accept I have more extras. But I still stay close. If I eat seitan (very low-carb and suits keto just fine. at least mine as I have no problem with gluten), that’s definitely off eating.
There is the off eating where it’s not off keto but I go against my own rules. Keto allows all the unhealthy edible things as it’s all about the carbs vs our limit for ketosis (or <20g for many) but most of us haven’t change our woe quite drastically to keep eating bad items. Maybe a little is fine for some, I can imagine they consider it okay but if they go wild, it’s not okay, no matter the carbs. It may be keto but not their keto.
My carb intake alone can’t tell if I eat off or not due to my additional rules. But I only say I eat “off keto” when I go too high with my carbs.

It can’t be. The carbs are a fragment of the amount in the bread (unless it’s not a loaf, more like a bun…) and my body seems to be sensitive about the (non-animal net) carb content itself (the other carbs feel like nothing). There is alcohol too but not very much… It definitely hits me very differently but I won’t try to drink a couple beers, it’s many times more than what I ever desire. I normally share a 0.33l can with my SO and it’s more than enough.
Alcohol is a toxin so I surely wouldn’t even care about poor carbs :smiley: Well I saw videos about what each does and anyway, I just keep them both low.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #18

Well, the point of keto/carnivore is to keep insulin as low as possible for as much of the day as possible. I personally define a cheat as anything that militates against that. So when I binge, it’s on pork rinds, pepperoni, salami, and buttered cheese. Not to mention any bacon that people may have left lying around. (If they didn’t want me to eat it, they should have hidden it well, lol!)

I eat carnivore these days and find that my carb cravings are very well controlable, so long as I don’t eat any carbs at all. Keeping the carb count low on keto was always something of a struggle for this carb addict. So I avoid the tempting carbs in the house that my niece and nephew like, such as strawberrries, French fries, salads, sugary desserts, and the like (though I could probably eat a salad without ill effects).

Since meat and fat don’t raise insulin, I don’t consider it a “cheat” to eat more of them on days when I am hungry. Carby stuff would be a cheat, for sure. I will on rare occasions allow myself mushroom and onions on my steak, or a certain meat dish I like that comes in tomato sauce. At this point, if I consume any quantity of carbohydrate, even if the quantity is still within the limits of keto, I regret it the next day. So I go with what works best for me.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #19

Especially protein to build new muscle, and fat to fuel the growth. In the absence of carbohydrate, they won’t raise insulin and therefore won’t promote fat gains.