Sometimes one of the hardest things to do when you're following the keto diet is stick to the program 100%… especially during the holidays!
Listen… I've been doing this for YEARS and some years I do better than others so I understand!
So if you got off track (and I'm guessing you already did since you're here) – don't worry!
I'm going to walk you through what you need to do to get back into ketosis QUICKLY after cheating!
The first thing I want to say to you is not to be hard on yourself. Seriously!
There are worse things that can happen in your life then you falling off keto during the holidays or really during anytime when you have a lot going on or are stressed out!
And the worst thing you can do after you've spend a day or maybe even a few days cheating is to feel shame, guilt or remorse.
The past is in the past and there's nothing you can do about something that you've already done!
The best thing you can do moving forward is to focus on eating better and clearing your system from all of the junk you've just put into it.
So now that you've forgiven yourself it's time to get focused on what you need to do in order to get your body back into ketosis so let's go!
One of the fastest way to get your body back into ketosis is through intermittent fasting.
Not familiar with intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is when you refrain from eating for a certain amount of hours each day and the most common form of intermittent fasting (as it applies to the keto diet) is where you follow the keto lifestyle and only eat within a certain time frame each day and sustain from eating food during other hours.
There are several ways that you can practice intermittent fasting. For example I do a 16/8 fast each day which means that for 16 hours a day I don't eat or drink any calories and eat within an 8 hour window.
I start my day at 7am with a cup of coffee and then will eat my normal keto meals between 12pm and 8pm.
During this time I drink tons of water and may even have some apple cider vinegar lemonade!
Other popular ways to do an intermittent fast include doing a 18/6 fast which means that you fast for 18 hours a day (typically overnight) and then eat for 6 hours during the day.
An example of this would be that you fast from 6pm until the next day at noon. Then you would eat any keto foods you want between 12pm until 6pm.
Another intermittent fast that's pretty popular in the keto is the 20/4 fast.
An example of how this intermittent fast works is that you would sustain from eating from 6pm until 2pm the next day.
Then you could eat any keto approved foods that you like between 2pm and 6pm.
Other ways to practice intermittent fasting include doing a 5/2 fast.
On the 5/2 fast you will eat whatever you want for 5 days and then follow a restrictive diet for the other 2 days.
This type of fast is extremely popular outside of the keto community because they eat everything… which I don't recommend especially if you're following keto!
Honestly I've tried them all and find that the 16/8 fast works the best.
While you may think that doing a more extreme version of intermittent fasting such as the 18/6, 20/4 or 5/2 will yield better results… they won't!
And not only won't produce faster results but they're also too restrictive to do long term so if you plan to do any type of intermittent fasting stick with something that you can actually commit to!
There are many benefits to fasting but the ones that matter the most (especially after you went off keto), is that your body will start to burn fat faster.
If you want to learn more about how intermittent fasting and keto work together, clicking here.
Reduce Your Carbs
If you're following the strictest form of the keto diet then you're probably already aware that you should restrict your carbs to no more than 20 – 30 net carbs per day.
But when you're coming off of vacation or a binge, my advice is to restrict your carb intake even more… at least for a short time!
For the first 7 – 10 days, try to keep your carbs as low as possible. I suggest a maximum of 10 – 15 net carbs per day.
And if you haven't tracked your carbs in the past, I strongly suggest that you use an app such as CarbManager to keep up with what you're eating and here's why…
The worst thing you can do is eyeball your portion sizes because of course when you don't weigh your food then the results can be disastrous!
And of course I'm speaking from personal experience because I've been there and done that!
That's why it's important for you to track what you eat so if you're not seeing the results you want you can make adjustments to your meal plan because unlike eyeballing or guessing how many carbs you're taking in, you'll actually know what's really going on!
Then after that initial 7 – 10 days, you can increase your carbs back if you need to.
Now I'm not saying that restricting your carbs to such a low point will be easy but one thing it will do for sure is it will help you get back into ketosis quicker and in less time then if you were taking in the suggested amount of net carbs.
Before you can get back into ketosis, the first thing you'll need to do is burn off any glycogen that may have gotten stored in your body.
Not sure what glycogen is? Glycogen (glucose) is stored in your liver and muscles and comes from eating foods that are high in simple carbs and contains a lot of sugar and starch.
When you eat foods with simple carbs in them, your body quickly breaks it down into glucose, which happens to be your body's main source of energy.
So of course, when your body needs more energy, glycogen is the first thing that it goes looking for!
Have you ever ate a meal that was loaded with carbs and initially you feel energetic but within an hour or so you feel like you've ran out of fuel?
Here's what's happening in your body…
When you eat carbs, the glucose will be used by your body immediately as fuel, or when it's not needed it will be sent to your liver and muscles where it's stored as glycogen.
That's why one of the quickest ways to get back into ketosis is by doing exercise!
Exercising will help you burn off any stored glycogen that you may have lingering in your body.
Of course working out one time won't burn off all of the glycogen that you have stored but it will definitely help speed up the process!
Now for exercise, some people say you don't need to exercise on keto. But I couldn't disagree more!
Exercising will help you lose weight fast and tone up your body quicker then with just keto alone.
For more details on the benefits on exercising while on keto, click here.
Eat More FAT!
Ok this may sound counterproductive since you're trying to burn off the fat you have, but in order to get back into ketosis quickly after cheating, you need to eat more fat!
When you lower your carbs and eat more healthy fat your body will actually start burning fat faster and here's how it happens…
Fat is transformed into ketones which are then used for energy. And once you're burned through all of your glycogen, then the next thing your body turns to is fat.
Drink More Water
One of the most important things you'll want to do while on keto is make sure that you're drinking enough fluids. This is especially true if you want to get back into ketosis quickly!
Remember I mentioned that your body stores glycogen in your muscles?
Well as your body starts to burned through that stored glycogen (which is essentially water), your body doesn't get a chance to replace it because remember you've reduced your carb intake!
This is why most women will lose a lot of weight in the first week or two and then it suddenly slows down. It's just your body releasing all of the water it's been storing!
And while that's not a bad thing, when you don't replace the water, then your body will be depleted as well and as a result you end up with the keto flu.
So in order to do all that you can to avoid the keto flu and encourage your body to become fat adapted faster, I suggest that you increase your water intake.
Always remember – your body needs water to help break down fatty acids for energy!
How Much Water?
I suggest that you aim for a gallon a day but if that's not possible, then try to get in AT LEAST 2 – 3 liters daily. This will help replace those lost fluids lost when you first go into ketosis.
Use ACV Daily
I suggest you drink your ACV, because it's the most natural form.
However, if you simply cannot stomach drinking it, then I recommend that you try these capsules instead.
How Long Will It Take To Get Back Into Ketosis?
The time it takes to get back into ketosis will vary from person to person but on average it takes between 2 to 7 days to get back into ketosis after cheating, but if you use some of the tips above, and have a focused plan you can force your body to go back into ketosis quicker!
Got some tips on how to get back into ketosis quickly after cheating that you want to share with our KetoCoach Community? Post your advice and comments below!
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