Can You Have a Cheat Day On Keto Diet

It is not easy to follow a specific food regime - diet. Especially when we do not know what it is (not) advisable to eat. This article explains the fundamentals of the ketogenic diet as well as whether you are allowed to have a keto cheat day or not. You will learn what you should and what you should not eat.

So, can you have a cheat day on keto?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet. But unlike the other types of diets, we can take up to 50 grams of carbs per day. Otherwise, we get out of the ketosis state and all the hard work we’ve put will be in vain. To simplify the answer to the question if you are allowed to have a keto diet cheat day – NO.


It is not advisable to do that mostly because this diet is specific and even if you have a keto cheat day once a week, you will get out of the ketosis state.


Individuals also have different amounts of acceptable carbohydrates to stay in this state. It is recommended to get tested with keto strips so that you know precisely where that limit of carbohydrates is.


Proteins should be present in less than 20% of the accepted daily calories. In larger (excess) quantities, the body creates glucose from the excess proteins through the gluconeogenesis process. This is a terrible state because it exhausts the liver excessively and forces the body to get out of the ketosis state because of the presence of glucose in our body.


There is no limit to fats, but it is recommended that they be about 75% of the calories that are accepted for the day. This may seem like a lot, but one gram of fat is equal to 9 kilocalories on average, while protein and carbohydrates - 4 kilocalories. 


Example: 100 grams of minced meat contains an average of 18 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat. This is equivalent to 69% of calories from fat and 31% of protein.


On average, a healthy female needs 2000 kilocalories per day, and a healthy male - 2500 to maintain their weight. An average of 1kg of body fat is about 7,800 kilocalories. To lose one kilogram of fat, you need to make a deficit in the daily calorie intake. For example: 1 pound of fat in 2 weeks means 500 kilocalories a day less. (Here, it is important to mention that at the beginning of the ketogenic diet, you will lose much more because the body separates the water retained for carbohydrates consumption.)

Types of food not allowed even on keto cheat day

All types of grains 


Wheat, oats, corn, barley, rice, buckwheat and others. This includes all foods made from cereals - bakery and pasta, biscuits, pancakes, pizzas, macaroni, spaghetti and others.


Vegetables rich in carbohydrates 


Potatoes, beets, pumpkins, beans, chickpeas and others.
Carbohydrate-rich fruits - bananas, pineapple, mango, grapes, dried fruit and more.


Sugar 


We are all aware that sugar is present in 75% of the food today, so it's always advisable to read the labels and buy products with 0 grams of sugar. Examples of foods with a high sugar concentration are chocolates, ice cream, candy, cakes, pancakes and carbonated beverages. Foods with hidden sugar are bakery products, snacks, breakfast cereals, sauces, dressings, ketchup, dried fruits and almost all "low-calorie" products.


Refined and processed products


Ready-made or semi-finished food from stores, such as chips, wafers, croissants and frozen pizzas.


Alcohol


Hard alcohol has the worst effect on ketosis, as the body sees it as a highly concentrated sugar.


Some "bad" fats


Sunflower oil, margarine and other trans fats.


Everything with the inscription "low fat"


These foods are with fat removed and added sugars.

What can I have on a "keto diet cheat day"?

High fat foods are rich in calories. Eat the following foods in moderation:


Meat 


It is recommended to be from bread-free fed animals. Pork is the type of meat that is very high in fats. It is good to combine chicken with butter or other fat-rich foods. (Chicken contains mainly protein.)


Animal by-products have a higher concentration of nutrients compared to vegetables, but they also accumulate all the harmful substances that the animals are being fed with. It is therefore essential that they are bread-free and grass-fed animals. 


Fish


Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, B vitamins and selenium. Recommended are those with more fat like salmon, sardines and mackerel.


Eggs


Eggs are rich in fat and fall into full protein type of food, that is, they provide all the necessary amino acids for our body. They have the ability to satisfy your desire for eating and contain just one gram of carbohydrates.


Nuts and seeds


Almonds, walnuts and other carbohydrate-poor nuts. Cashews and peanuts have more carbohydrates and therefore it is better to limit them. Whose, flax, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds of carbohydrate-poor and fit for salads or other foods.


Vegetables


Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, spring onion and others. Cruciferous vegetables such as radishes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower. Zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, low-carbohydrate mushrooms and others.


Fruits


Avocado is an incredibly healthy food. 100 grams contains only 2 grams of net carbohydrates. Rich in vitamins and minerals. High concentration of potassium. Improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and others.


Dairy products: 


Milk – you can have it in small quantities in the morning coffee. Milk is rich in carbohydrates and lacks nutrients. It is advisable to avoid it because of the adverse effect it might have on the skin, prostate, insulin and digestive system.  


Cheese and dairy products - all carbohydrate-rich cheeses and dairy products provide the necessary vitamins and minerals, such as calcium. They help burn fat and prevent muscle loss.


Yogurt – it is good but in moderate amounts, because it satiates the hunger. Yogurt is good to be whole and fewer the carbohydrates it contains, the better.


Butter and cream - Extremely low in carbohydrates and very rich in saturated fat. Recommended for baking and cooking. 


Olive oil - rich in fat and antioxidants. Recommended for salads, not for cooking because it is low in saturated fats.

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Conclusion

As you read from the specifics above, having a keto cheat day is not really recommended for anyone as it will take you out of the ketosis state. All of this will make you crave for sugar more and it will be tough to get back into the state of ketosis. The final decision is up to you, but make sure that you choose the best when it comes to your health.

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