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Home Keto Diet Cheating on Keto: How to Get Back On Track

Cheating on Keto: How to Get Back On Track

Cheating on Keto How to Get Back On Track

The temptation to eat carbs on the keto diet can be too strong sometimes. Slipping in the occasional cheat meal might be a temporary relief, but it does mean you have to start from scratch.  

Don’t worry, you’ve entered ketosis before and know exactly what to do to get back on track. Cheat days on keto will automatically push your body out of ketosis, meaning it will take time to achieve the fat-burning process again. 

Following some simple tips could help you speed up weight loss. Keep reading this article to discover 6 methods that get you back on track after a keto cheat day.

Can You Have a Cheat Day On Keto?

No, having keto cheat days can negatively impact weight loss. This is because your body will burn glucose from high-carb foods instead of stubborn fat. You need to stay consistent and continue eating keto-friendly foods if you want to see noticeable results. 

Cheat days on the keto diet are not suitable for those looking to lose weight. Lowering your carb intake pushes you into ketosis – a metabolic state that burns fat for energy. The body doesn’t have any glucose to use, so it turns to fat stores when helping you to function properly. 

A low-carb diet only works if you cut out carbs and eat high-fat foods. Random cheat days will confuse your body and make it much harder to get back into ketosis. Of course, being hungry on keto can make cheat days more desirable, but there are ways to reduce your cravings. 

You could add more lean protein to your keto diet or eat smaller regular meals. This should satisfy your stomach without encouraging carb cravings and cheat days. If you find yourself gravitating toward a cheat meal, it’s worth considering if the ketogenic diet is a suitable choice. 

How long does it take to get back into ketosis if I cheat on keto?

You can enter ketosis in a few days to one week. The time it takes depends on your metabolism, current weight, diet plan, and how many cheat days you’ve had. Some people might have to wait two weeks if they want to start losing weight efficiently again. 

Consuming cheat meals on the keto diet can have repercussions. Once your blood sugar increases after eating carbs, your body will focus on burning glucose for energy. This completely breaks ketosis and slows down weight loss because you’re no longer using hidden fat. 

Reverting back to the ketosis state might take a while. You can speed up the process by avoiding cheat meals and only consuming low-carb, high-fat foods. If you don’t limit your daily carb intake, your body may need at least 1–2 weeks to stop burning glycogen stores.

How to Get Back on Track after Cheating on Keto? 6 Easy Tips

You don’t have to lose all of your progress after having a cheat meal. Sometimes, you just need motivation or guidance when it comes to navigating the ketogenic diet. Remember that everyone is different, so it might take time to see noticeable weight loss results. 

Here are 6 ways you can get back on track with the keto diet: 

#1 Forgive yourself

Cheat days on keto can make you feel guilty. This is enough to push you off track quickly if you struggle overcoming disappointment. You should learn to forgive yourself and accept that people make these mistakes, especially if they’re trying something new or challenging. 

#2 Up the fat, go carb-free

Up the fat, go carb-free


You probably cheated because you weren’t feeling full, right?  This is a common reason why people gravitate toward cheat meals on the keto diet. Their stomachs are constantly growling for high-carb food, which could lead to low energy levels and more unsatisfied moods. 

Instead of dealing with hunger attacks, up your fat intake and completely eliminate carbs. A study found that eating more fat-rich foods can reduce cravings on a low-carb diet. This means you won’t feel the urge to have a random keto cheat day when you’re craving something sweet.

Some great foods include avocado, coconut, salmon, eggs, olives, and almonds. Always monitor how much you have to avoid fueling your glycogen stores.  

#3 Balance your electrolytes

Balance your electrolytes

You need to drink more water and get enough sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium on your diet. This ensures your body can function properly when transitioning into ketosis. Not balancing electrolytes may lead to chronic migraines, fatigue, and thyroid problems.

Aside from drinking water, go for more nuts, seeds, and leafy greens – they are all high in electrolytes. You could also try taking a keto-friendly electrolyte supplement. Just make sure the keto supplements help maintain ketosis rather than increase your blood sugar levels.  

It’s recommended that women drink 9 cups of water a day and men drink 12 cups. Dehydration can stop you from losing body fat and burning ketones throughout the day. 

#4 Get moving, exercise


Physical activity will deplete the body of all that sugar and glycogen you just had on your cheat day. The quicker you get those cheat carbs out of you, the quicker you can get back into ketosis and start burning fat again.

A study discovered that exercise can help induce ketosis. This is because your body has no choice but to burn through remaining glucose and start producing ketone bodies. If you want to reverse cheat days on keto, go for a simple morning walk or long-distance run. 

To earn noticeable results on the keto diet, consider working out 30 minutes every day. It’s important to get moving throughout the week to actually lose weight. 

#5 Try intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting allows your body to catch up after having a cheat day. 

This method involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. One day, you might eat low-carb foods in a 6-hour time slot while avoiding food completely for the remaining 18 hours. It’s important to burn off all that extra glucose before your body can get back to burning fat. 

Choose a fasting method that aligns with your goals. You don’t want to give yourself little time to cram in a few meals before the fasting period begins. For those who want to enter ketosis quickly, it’s worth trying this technique to reduce the consequences of a cheat meal. 

#6 Pick up some MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) supplement or oil

Pick up some MCT

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are types of fat found in coconut and palm oil. Research suggests that these fats can boost ketone production in your body. You can also experience fullness while taking MCT supplements, which could prevent that dreaded cheat day. 

Think of MCT as a keto performance enhancer. MCT boosts the effects of a keto diet and gives you the extra push you need to enter ketosis after a cheat day. Consuming more of this fat can speed up your progress and reduce the amount of time spent suffering from keto flu symptoms. 

If you want to use MCT oil, simply add it to keto-friendly salad dressings, smoothies, bulletproof coffee, or fried vegetables. Just make sure you’re staying within your carb limit to avoid high blood sugar levels. 

Avoiding Temptation (Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen Again)

Avoiding Temptation

Now that you’re back on your way to weight loss, it’s time to make sure cheat days don’t pop up again. One or two mistakes are fine, but a few more can lead to bad habits. Find a suitable approach to healthy eating that doesn’t make you feel restricted or bored on a diet. 

Below are some ways to stay consistent on a keto meal plan:

  • Eliminate the perfectionist mindset: There is no such thing as being perfect. People are bound to have down days or sugar cravings when it comes to losing weight. All you can do is reinforce a positive mindset and tell yourself motivational goals. 
  • Get educated on keto and body health: The more you know about the benefits and pitfalls of keto, the less likely you’re going to cheat. 
  • Plan ahead of time: Prepare a response for another slip and minimize the damage of your next cheat day by being ready beforehand. This can help you enjoy the keto lifestyle without worrying about repercussions. 
  • Invest in your cooking: Consider making your own keto-friendly “cheat” meals using sweet foods. Enjoy some time in the kitchen and stay away from restaurants, as you might forget about the hidden carbs lurking in foods. 
  • Avoid alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can stop you from losing belly fat. This is due to the high number of calories and sweeteners. Plus, alcoholic beverages give your body energy, meaning it burns through those calories rather than fat. 


A single cheat meal can make you feel guilty and disappointed, but that doesn’t mean the keto diet is over. Eating more fat, balancing your electrolytes, consuming MCT supplements, exercising regularly, and fasting can help adjust your ketone levels again. 

If you need help planning meals, consider talking to a registered dietitian to create a desirable keto regimen.

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

Cheating on Keto How to Get Back On Track

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