The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that helps the body enter a state of ketosis. It has been used for weight loss and improving overall health. The goal of the keto diet is to force your body into using fat as its primary fuel source instead of glucose.
You may find yourself struggling to stick to this diet, especially when there are so many tempting high-carb foods that you want to indulge in.
While on your keto diet it is natural that along the way you may find yourself having a carb binge some days which will put you out of ketosis.
This article explains how you can get back into ketosis after a binge.
What Happens to Your Body After a Binge?
When people binge, they usually eat a lot of processed foods. which means foods that are rich in carbs and sugar.
Carb-rich foods spike blood glucose levels and stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas.
Insulin encourages the body to store glucose in the liver and muscles. The glucose will be broken down into chain structures called “glycogen”.
Insulin is also responsible for storing fat, so when you binge on carb-rich foods, you're storing body fat rapidly.
How to Get Back Into Ketosis After a Binge?
Below are a few ways to help you get back into ketosis. Each one has its advantages, and some of these methods get you back into ketosis faster than others.
1. Implement time-restricted eating
It is easier to get into ketosis if you restrict food intake and stay in a fasting state. Once your body gets used to the restriction, it will produce ketones to provide the energy it needs.
2. Monitor your carb intake
In order to get back into ketosis, it's important to track your carb intake so you don’t go overboard on your 20g limit. Carb intake can be easily tracked by using a food tracker app.
Exercise is one of the best ways to get back to ketosis after a binge because it depletes your glycogen stores faster. Glycogen is a form of glucose that is stored in your muscles and liver. It provides energy for muscle contractions during exercise.
When you exercise, you burn energy that is stored in your muscles as glycogen. Once the body runs out of glycogen it breaks down your fat cells to produce ketones for energy.
4. Include foods with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT)
Medium-chain triglycerides are very different from long-chain triglycerides because they contain fewer than 10 carbon atoms per molecule.
This is why they are absorbed quickly and used as an energy source by the body. Adding foods rich in MCT will make sure that your body is being fueled with fat which in turn makes you reach ketosis quicker.
Sources of medium-chain triglycerides include coconut oil, palm kernel oil, goat's milk, and grass-fed butter.
Having a carb-rich binge will move you out of ketosis quickly. It can take from a few days to 2 weeks to fully get back into ketosis, during which time your weight loss may be slowed down.
Give your body some time to recover by fasting after a binge. It's the quickest way to reverse the negative effects of binging on carb-rich meals.
To prevent binging while on keto, you can keep temptation away by getting rid of enticing carb-rich foods at home, appointing someone who is accountable to keep you in ketosis, and planning out your daily diet the night before.
Also, check out our keto coaching program where we assist you with doing keto the proper way.
D C Harvey CJ, Schofield GM, Williden M, McQuillan JA. The Effect of Medium Chain Triglycerides on Time to Nutritional Ketosis and Symptoms of Keto-Induction in Healthy Adults: A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial. J Nutr Metab. 2018;2018:2630565. Published 2018 May 22.
Izumida, Yoshihiko et al. “Glycogen shortage during fasting triggers liver-brain-adipose neurocircuitry to facilitate fat utilization.” Nature communications vol. 4 (2013): 2316.