Will One Cheat Day Ruin Ketosis? - ketolibriyum

Will One Cheat Day Ruin Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose to use as its main source of energy.

This causes the body to break down fats into ketones, which are then used as fuel for the body instead of carbohydrates. This process is triggered by a keto diet.

Staying in ketosis can be difficult, so you may be wondering how strictly you have to adhere to your keto diet to stay there.

If you've been following a keto diet or are just trying to learn a bit more about it, here's all you need to know if one cheat day will ruin ketosis.

What Is a Cheat Day?

A cheat day is a day when you allow yourself to eat foods that are not keto-friendly. Which means indulging in high-carb foods that you can't have on your keto diet.

For example high-carbohydrate snacks such as pasta, pizza, bread, desserts, chips, soda, etc.

Will One Cheat Day Ruin Ketosis?

Yes, even just one carb-rich meal can quickly get you out of ketosis. The carbs eaten on a cheat day will halt the production of ketones immediately until they are all metabolized by the body.

It's not that complicated to achieve ketosis, but it does take time and effort. Every time you have a cheat day, your progress will be reset and you'll need to start all over again.

This exchange between being in ketosis and having cheat days may hinder the benefits of the keto diet especially for weight loss and overall well-being altogether.

What Happens To Your Body on a Cheat day?

Remember to think about these things before you go into a carb binge on your cheat day. You may experience the following things:

  • Blood sugar spikes
  • You will be out of ketosis
  • Weight gain
  • Increased hunger and cravings
  • Keto flu

It can take some time to switch back to using ketones as an energy source after a cheat day.

How Long Does It Take to Get Back in Ketosis After a Cheat day?

The answer depends on what you ate on your cheat day. If you ate keto-friendly low-carb snacks then it will take less time to get back into ketosis than if you ate things like bread, pizza, or ice cream.

It also depends on how many days you’ve been in ketosis before your cheat day. If this is your first cheat day then it will take longer to get back into ketosis because your body has been exclusively burning fat for fuel up until that point.

On average it can take about 1-2 weeks before the body begins producing enough of its own ketones after a cheat day. 

How To Cheat on Keto The Proper Way?

keto toast and cheat snack

The proper way to cheat is with keto-friendly meals. If you crave something specific, try looking for substitutes that are keto-compliant. There are tons of recipes online that will help you recreate your favourite meals into a keto-friendly version.

Having a cheat meal instead of a cheat day is another way to cheat the right way. Unlike a cheat day, a one-off cheat meal will be much easier to stay in ketosis with.

Now and then it is ok to have some carbs as long as you keep it under the 50g limit, so try to make the most of your daily allowance.


Cheating on your diet can make progress significantly more difficult, especially if you're trying to lose weight.

Cheat days can lead to blood sugar spikes which are not ideal if you are a diabetic. It can also make you crave unhealthy foods and make you gain weight. Consider taking cheat meals instead of cheat days.

Finally, to maintain a balance between eating a keto diet and still being able to have a cheat meal, try out keto-friendly alternatives to your favourite carb-rich snack.

Be sure to take a look at our snacks section, we offer multiple varieties ranging from chips and crackers to bars and chocolates along with tons of keto-friendly recipes.

Alternatively, you can also opt for our keto coaching program where we take care of everything for you. From delivering meals to providing you with one-on-one counselling with our keto coach. Check it out now!



University of British Columbia Okanagan campus. (2019, March 27). On the keto diet? Ditch the cheat day: Just one dose of carbohydrates can damage blood vessels. ScienceDaily 

Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004;9(3):200-205.

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