4 Simple Steps To Take After A Cheat Day (Or Meal) On Keto
Hey, it’s Health Coach Tara and today I want to give you four simple steps to take after a cheat day or a cheat meal on keto.
First, I want to take just a moment to recognize you for being here and seeking answers after a cheat. Take a deep breath and give yourself some credit for wanting to get back on plan. I’m going to share some tactics with you designed to help you begin the process of stopping self-sabotage. So, grab your notebook and buckle in because these simple steps are powerful.
What Is A Cheat Day?
A cheat day is an eating episode where you indulged in too many carbs and you wake up the next day upset with yourself for giving in to your cravings and going off-plan.
When you cheat on the keto diet, your body is rapidly loaded with glucose or blood sugar. If you were to measure your blood sugar you would likely see it spike to a point well over 140.
This high load of blood glucose results in oxidative stress on the body and overload to our liver causing more oxidative stress. Oxidative stress means more free radicals are produced in the body and this is a contributing factor to many diseases.
Step 1: Help Your Body Use Up The Extra Glucose
The first thing you'll want to do is help your body to use up that extra glucose you've acquired. The easiest way to do that is to get moving with some light activity using your large muscle groups.
Use Your Legs
The largest, most powerful muscle groups are in our legs. You could deep clean your house, walk up and down your stairs, go for a bike ride or a walk, learn a dance on YouTube, do a walk-at-home workout. Do something that gets your heart rate up for 20-60 minutes after eating. Implement this simple step right away. It’s not too late to help your body recover.
Step 2: Show Yourself Empathy And Grace
Are you stuck in a cycle of negative self talk after the cheat? Berating yourself for doing something wrong increases your stress levels which drives up your cortisol levels and causes your body to start packing away extra energy as fat.
Remind Yourself Of These Truths
You are more than what you ate yesterday. You are loved and cared for and I know you have a lot to offer the world. This cheat does not define who you are. And, you didn’t ruin your body with one cheat meal or one cheat day.
Embrace Failure & Move Forward
Embrace this failure and learn from it because failure is a required part of success. If someone who was successful is telling you they never failed, they are either lying or they have disordered eating.
If you are really struggling with negative self-talk and feel stuck in a cycle you can’t break, and believe me, I’ve been there, I want to encourage you to seek out a professional therapist and work with them.
Step 3: Write Yourself A Letter
Grab a notebook and sit down and write down everything you are feeling. Note how you feel right now and the thoughts going on in your mind. Jot down how you feel the day after the cheat. Document the things you learned about yourself and your body.
Are you feeling inflammation rushing back in? Fatigue? More anxiety or moodiness? Write all of it down. Then, fold it up and place it in an envelope and write your name on the envelope and “Read this the next time you want to cheat on keto”.
Step 4: Get Back On Plan Right Away
Often, especially if you are an emotional eater like I am, the temptation is that once you are off the plan, you just stay off the plan.
It's A Sign You're On The Right Path
You may be experiencing thoughts filled with reasons not to go back to the keto diet. Or, reasons to stay off plan just one more day or for just one more meal may be surfacing. Take these thoughts as a sign that you are on the right path with keto.
We Naturally Resist Change
Your mind is simply resisting change. It’s programmed to do just that. So, know these thoughts are normal and view them as a green flag that you are doing something good to improve your life.
Sure, this effort is hard and it requires uncomfortable action. But, doesn’t everything good that we build in our lives requires overcoming obstacles, doing hard things, and taking uncomfortable action?
Make A Personal Challenge
Issue yourself a personal challenge to get back on keto. This could be a personal 7 Day Challenge or you could extend it to a 30 day challenge where you’re going to stick to the keto diet for good. I’ve even created a 30 Day Planner for those of you who want to commit to and document a personal 30 day challenge.
I find that looking at your next 30 days as a keto challenge is very effective in recovering from a cheat day. A challenge implies that the thing you are doing is difficult and will require uncomfortable action. I know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. So, why not this? You’re here which means you want to change your life.
Now get out there and take that uncomfortable action you know you need to take to improve your health and wellbeing.
Comment below with “I’m in for a personal 30 day challenge” and I will reply with some resources to help support you along the way.
If you have a topic you’d like me to cover, just put that in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, this is Health Coach Tara.