We focus on alternative food choices and limiting ingredients when we seek to lose excess body fat, and considering those elements is wise when constructing a well-rounded keto protocol.
However, it's equally important to identify food triggers so we can plan appropriately to avoid unplanned splurges that lead to little more than fleeting pleasure and lasting guilt—often along with gaining unwanted excess weight.
More time at home may have become a haven to aid in controlling your food intake, but more social gatherings happening lately could contribute to overeating carbs and calories. It’s understandable that folks want to indulge and party a bit after the rigors of the past year, but we want to dine responsibly to prevent dietary setbacks.
No worries, whether you've allowed more carbs to creep into your daily macros lately or have been picking here and there on non-keto fare a bit more than usual, we've got some tips to get you back on track to achieve nutritional ketosis.
We've all been there: despite our best efforts to surround ourselves with low-carb foods, temptation strikes, our favorite old-time foods are present and plentiful, and our lower instinct wins.
Despite the awareness about its higher carb count, we indulge in our favorites and may later kick ourselves for making dietary choices misaligned with our set goals, especially once our jeans begin feeling a bit snug.
Impulses can lead us off track temporarily, but we can quickly recommit to living a low-carb life with the next bite of food we take to correct our subprime choices—no need to wait for tomorrow morning or Monday.
How To Return To Ketosis
Here are some of our surefire ways to return to metabolic ketosis quickly as well as helping to flush the system after a carb-fueled episode:
1 - Feel the guilt of your transgression and recommit to making better choices. But skip the shame: You committed to eliminating carbs and overt sugar but chose to breach your decision and indulge in foods that may no longer serve your goals.
Accept your choice, consider what may have contributed to the experience, and use the information to approach similar situations differently, and be better prepared to make a more beneficial choice in the future.
2 - Remember your 'why': Delicious foods can tempt and lure us into old habits, but it’s important to remember the reason you decided to change your diet initially. Essentially, remember your ‘why’.
Create a vision board, post motivational pictures or affirmations around the house, and place inspirational items in your spaces to set and maintain an encouraging mood and environment.
Jot down your motivations, goals, and review the list daily to keep your mind firmly set on your dietary intentions. Let your words sink in and resonate within until you feel fully grounded in your commitment to cut the carbs.
Your mistakes can derail your efforts, but they can also contribute to achieving your wellness goals. Take some time to reconnect to the level of passion you had when you started and then approach keto with the same vigor once more.
3 - Declare an end to the splurge, now. Riding the line and sneaking extra carbs here and there is an extremely slippery slope. First it’s adding a side of sweet potatoes during carb-ups, then you’re eating more packaged keto treats, and justifying fitting higher-carb fare into your weekly meal plan. Inches of leeway given can quickly and easily turn into a mile’s worth of transgressions.
Put your foot down. Ditch the snacks and other foods that don’t serve you, and decide to make your health your highest priority. Plus, there’s honestly no need to splurge with high-carb foods when we have loads of low-carb swaps we can use to recreate our traditional favorites.
And use those twinges of guilt you may be feeling as motivation to get back on track immediately and never look back.
4 - Reset your program with a strict, small keto meal. Toss together a salad, or sear a salmon fillet with a side of asparagus to reset your mind and body. Taking the step of having a reset meal will condition your mind and notify you that you’re back to business and playtime is over.
Eating a small keto meal doesn’t guarantee a future free of slips, but it does signal your decision to change your eating choices to your body—backing your intention with a tangible action.
5 - Get active for the next few days to boost blood flow, endorphins, and establish your new and improved activity calendar. The weight-loss equation of calories in versus calories out remains applicable, but adding increased exercise at this time also serves a purpose other than creating a caloric deficit.
Exercise helps to deplete your glucose stores to encourage your body to seek fat and ketones rather than sugar for energy; it assists in entering or returning the body to metabolic ketosis faster. It’s a helpful boost to undo the effects of any naughty noshing that may have happened.
Do an exercise that you enjoy and may already do regularly, but ramp up the frequency and intensity for the next few days to usher your system back into ketosis after emptying your glucose stores.
6 - Stay hydrated and replenish your salts. If your dietary splurge has lasted a few days and completely kicked you out of ketosis, you’re likely starting from scratch when you recommit to eliminating carbs and sugars from your diet—which can lead to another bout with the keto flu as your body readjusts to running on fat for fuel.
Make sure water is your go-to beverage throughout the day, consider sipping on bone broth to boost electrolytes, and add premium salt to your meals.
7 - Expect an increase on the scale at the next weigh-in: Eating excess calories, loads of carbs, and insulin-spiking sugar definitely affects rapid weight gain on the scale.
While this rise in pounds may feel discouraging, know that some of it is likely water weight and you can release it quickly and easily by following some of the tips mentioned.
Remember, the best way to reduce the side effects of the pesky keto flu is to drink lots of water and to sprinkle lots of high-quality salt like Celtic, Himalayan, or other mineral-rich options on everything and enjoy some creamy avocado in a smoothie or savory guacamole filled with nutrients and healthy fats, and you’ll see the number on the scale shifts downward again in no time.
8 - Learn, repent, and do not repeat. There are no guarantees that the splurge you’ve experienced will be the last in life. However, You can consciously analyze what triggered the event, uncover ways to support yourself better in the future and choose to do better next time.
Meal prep, keeping keto-friendly snacks on-hand, and researching menus before dining out can all aid in planning your food choices in advance to avoid unintended slip-ups while enjoying delicious and nutritious low-carb meals.
Plus, there are many low and no-carb foods that you can incorporate into your meal plan to ensure that you’re satiated throughout the day without busting your macronutrient budget. And, incorporating supplements like our Supreme Greens is a fantastic way to ensure you're getting your micronutrients even if you are not a fan of eating dark leafy greens and vegetables.
Along with the tips we advise, here are some things that we’d suggest avoiding when recovering from a dietary flub:
Supplements, like Keto Activate, may aid in boosting ketones when following a low-carb diet, but know that you can use your food choices to return to ketosis, as well.
Focus on keeping your nutritional choices clean, loading up on water and electrolytes, and make an effort to avoid being sedentary during this time.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes and experiences setbacks sometimes. The key is to resume your dietary commitment as soon as possible and use the blip as a learning tool to prevent similar missteps in the future.
Don’t become discouraged, give up, and continue down the road of subprime decisions. A cheat day, or even an extended splurge on vacation can be corrected by stopping the behavior immediately and choosing better next time.
While reflecting on the slip-up and using the potential feelings of guilt or disappointment as fuel to improve your approach in the future can prove helpful, but downing yourself only dashes morale and may lead to additional indulgences to quell feelings of discomfort or disappointment.
It’s best to analyze the misstep and move on without brooding over setbacks. You are in control of what you eat and you can make a more beneficial choice at your next mealtime, no need to dwell on imperfections.
- Start your diet again immediately. Don’t wait until tomorrow. The time for healthy change is always now. Return to your commitments at your very next mealtime and continue on the path of nutritional ketosis, healthy insulin levels, and effortless weight loss on keto.
Avoid attending social events when ravished; it’s a perfect recipe for a bingeing disaster! Have a snack or a small meal before partying to prevent overeating or making less than best food choices.
Similar to grocery shopping when hungry, showing up at events with an empty stomach will likely result in increased snacking and lowered inhibitions around food choices—especially if the drinks are flowing.
Indulge in a small treat daily: Eliminate intense food cravings by giving into them in a calculated way on a regular basis, so you don’t feel deprived of something you truly enjoy. Allowing yourself a regular keto-friendly treat will help keep your cravings bandit at bay and well controlled.
Check out some of our tasty and beginner-friendly snack recipes so you’re well-equipped with several prepared options ahead and not left famished with limited low-carb options.
Plus, some additional reading will share many other tips to help you begin the journey to better health with the resources needed to achieve success on a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Undereating, dehydration, and other common mistakes lead many to experience unpleasant conditions like the keto flu or keto rash when starting the diet. Follow our advised best practices to minimize or avoid some commonly-experienced challenges while transitioning to metabolic ketosis to resume the low-carb lifestyle with ease.
Plus, a return to the keto diet is a fantastic time to review the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ foods on the protocol. Here are our recommended picks to stock up your fridge and pantry to set yourself up for success.
Besides, if your life is super busy and dining via the fast-food drive-thru is common, here are some tried and true tips to help keep it keto even when on-the-go. Living a low-carb lifestyle can be simple—even when time is short and a home-cooked meal may not be an option.
Also, the loads of low-carb and sugar-free alternatives now available make eating a ketogenic diet and including some all-time favorites an effortless task, with the use of some clever swaps.
Weight loss and adjusting to a new dietary plan is a process and setbacks are probable for some. But a misstep can act as an opportunity to review your approach and make some tweaks to prevent derailing your wellness efforts in the future.
Having a plan is always ideal when working to achieve a goal, and approaching the ketogenic lifestyle is no different. Using a well-crafted meal plan that’s tailored to your needs and preferences is the perfect way to provide a solid guideline to keep you on pace to hit your goals.
Take a few moments and complete our 30-second quiz to access a personalized keto meal plan for weight loss that’s ideal for you. It’s the perfect tool to use during your reset to set out on the right track.
And remember, no one is perfect and mistakes are common when starting a new dietary protocol. It takes time to determine the amount of calories required to support your activity level. And trial and error is often needed to determine your ideal intake of carbohydrates to maintain ketosis and support accelerated weight loss.
Allow yourself the grace you’d extend to a close friend. Regroup and jot down your current goals and desired timeline to hit those targets, and break your efforts into small achievable milestones you can track and use to stay motivated.
Plus, find ways to create a positive and encouraging environment around you that supports your success, keeps you inspired, and is free of pesky food triggers. You will find success following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet with some subtle tweaks and the tools needed to stay focused.
- Janer, G., & Kogevinas, M. (n.d.). Promoting physical activity and a healthy diet among working women. Promoting Health for Working Women, 319–332. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-73038-7_13
- Marszał-Wiśniewska, M., & Jarczewska-Gerc, E. (2018). Self-control in the weight loss process. Weight Loss. https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.76127
- Strien, T. V., Snoek, H. M., Janssens, J. M., & Engels, R. C. (2006). Dieting versus overeating in weight gain, obesity and bingeing: What comes First? PsycEXTRA Dataset. https://doi.org/10.1037/e524352011-012
- Lemstra, M. (2016). Weight-loss intervention adherence levels and factors promoting adherence. Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy, 06(04). https://doi.org/10.4172/2165-7904.c1.029