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Can Keto Cheating Help You Discover a New You?

Can Keto Cheating Help You Discover a New You?

by Jessica Smith -

When it comes to keto there is no one right way that works for everyone. There are, however, better ways to do keto. At Konscious Keto, we believe everyone should find their own version of keto that works for them. This raises the interesting question of whether you should be keto cheating or not.

Cheating on keto is a bit of a controversial topic, especially among the purists and naysayers, but we tend to have a more open-minded approach.

If keto cheating helps you to make more good choices than bad...if keto cheating enables you to feel liberated, and not trapped, by your diet...if keto cheating helps you to enjoy a life-long change, then we think it’s something you should consider.

Not everyone can get away with cheating on keto and nor should you want to.

The following advice is for people who are perhaps new to keto, who are struggling to stay on track, or who feel that a super rigorous clean diet is simply not enjoyable or out of their reach.

We hope that by providing you with some strategic ways to cheat on keto, you’ll do yourself the best favor of all and make keto a more sustainable and enjoyable experience.

If all else fails, you can take a half scoop of Keto Activate with your keto coffee or smoothie, which can help you get back into ketosis. Some purists might call this cheating, but the science backs up the facts.

BHBs, or exogenous ketones, the chocolate ketones found in Keto Activate are the same ketones your body products. These are super important, and what the keto diet is all about - the more ketones you have, the fewer sugar cravings and crashes you endure.

So, if you’re struggling with keto flu, can’t get into keto, or want to have a chat day and get back on track quickly, Keto Activate might be a great fit for you.  

Types of Keto Cheating

First of all, we want to define what we mean when we say keto cheating. We’re not talking about going out and scoffing a bunch of tasty high-carb treats. No, keto cheating is about using sound knowledge to make stronger keto choices.

For some people, keto cheating might be as simple as taking off the calorie counter and enjoying a full plate of delicious keto fats.

For others, keto cheating might mean adding in a high-carb day as part of your overall carb-cycling protocol.

We want to make these distinguishing factors very clear as just eating junk food on a keto diet is about the worst choice you can make; keto cheating is here to liberate, heal, and make you feel like a better version of you. It is not eating willy-nilly with no consequences.  

Lazy Keto

The first type of keto cheating that we support is lazy keto. This is a great way for people who are in a maintenance phase or who don’t need a lot of weight loss to enjoy the benefits of ketosis without feeling super constricted.  

The definition of lazy keto varies among people, but broadly speaking, we’re talking about people who eat a variety of keto foods and do not track.

For example, you may eat as many calories or macros as you wish, so long as you stay under your carb allowance. Lazy keto has the added benefits of keeping you in ketosis, which promotes satiation and hunger suppression naturally.

Many people find this an ideal way to stay at their goal weight and enjoy less inflammation, chronic stress, and heart disease or risk of diabetes.

People on lazy keto will still actively seek to avoid processed foods, loading up on sugar alcohols and other unclean keto foods.

Dirty Keto

Dirty keto is very similar to lazy keto. It follows the same macronutrient-breakdown as regular keto, but with one key difference — it doesn’t matter where those macronutrients come from so you can eat whatever you want, in most respects.

People who do dirty keto are essentially breaking the system and eating foods that loosely qualify as keto.

The goal can be for fat loss, and they may track to some respect, but overall, the quality of dirty keto is considered to be lacking by comparison of clean keto.

If you want an easy-out option, we recommend lazy keto over dirty keto. On dirty keto, you run the risk of introducing improper foods that can be as problematic - or worse - than sugar and carbs are to other people.

For example, on dirty keto, people may enjoy diet sodas. These contain not keto approved sweeteners like aspartame. We prefer to avoid aspartame as it can cause cancer and other serious health problems. Look for stevia-sweetened sodas instead.

People who dirty keto won't care about these and if you are aware of the issues and think it's ok, then we won't hold you back. Keto on, peeps. 

Carb-Cycling Keto

The third way you might like to cheat on keto is carb-cycling. This is where you add in a high-carb low-fat day. It is basically the opposite of keto.

The reason this method works is that you are not eating fat on carb days, and vice versa. If you eat both you run the risk of coronary and heart disease.

According to Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, you follow two keto days and then a higher carb day, and repeat indefinitely. “On your keto days, you [eat] under 30 grams of total carbs, and on the carb day you [eat] between 80 and 100 grams,” he explains.

He also says you can start doing this after 30 days on a regular ketogenic diet, by which point your body should be adapted to utilizing fat for fuel.

And, of course, you want to stick with good-for-you carbs—this isn’t an excuse to have a cupcake free-for-all every few days.

Increasing your carbs a few days per week takes you out of ketosis. (This is basically the goal of the ketogenic diet—and it’s associated with benefits like increased energy, weight loss, and mental clarity.)

Instead, on those days, your body ends up running on glucose from the carbs. By the second day, when you go back to eating keto, your body returns to ketosis.

Kim Crawford, MD, is another fan of keto cycling, particularly for its gut-health benefits. “We’ve observed that long-term ketosis interrupts the mucus lining and the function of the microbiome,” she says. “We don’t know the clinical significance of this, but we do know it’s very important to have a nice mucus layer and good bacteria doing their good things.”

Her version of keto cycling involves adding starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or squash, to a dinner every two weeks. “Going super-high on carbs will make it harder to get back into ketosis the next morning,” she says.

When is Keto Cheating Not OK?

Now, these versions might all sound too good to be true, but when is keto cheating not ok - we are about to find out.

Eating a High-Fat High-Carb Diet

Just as fasting is not starving yourself, eating carbs on and off without a strategy and plan in place can be pretty dangerous. Combining carbs and fat is a worst-case scenario.

The reason keto works is because you must stay low-carb to deplete your glycogen levels. If you do this, your body will switch from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner.

It’s important to realize it can take 4-5 weeks of being in ketosis, a fat-burning state before you become a fat-burner even when you eat carbs. If you’re into keto cheating, but you don’t do it right, you could put yourself at risk of many health concerns.

In one study, scientists found that people who ate their carb allowance 15 minutes prior to or after exercise were able to stay in a fat-burning range and appeared immune to specific problems.

People who ate carbs outside of this time, however, saw increased hypertension, the risk of type 2 diabetes, and did not burn fat through ketosis for up to 3 days.

The good news is that with some simple modifications, you can make changes to your keto diet to squeeze in more keto cheating without feeling guilty.

Keep in mind though, you should avoid the above types of keto if you suffer from any inflammation or inflammatory conditions.

The good news is that with some simple modifications, you can make changes to your keto diet to squeeze in more keto cheating without feeling guilty.

Carb cycling or not, these are some awesome keto supplements you should consider taking when you go into ketosis for the first time. You’ll also want to grab this pantry staple to ward off sugar cravings.

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