Can you have cheat meals while doing the Keto diet?

Cheating on diets is risky business especially if you don’t do it the smart way. The important thing is to know your limits.

keto cheat meal

Ah, cheat day. The day you finally let go of the stress of following a diet. The day you give in to your desires, foodwise. But is it really worth it?

For some people, deciding whether to go on an eating spree or not is a more serious decision than one may think. Especially for those who are starting or on the keto diet. So if you are considering a cheat day on keto, we urge you to reconsider to a certain extent.

Let’s make things clear first. Cheating on any diet is bad. I mean that’s why it’s called cheating. And while cheating is a great way to get a healthy mindset while on a diet the cons often outweigh the pros. But if your will is strong and you are able to discipline yourself, then making room for your favorite forbidden food is not only easier but guilt-free.

Here are some of the ways going on a cheat day while on keto is a bad idea.

The Causes

Let’s face it. While we do try to make choices out of logic but most of the time we do make bad ones. I mean really bad ones. Especially if you are on a diet like keto, which has a lot of restrictions it is easy to feel constricted and stressed with the options that you have before you. Which makes choosing to cheat on a diet more likely to occur than opting out and braving the storm. And while it’s okay to give in sometimes, it’s best to think carefully so you have your cheat day with no regrets.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people strongly consider having cheat days while on keto:

  • On impulse: Last-minute decisions especially if it’s about cheating your diet will likely result in guilt rather than empowerment. You are what you eat so eat something that’ll at least make you satisfied that you cheated for a day.
  • On bad planning: When low-carb, keto friendly food becomes scarce when you get hungry, grabbing the nearest food within reach is probably not a good idea. Keep emergency stocks of keto food on you at all times that way you lessen the occurrence of cheating disasters.
  • On a positive mindset: While this reason is not a bad one per se, it also needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Know your limits and be cautious when eating the things that you want so you don’t fall off the wagon.
  • On special occasions: Food that you rarely get to eat is a treat especially on occasions such as Thanksgiving or even while traveling to different places, however, keep a clear head. It’s easy to go overboard when you’re surrounded by rare and unfamiliar food.

The Effects

We mentioned that cheating while on the keto diet has more cons than pros and here are a few of them:

  • On ketosis: When you’re thinking about cheating on the keto diet you have to accept the fact that it may take you out of ketosis and that it might take a while before you’re back on track again. Keeping track of your ketone levels is a good idea to check if you are (or aren’t) on ketosis.
  • On fat: Staying in and out of ketosis because of regular cheat days might actually affect the way your body burns fat and can actually affect the overall results of your diet.
  • On cravings: Believe it or not, you’re taste buds actually gets affected when you continue with your regular cheat days. The risk of getting intense cravings are the effect of going back and forth between keto food to junk food.
  • On keto-flu and other side-effects: The unpleasant experience of going through the symptoms of the keto diet could eventually come back if you continue having cheat days. Since the body goes in and out of ketosis you have to continually start over until you reach ketosis again.
  • On blood sugar: The keto diet is known for stabilizing your blood sugar levels and eating carbs on your cheat day could send your blood sugar levels on an all-time high.

The Alternative

For people who don’t want to risk getting off ketosis but still want the simple pleasure of having your favorite food, we’ve got good news. There are actual ways for you to have fun and eat out while staying on ketosis Here are a few of them:

  • Try the low-carb version of your faves: Any kind of dish out there probably has a healthier, low-carb alternative. Trying out low-carb recipes are a great way to enjoy the food you’ve been missing out on without adding extra carbs.
  • Smaller portions: If you feel cheating is inevitable for you, try eating your cheat food in smaller bites. It’s a little dangerous but with some discipline, you can get through it.
  • Substitute with fat: When hunger pangs start, try food loaded with healthy fat. Not only is it filling but it also keeps cravings at bay.
  • Timing is everything: Knowing the right time to cheat is also a great way to stay on track while you indulge in your cravings. We recommend cheating after a meal and before a workout.


Cheating on diets is risky business especially if you don’t do it the smart way. The important thing is to know your limits while indulging in your cravings feels great from time to time getting your hard-earned results from following your diet to a T is the best feeling in the world, isn’t it?

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