Is cheat day allowed on the Keto diet?

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Keto diet is basically a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver which is used as energy? (Source: Getty Images/ Thinkstock)

Most people tend to cheat on their diet. But is it possible to cheat on the Ketogenic diet? Fondly called the Keto diet, it is basically a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver which is used as energy. In this low carb high-fat diet, the body is forced into a metabolic state, but not through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates which then gets into a natural process of breaking down the fats in the liver.

A recent study has found that just 75gm dose of glucose – the equivalent a large bottle of soda or a plate of fries – while on a Keto diet can lead to damaged blood vessels. The trial diet consisted of 70 per cent fat, 10 per cent carbohydrates and 20 per cent protein, similar to that of a modern Ketogenic diet. The researcher found biomarkers in the blood suggesting that vessel walls were being damaged by the sudden spike in glucose.

The most likely culprit for the damage is the body’s own metabolic response to excess blood sugar, which causes blood vessels to shed and possibly die. This being one of the few things that can happen once you ditch your plan and not have proper control over your cravings.

A recent study done by the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus pointed out that those on the Keto diet should pause when considering a cheat day. “Our data suggest a Ketogenic diet is not something you do for six days a week and take Saturday off”, says Cody Durrer, UBC Okanagan doctoral student.

People also tend to suffer from Keto flu – a condition where most feel hungover and ill for a couple of days – if they consume junk food while on the diet.  Headaches, nausea, fatigue, stomach pain and body aches, brain fog, vomits and mood swings are other side effects.

The only way to avoid that is by being 100% committed towards eliminating the stored carbs in your body and not disturbing the body’s cycle by introducing additional carbs. If you cheat once you will have the craving to cheat once again and this cycle is hard to control. Not only does it hamper the process, but also resets your taste buds towards junk food, making it difficult to ignore cravings.