carbs-on-keto

Maybe you’ve been in ketosis for weeks, but you caved and ate pizza at a party. Maybe you’re new to keto and old habits tempted you. A carb binge isn’t ideal, but what you do next makes all the difference.

Here’s what to expect after a carb binge and the step-by-step guide to get back on track.

 

Carbs on Keto: What to Expect After a Carb Binge

Although it may feel good (in the moment) to give in to a temptation and eat your favorite carbs, it’s not a risk-free binge. A carb binge is particularly hard on people who were already in ketosis and fat adapted. The sudden influx of carbs can seem to shock the body.

 

Have you ever heard someone say they need to take a nap after a big meal? It’s normal to feel low on energy after a high-carb meal, and the effects are even more intense after a big binge. If you’ve been on a carb binge, it’s normal to experience the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog [1]
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Low energy
  • Feelings of regret and guilt

Keto Reboot: Can You Get Back into Ketosis Again?

Getting back on track after a carb binge means you’ve got to get back into ketosis. You got into ketosis once, and you can definitely get into ketosis again. If you feel guilty after a carb binge, you’re not alone. But it’s time to let go of any negative feelings. Disappointment and regret won’t make the carb binge go away, but you can use this as a powerful teaching tool – and experience that will help you resist the carb binges in the future.

Note: Getting back on track may mean you have to deal with the keto flu again. Although, this is more likely if you were out of ketosis for a longer period of time. Research indicates that keto flu symptoms usually only last a few days. [2]

Minimizing Keto Flu Symptoms as You Get Back into Ketosis

The keto flu is most prevalent when you’re transition into ketosis, whether it’s your first time or not. Don’t let the thought of the keto flu keep you from getting back into ketosis. Keto-flu symptoms include cramps, dizziness, and stomach pains, and they can occur for a few reasons:

  • Your body is going through carb withdrawal
  • You need more electrolytes
  • You’re dehydrated
  • You need more micronutrients

Addressing these issues can help you transition back into ketosis with ease. That means watching your electrolyte intake, staying hydrated, and eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods.

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Get Back on Track

Ready to get back on track? Recall how energetic and healthy you feel when you’re sticking with your diet, and then follow these steps:

Intermittent Fasting: An intermittent fast is an efficient way to get back into ketosis. [3] Intermittent fasting allows your body to use glycogen stores, and this helps your body enter ketosis. Why does this work? When you’re fasting, there isn’t any food – or energy – coming in, which means your body then turns to stored glucose (aka glycogen) for energy.

Drink Plenty of Water: Fasting headaches are a normal occurrence but drinking plenty of water can help combat those headaches. Tip: As glycogen is depleted, your body is going to use all that water to dump electrolytes, so be sure to make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes too. A sip of warm bone broth can do the trick too!

Exercise: Exercise helps get you back into ketosis by sending stored up glucose to your muscles.[4] This helps use up your glucose stores quicker, which means you are one step closer to burning ketones for fuel instead of glucose.

Get Plenty of Sleep: A lack of sleep can affect your overall health, whether you’re in ketosis or not. Studies show that a lack of sleep (AKA less than eight hours for adults) can increase hunger and cravings for carbs. Another big point: when you’re sleep deprived, your body is less effective at using insulin. [5]

Take Exogenous Ketones: Exogenous means that something comes from outside of your body. Taking exogenous ketones is a way to supplement your body with ketones, which can help blood glucose to decrease significantly.

 

When you think you’re back in ketosis, check your urine to confirm, and then give yourself a pat on the back. You did it!

 

Stop the Cheat Days Before They Start

Feeling like you’re missing out on your favorites carbs on keto like chicken and waffles or pizza? There’s no need to say goodbye to your favorite foods forever – check out our recipes section for keto-friendly versions of your favorites!

Remember, the ketogenic diet is a lifestyle – not just a trendy diet – that helps you feel good on the inside and outside.

 

References

  1. Krikorian, Robert, et al. “Dietary Ketosis Enhances Memory in Mild Cognitive Impairment.” Neurobiology of Aging, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2012.
  2. Masood, Wajeed. “Ketogenic Diet.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 21 Mar. 2019.
  3. Anton, Stephen D, et al. “Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying the Health Benefits of Fasting.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2018.
  4. Murray, Bob, and Christine Rosenbloom. “Fundamentals of Glycogen Metabolism for Coaches and Athletes.” Nutrition Reviews, Oxford University Press, 1 Apr. 2018.
  5. Broussard, Josiane L., et al. “Impaired Insulin Signaling in Human Adipocytes After Experimental Sleep Restriction: A Randomized, Crossover Study.” Annals of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians, 16 Oct. 2012.

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