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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 10:02
TucsonBill's Avatar
TucsonBill TucsonBill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 339
Plan: ≤ 20 carbs & IF
Stats: 292/235/170 Male 72 Inches
Progress: 47%
Location: Tucson, AZ
Default What happens if I cheat?

I've been sticking to 20 carbs or less per day for nearly 5 weeks now with great success and I am dark purple in my ketosis and my BG has normalized.

Question is, my wife and I have an anniversary coming up and I'm wondering what would happen if we went out for Chinese or Sushi and ice cream afterwards - for just that one meal. Would it totally kick me out of ketosis and back to square one?
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 10:56
Sniggle Sniggle is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 370
Plan: General Low Carb
Stats: 215/197.2/195 Male 73.5
Progress: 89%
Location: West Virginia

Sashimi instead of sushi?

Probably the more important question is, at this point, can you 'sin' just once, and then easily get back on the path to your goal?

(Admission: I, too, plan to have sushi with my son as a personal reward when I hit 195...although I plan to mix in some sashimi, ask them to reduce the rice, and eat less of it)

I would guess it will set you back a few days, maybe a pound or 2, and may re-initiate the carbo cravings for a time.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 12:51
thud123's Avatar
thud123 thud123 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 7,422
Plan: P:E=>1 (Q3-22)
Stats: 168/100/82 Male 182cm
Progress: 79%

Originally Posted by TucsonBill
...Would it totally kick me out of ketosis and back to square one?

Short answer: Probably not.

for my body at least, It takes quite a bit and over time (higher carbs) I've been in "in ketosis" for almost 2 years now thow, only brief times when I got below an "optimum" level by over carbing on on plan foods.

My suggestion would be to stick to low carb treats but will do what you will do - let us know any interesting observations - it might be helpful for others considering the same.
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 13:28
TucsonBill's Avatar
TucsonBill TucsonBill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 339
Plan: ≤ 20 carbs & IF
Stats: 292/235/170 Male 72 Inches
Progress: 47%
Location: Tucson, AZ

I'm only going to do it if my wife wants to, she's low carbing with me and has lost about 5 pounds so far, (she's much more slim than me and only needs to lose about 12 more pounds to reach 115 .

Before I even suggested it I just wanted to check. I don't think it will do much harm in the long run either but ya know, this has almost become like a "religious experience" lol. I'll feel like im sinning :P
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 13:36
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 12,456
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/194/160 Female 5'4"
Progress: 32%
Location: Texas

For me, bringing Ice Cream back would really break my momentum. Especially the activity of going to get it. Straight sugar like that is a slippery slope....
Your wife didn't have much to loose but if you do what she's doing, it might be your undoing.
Like I always say, once you're full you're full. Just fill up on lots of low carb foods as best you can with maybe one or two sushi splurges...
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 13:44
bluesinger's Avatar
bluesinger bluesinger is offline
Doing My Best
Posts: 4,924
Plan: LC/CancerRecovery
Stats: 170/135/130 Female 62 inches
Progress: 88%
Location: Nevada Desert, USA

I've done lots of experimenting with what keeps me in ketosis and what kicks me out.

Of course, this is MY body, not yours, and mine is 72 and female.

Eating starch stalls me, but I stay in ketosis. Sugar kicks me out.

Whether I just slip and eat too many carbs or "sin" I get back on plan. It takes me about 4 days to get back into ketosis and a week to feel like "I'm back."
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 14:06
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 5,347
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/125/135 Female 62
Progress: 109%
Location: Vermont

Some people "cheat" (I really hate that term) and then fall down the rabbit hole never to be seen again. Others get back on track without any problem. I tend to think of off plan foods as poisons so generally I don't go near them. I try not to use poisons as rewards for anything. There are both physiological consequences to eating off plan and psychological consequences and they are probably related to some degree. How it will go for you can't be known until you try it or decide not to try it. I find it easier to just abstain from all off plan foods. Only on Thanksgiving do I eat dessert and even that sets off future cravings and I am not sure it is worth it.

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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 14:51
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Say NO to Diabetes!
Posts: 8,671
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/228/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 92%
Location: Central Virginia - USA

Originally Posted by Sniggle
Probably the more important question is, at this point, can you 'sin' just once, and then easily get back on the path to your goal?

That is the question. The only way to know for sure is to try it. But let's put the question another way... If I make it OK to cheat every now and then, will I ever reach my goal weight and/or maintain the weight I have lost? By the statistics, the answer to this alternative question is... probably not. Some can do it; most will not -- especially those of us that started this WOE morbidly obese. Will a single cheat knock you out of ketosis? Maybe, maybe not. Will cheating knock you off of your diet? It likely will. So the question of being knocked out of ketosis is kind of moot. If you get sucked back into eating your old diet, then you won't be in ketosis.

I cheated time and time again on failed diets of the past 30 years. Most times it didn't derail the diet completely, but it did revive cravings and that made sticking to the program tough to do. Eventually I'd cheat one time too many and that would be it. My old WOE would suck me back in and the regain was on. This WOE is made harder by cheating. If you want this WOE to get easier over time, then don't cheat.

Have I been perfect? No. Sometimes I eat too much. Sometimes I eat too many carbs. I have even gained weight eating nothing but OP food. But I didn't eat any off-plan food for the first couple of years. I had no planned or unplanned cheats. It took months, but eventually sticking with my LC program became easy. Eating LC didn't feel like dieting. It became my norm -- simply how I eat. Time on plan did that. 5 weeks is not a long time. Your brain is still full of strings tying you to many of your old favorite carby foods. Dabbling in them at this stage will only revive cravings and jumping right back on plan will not be as easy as you might think. I read a lot of journals here on this forum in the early days of my journey. People who don't cheat succeed. Every diet 'crash & burn' started with a cheat. For every 100 members who sign up here committed to making THIS TIME the one where they reach goal, how many actually do it? Not many. I have only been on this forum for a couple of years and I could give you dozens of names of members that were doing great - chose to cheat - and are now are either among the disappeared or part of the "I'm back" crowd after another regain event.

So my answer to your question is... I wouldn't recommend cheating with off-plan food choices. If you really want to reach goal then you need to make low carb your WOE. So stick with your program. Perhaps you can indulge a little by having a few more carbs than your normally do. Just stick with OP foods during your celebration. I've done this with LC cheesecake or home-made LC ice cream or frozen yogurt. Let the compromise come in the carb count - not the food choices.

That said, I did a little experimentation with "cheating" after I reached goal. I ate a slice of banana cream pie after dinner one day and ate some chocolate éclairs after dinner the next day. This was total junk food -- 100% off plan. It was a bonafide cheat. I wasn't craving these things. I was doing it more out of curiosity than anything else. I considered this experiment a risky move, but also a learning experience. I wanted to see how I would react. When I was younger I seemed to be able to cheat on the diet occasionally and get away with it. As the years went by, losing and regaining the same pounds over and over again, sticking with a diet became increasingly more difficult. Starting a new diet was tough enough, but recovering from a cheat once on a diet became nearly impossible. Dieting + cheating = misery. I wanted to know if I would respond differently given my current circumstances. This time I had lost all of the weight. I was no longer obese. I had resolved my insulin resistance, hypertension and my diabetes. I had broken the ties with my old favorite foods and I had resolved to make eating LC a permanent lifestyle. Cheating on pure junk in the past would always revive the crave monster inside me. Would it still be the same now that I lost the weight and reclaimed my health? That was the question that I wanted answered.

The result of that "cheat" experiment was that I did get away with it and I did so fairly easily. It was like the diets of my teens & 20's. I could cheat one day and be back on plan the next without too much trouble. So why the change? These "cheats" would have been nearly impossible to recover from a few years ago? I think resolving my insulin resistance had a lot to do with it. I don't get the crazy high BG spikes and crashes from eating junky carbs as I did when I was not metabolically healthy. Another likely reason: Those foods I cheated on are not part of my current food rotation and I was not craving them. This cheat experiment was several months ago and I have not had a slice of pie or a pastry since. I wasn't cheating as a reward or a celebration. I wasn't cheating to break up the monotony of eating "diet food" everyday. As expected, the cheat treats were tasty -- too tasty. But there was no 'pull' to have them before the experiment and the aftermath didn't throw me for a loop. I was well-established in the LC WOE -- 2+ years on plan. Apparently, these two after dinner cheats were not enough to knock me off of this foundation.

So the strangest part of this 'experiment' is that I learned that I may be able to deviate from the plan on occasion -- but I choose not to. I have enough trouble keeping my eating under control with the foods that I do consider on plan. I know that if I started throwing off-plan goodies into the mix on a regular basis I would come to regret that decision.

Last edited by khrussva : Fri, Sep-08-17 at 11:25.
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  #9   ^
Old Thu, Sep-07-17, 16:07
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,065
Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA

Originally Posted by khrussva
So the strangest part of this 'experiment' is that I learned that I may be able to deviate from the plan on occasion. But I choose not to. I have enough trouble keeping my eating under control with the foods that I do consider on plan. I know that if I started throwing off-plan goodies into the mix on a regular basis I would come to regret that decision.

This is the key, "on occasion." For me, resolving my insulin resistance and carb addiction has resulted in me being able to walk into the world's greatest bakery and crave nothing. If I have an opportunity to deviate, it is certainly not with something sweet, as I find these foods now to be totally unrewarding. That, in itself, is nice to know.

So, for the deviation called a cheat, could I have done this 2 months into my low carb journey? No! I wasn't anywhere near where I am today. YMMV. But deviating with one meal and being "kicked out of ketosis" is hardly going to put you back to square one. Note that I emphasized "one meal." It will only happen if the one meal becomes a regular routine. If you're currently fat adapted, meaning you burn fat as your primary fuel source, then you will be able to readily adapt back to fat burning primary after being out of ketosis. Good luck.

Last edited by GRB5111 : Thu, Sep-07-17 at 16:14.
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, Sep-08-17, 04:58
Just Jo's Avatar
Just Jo Just Jo is offline
A'72 Lifer Hard Core
Posts: 15,566
Plan: A'72 Induction Lifer + IF
Stats: 265/114/130 Female 5'4"
BF:Not so much now!
Progress: 112%
Location: South Central New Mexico

For me, cheating/eating OFF-Plan isn't about getting kicked out of ketosis or the temporary weight gain, it's more about the weeks upon weeks of cravings I have to fight tooth and nail with "Fat Jo"!

The momentary pleasure of indulging (aka face planting) into a carb-age laden dish isn't WORTH that!

More importantly for me, Imma at the healthiest I've ever been in my adult life b/c I stay LC and I don't want to jeopardize that at all...
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  #11   ^
Old Fri, Sep-08-17, 05:31
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 15,075
Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario

If I have a higher carb day, it's usually once a year type things, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or a five year old brought me a piece of her own birthday cake. The piece of cake I just snap back from, as long as those birthdays aren't too close together. The bigger feast type days--I'll be hungrier for a week. Like Khrussva, my habitual diet is low carb, so I won't end up binging on off-plan foods. But I will end up eating more of the morish low carb foods, like cheese or nuts. What I do now is just let my appetite take its course, but I find if I stick to foods with a higher percentage of fat--cream cheese instead of cheddar, lower carb nuts like pecans or brazil nuts instead of peanuts or cashews--my appetite returns to normal much sooner.
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Sep-08-17, 14:06
Mycie14's Avatar
Mycie14 Mycie14 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 877
Plan: Dr. Bernstein, low carb
Stats: 200/178/155 Female 68
Progress: 49%
Location: Southern California

There is no time like the present to figure out how to have a celebratory meal that is still low carb. Think of a different type of food indulgence that would still be special for your anniversary. A nice steak house or seafood place that you normally wouldn't go to. Some frozen yogurt places have sugar free flavors, so you could stop by there after or go home for a homemade low carb treat.

If your wife loves sushi, then go for the sashimi or a salmon skin salad. Or find a place that does poke bowls, they usually have alternatives to rice to put everything on top of.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Sep-08-17, 16:10
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is offline
Forum Moderator
Posts: 25,759
Plan: Primal/P:E
Stats: 171/145/145 Female 5'7"
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

Hi Bill. I have sushi sometimes. Ketosis isn't my friend anymore - I've had to make peace with higher-carb foods if I want to sleep more than four hours and not be on a ridiculous adrenaline rush 24/7. BUT - I am not diabetic, I'm at a healthy weight, the higher-carb starches don't seem to cause me cravings, and my lipid profile is golden (which may or may not matter, but I'll take it.) If I had experienced neuropathy, I'd be scared sh**less of going off-plan, especially early on. Rice here and there doesn't seem to bother me. I'm confident that to an extent, I've healed my metabolism.

Is your sushi place one of those all-you-can-eat places? The Japanese restaurants I've been to aren't exactly LC, but you can at least fill up on foods that won't send you into a tailspin. My typical meal would consist of some combination of coconut soup, miso soup, salad, grilled veggies, fried tofu, edamame, chicken skewers, beef skewers, chicken wings, and rice-less hand rolls. Yes, that's enough carbs to get out of ketosis, but better than going full-on cheat.

Happy Anniversary. I hope you have a great time and you find something that won't make you feel lousy later.
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Sep-08-17, 16:34
minniesoda's Avatar
minniesoda minniesoda is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 203
Plan: aitkinish
Stats: 172/140/120 Female 5'3
Progress: 62%
Location: Minnesota

As many have really is a individual type of decision.
You and your wife could do and and one, or both, or neither may find a problem getting back on track or a weight gain.

I personally have found that I can "cheat: on a special occasion and not have to deal with additional cravings or weight gain.

Others find the opposite to be true.

This could be a good test for both you and your wife what each of your bodies can handle.

It appears that the most successful and losing and maintaining weight loss are those the learn what their individual bodies need for nutrition.

Some people are 0 Carb, some are 20 or less, some are 40.

I say find what works for you and a experiment like this...could tell you both a lot.
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  #15   ^
Old Fri, Sep-08-17, 22:57
TucsonBill's Avatar
TucsonBill TucsonBill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 339
Plan: ≤ 20 carbs & IF
Stats: 292/235/170 Male 72 Inches
Progress: 47%
Location: Tucson, AZ

Well, we did it. We went out for a late lunch about 2pm and had Sushi and shared a big bowl of spicy Udon soup. Next we caught an early movie, we went and saw "It" at a 4:50 matinee and had shared a Coke Zero and a huge box of popcorn. We had a good time sinning

I got home at 7:30 and my BG was 169! Yikes! (Could have been worse I suppose). We took a nap and by 9:30 my BG was back down to 119. I gained about one pound which I'll sweat off tomorrow as we've planned a long walk at the swap meet

We'll both be back on the 20 carb limit.

Edit: My keytones are still showing in the high range, I'll see what the reading is in the AM.

Last edited by TucsonBill : Fri, Sep-08-17 at 23:03.
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