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When to Have a Cheat Meal on Keto

When to Have a Cheat Meal on Keto

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i’m going to spare you the terrible pain of having to sit through me talking about biochemistry to ultimately give you the answer four weeks okay basically you should wait about four weeks before having a cheat meal if you’re starting out the ketogenic diet but there’s a lot of margin for error for that and if you can build an arsenal of knowledge which i’m going to share with you then you can know when it’s time to actually have a cheat meal because it might not be four weeks for you it might be six so i’ve got a series of questions that i’m going to ask at the end of this video that you can ask yourself to determine if you’re ready to have that first cheat meal on a ketogenic diet go ahead and hit that red subscribe button and then please do hit that bell icon to turn on notifications that way you never ever miss a beat you see our daily videos look this channel is all about biochemistry i’m going to keep it high level but understanding what’s going on is going to elevate you and well teach a man to fish versus give a man a fish if you want to go that way right so there’s two main goals that we’re trying to achieve with the ketogenic diet not benefits but metabolic goals the first one is actually getting into ketosis okay that’s very very important we’ve got to get into ketosis but the second and arguably more important goal is to become fat adapted that’s the longer term effect that comes from the ketogenic diet or your body is understanding how to utilize fats as a fuel source that’s a tremendously epic thing that we want okay so let’s break down what this looks like a little bit in the world of creating energy from food we have two very distinct pathways we have glycolysis which is where we take energy from carbohydrates and turn it into fuel and we have beta oxidation where we take energy from fat and turn it into fuel now they go through enzymatic reactions each within their own respective categories to ultimately provide us with energy glycolysis it gets turned into what is called acetyl coenzyme a beta oxidation breaking down fat also gets turned into acetyl coenzyme a it’s just two different pathways one using carbs one using fats what does this have to do with getting into ketosis well your body is going to have more of the enzymes to break down whatever you eat more of you see for lack of a better way of saying it the grass is greener where you water it so if you’re eating a lot of carbohydrates and you have a bunch of carbohydrates in your system your body gets really good and really efficient at breaking down carbs for energy if you don’t usually run on fats your portfolio so to speak of enzymes to break down fats is going to be pretty low meaning you’re not very good at it and it takes time to build that up now what we’re finding out with relatively recent bodies of evidence is that the body really thrives when it has a clear path to one fuel or the other so in other words either give your body carbs and let that be the predominant fuel source or give your body fats and let that be the predominant fuel source then you’re giving yourself the opportunity to develop what you need to be able to break those substances down into ultimate fuel acetyl coenzyme so when you’re first starting keto if you were to have a cheat meal in the beginning stages it would be hugely detrimental why because once again your body is trying to use fats and then all of a sudden you come in and you give it a bunch of carbs and it’s going to start wanting carbs again okay now there’s a reason why when you first start keto you crave carbs so much okay remember how i said when you first are starting keto you don’t have a whole lot of the fat burning enzymes in your system yet okay you just aren’t equipped with them yet your stock portfolio so to speak of enzymes is low in the fat burning category so all of a sudden you’ve deprived yourself of carbohydrates and you’re giving yourself a bunch of fats so you start craving carbohydrates because all of your enzymes are designed for that you don’t have the enzymes for fat so you crave carbohydrates you get the keto flu you get weak your performance goes down and you want to throw in the towel and give up well don’t give up and don’t have a cheat meal because a cheat meal is going to make it worse because that’s going to only fuel the fire to tell your body that yeah we need more carb enzymes and not those pesky fat enzymes so here’s the thing to remember and then we’ll get to the self questionnaire thing okay the two forms of creating energy from either glucose or fats are very antagonistic to one another okay so when we feed the glucose fire we actually suppress the fat fire and when we feed the fat fire we actually suppress the glucose fire so while we’re getting into ketosis we’re really feeding the fat fire and we’re slowly slowly slowly losing that ability to utilize glucose as efficiently which by the way explains why when you’re deep in a ketogenic diet after months or years a cheat meal now and then actually has very minimal effect because your body doesn’t even process most of those carbohydrates because it starts losing the ability to utilize them efficiently so you’re really not doing yourself much damage anyhow i digress a very very very big important thing to remember is that a cheat meal doesn’t have to be with carbs you can have a cheat meal inside this fat adaptation period again you can have a cheat meal within a couple of weeks of starting a ketogenic diet but it doesn’t have to be with a bunch of carbs have good keto treats have fat bombs have delicious things things that taste really good one of my favorite things that just absolutely feels like a cheat meal that never feels like it’s keto is eating cookie dough so there’s a link down below if you want to check out the cookie dough i’m talking about it’s a company called boo foods they make bars they make bites they do all kinds of stuff and they’re an awesome awesome company but the cookie dough is insanely good and it’s 100 keto friendly totally vegan formula as well this stuff is awesome got macadamia nut flavor they’ve got a chocolate flavor they’ve got a peanut butter flavor and you can just literally dig into it with a spoon and it’s going to be calorically dense enough where you’re going to get a cheat meal effect and restoring the metabolism but you’re also going to get the psychological effect of having a cheat meal so i just wanted to make sure i put that out there a cheat meal doesn’t always have to be with carbs okay if you want to have a cheat meal with carbs we need to continue the rest of the video and talk about how it’s going to happen but i did go ahead and put a link down below make sure you check out boo foods down below in the description so now the question is how long okay well if we look at the journal sports medicine they found that on average took about three to four weeks for athletes to start to regain their performance when they started a ketogenic diet which does imply that there’s a level of fat adaptation that’s occurring there but that’s in athletes okay one could argue that maybe it takes a lot more to get an athlete that adapted so maybe it’s not apples to apples well there’s another study that’s published in the journal metabolism this one’s fascinating so hopefully you really clue into this one okay 16 women put on a ketogenic diet after two weeks their leucine levels were high in the blood which means that their body was breaking down muscle okay not good after four weeks leucine levels were low their body wasn’t breaking down muscle anymore which tells us that after four weeks their body had become so adapted to the ketogenic diet it no longer was going crazy and burning muscle up it learned how to preserve it and start using fats which tells us four weeks is probably that number but it changes dramatically from person to person so here are three very very easy questions that you can ask yourself if you’re ready for a cheat meal number one can you go six hours without eating with no problem that’s a very good indicator six hours is kind of a magic number i found my own sort of anecdotal experience okay so what happens is if you have those uh lipolytic enzymes the ones that are good at breaking down fat your body is able to shift into fat burning mode from your stores a lot easier so you don’t get the hunger signals going to your brain whereas if you are not equipped with those lipolytic enzymes your body is going to send a signal to your brain saying feed me now feed me now so if you can go six hours without really having that much cravings there’s a good chance you’re fat adapted then number two do you crave carbs frequently it’s a little bit of a subjective question because if you put a doughnut in front of me every psychological part of me is going to want to still eat that donut so yes i still kind of crave them but are you really craving them do you feel like you need them for energy okay then number three is your cognitive performance significantly better than it was okay do you feel like your brain is on fire okay because ketones are an extra fuel for the brain and they support bdnf so they end up actually creating more ultimate brain and neuropathways so if you feel like your brain is operating better there’s a good chance that you’re ready for a cheat meal ready to have some carbohydrates okay now also remember like i mentioned earlier in this video cheat meals do not have to just be carbs you can have cheat meals inside that four week window before you’re fat adapted that are ketogenic have good keto treats keep yourself in keto but still be able to have a cheat meal so it solves the psychological hurdle that you’re dealing with there so as always keep it locked through my channel we’ll see you tomorrow

This Post Was All About When to Have a Cheat Meal on Keto.
When to Have a Cheat Meal on Keto

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Questions that will be answered within this video:
– How long does it take to get adapted to keto?
– Why should you wait until you’re fat adapted before having a cheat meat?
– How long after being on keto can you have your first cheat meal?



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The Cheat Meal Strategy that Keeps you in Ketosis

The Cheat Meal Strategy that Keeps you in Ketosis

The Cheat Meal Strategy that Keeps you in Ketosis

New To Keto But Want To Grow Your Knowledge?

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please forget everything you know about cheat meals okay I’m gonna flip all that on its head because we have to look at real physiology we have to look at practicality and we have to look at what’s going on at a cellular level to truly get the most out of a cheat meal to really get what we want out of it you’re tuned into the Internet’s leading performance nutrition and fat loss channel new videos on Tuesday Friday and Sunday at 7 a.m. Pacific time and a bunch of other videos in between please hit that subscribe button and right by that subscribe button after you hit it there’s a bell icon that bell icon allows you to turn on notifications and therefore you end up seeing whenever I post a new video or whenever I do a live broadcast like a Q&A or anything like that ok without further ado let’s just jump right into this ok so when it comes to cheat meals it’s not about having a bunch of carbohydrates ok so most people think that on a keto diet a cheat meal is having a bunch of carbohydrates because you’re restoring your muscle glycogen and you’re basically just getting yourself a bunch of cars because you’ve been deprived of them for so long and it’s helping reset your body in some ways ok I want to get something out in the open wide and clear first ok when you are on a keto diet you are not deprived of carbohydrates ok so you at no point need to have a cheap meal with carbohydrates to restore your carbohydrate levels ok like your muscles don’t need to be restored they have plenty of carbohydrates that are generated through gluconeogenesis so they have lots of carbohydrates that are generated from other substrates like proteins and tissues and things like that ok so get that out in the open the way that you want to cheat or have a refeed on the ketogenic diet is by staying within the ketogenic spectrum but just having some fun with it and having an influx of calories you see it comes down to two or actually really three very important hormones ok one is leptin I’m gonna talk about that a second one is glucagon and of course there’s insulin ok these are critical and they are the pivotal points when it comes down to cheat meals so first off leptin leptin is a simple hormone leptin is in your fat cells and it communicates with your brain the hypothalamus to tell your brain whether you have enough fat on hand or not example you have plenty of fat on your body so leptin from the fat cell calls the brain and says hey brain we got plenty of fat here so go ahead and rev up the metabolism this guy’s got plenty to burn okay now on the contrary a lean person that doesn’t have a lot of body fat doesn’t have a lot of a leptin okay so what’s happening there is the leptin calls the brain the hypothalamus and says hey brain just so you know we’re kind of dwindling here on fat you may want to put on the brakes with the metabolism a little bit okay so what that is telling us is that the more fat we have we have a little bit more leptin well that begs the question why are overweight or obese or fat people usually suffering from slower metabolisms well it’s because they have leptin resistance okay so what happens is the fat cell has been calling the brain so much that the brain is just like dude stop like seriously you’re annoying me and doesn’t pick up the phone anymore okay so literally there’s so much leptin just be Mike come on brain hey brain brain and the brains just like forget it so your leptin resistance so even though you have a lot of leptin the brains just not accepting it so your metabolism still slows down okay that’s what we don’t want and that’s what happens when people go on a keto diet for too long in a restricted calorie state okay now here’s what’s interesting leptin actually stimulates glucagon now before I just sound like a crazy person with that glucagon is what allows your body let me say this very very clear glucagon is what allows your body to tap into its own stored fuel without glucagon you are not tapping into your stored reserves ie body fat okay normally you need to have food coming in to start that process you eat food insulin spikes the food digests insulin drops and glucagon goes up okay the cool thing is leptin in higher levels of leptin stimulate glucagon without food so we want high levels of leptin because it’s constantly telling our brain that we can burn fat we just don’t want so much that you become leptin resistant so what we want to do is we want to spike our leptin levels with a big influx of calories but without the carbohydrates you see because then what’s going to happen is we’re going to get the spike of leptin that we want but we’re not gonna have a bunch of insulin that would normally come from carbs to turn off glucagon so I think this warrants a quick explanation insulin is the opposite of glucagon so when insulin is present glucagon which allows us to burn fat goes away only when insulin is gone can glucagon go up okay so if we have a cheap meal where we have a bunch of carbs our insulin goes way up which means our glucagon doesn’t go up so sure we spiked our leptin but we don’t do anything to our glucagon so we only do part of the equation but if we go ahead and we have a big influx of calories coming from a ketogenic form then what happens is we spike our leptin but we don’t have a whole bunch of insulin so we still allow glucagon to go up so we end up with a win-win we end up with more left in and the subsequent glucagon response that we need to burn fat okay so that’s where it’s important so you might be wondering like how much in the way of calorie is this and that my usual recommendation is to have 30% more calories than you normally would and you want to allocate it to one meal okay you don’t want to make it a cheat day you have a cheat meal and you keep it in the realms of things like well some of the things that I personally love okay so like I’ll go to town on like keto Pizza right so I’ll take like keto crusts that I’ve got and I’ll load it up with a bunch of like coconut cheese and stuff like that like good non-dairy cheese load it up with a good amount of meat you usually get my calories up through fats so I’m not having to feel bloated so like keto pizza is a great way not saying you can’t have keto Pizza when you’re not on a cheap but it’s really easy to get your extra calories you just have to shift that paradigm don’t go out and splurge on a bunch of carbs it’s not doing you any good it’s just not gonna add a keto making things harder for you and they rate weight regain is so much easier when you have carbs coming out of a keto diet so the other thing that I like to do is make fat bombs okay so fat bombs although they’re great meal replacements you know when you’re just traditionally doing keto and not cheating they’re really really good ways to get your calories up so create fat bombs have fun with it and make MCTS and coconut oil the basis of them and here’s why MCTS have been shown to literally boost your resting metabolic rate by five cent okay they are so fast absorbed like they’re they just absorb so fast that it creates an adrenaline response within the body that actually ramps them your metabolism so you get a win-win spiking your metabolism okay through the coconut oil or flew through the MCTS but you’re also getting the calories from the oil but you’re also having something that tastes good so it’s like a really great way so make a bunch of fat bombs the other thing is this is your time to have fun okay so when it comes down to a keto cheat meal that’s the time you want to indulge on all the keto treats that are out there okay the keto treats are great here and there but when it comes down to really having some fun with it that’s when you want to have the keto cookies that’s when you want to have the keto cakes that’s when you want to enjoy all this stuff that might not be good to have with three square meals per day every day but it is a lot of fun especially when you’re cheating and you’re doing that maybe once a week or heck sometimes even twice a week honestly these guys are great too so I’m a big fan of fat snacks so these guys good friends of mine just so you know and just want to be able to give them a big big shout out in this video cuz this is something that I would normally eat right okay I’ve got high amounts of inulin fiber in there so we’re also getting the spike an hour left in that we want the subsequent spike in glucagon but we’re also having a high degree of inulin and the cool thing about inulin is it’s a very powerful prebiotic fiber so what this prebiotic fiber is going to do is it has a digestive effect okay so things like inulin they’re gonna have this digestive effect where it actually helps out the bacteria like one’s known as like back to Roy DT so Bacteroides is linked with being leaner it’s a good gram positive bacteria if we have more of the Bacteroidetes bacteria then our body can burn more fat because it communicates with the brain through the enteric nervous system I know I’m going down a rabbit hole but essentially you want to be cheating with things that have inulin and high degrees of prebiotic fibres like that because it makes the situation better so these guys are awesome so I chatted with them over at metabolic Health Summit so that was when I was speaking down there with Don D’Agostino and Mark Sisson and some of those guys and these guys are awesome so I’ve got to meet them personally after I’ve been eating their stuff for a while on my cheat meals so if you wanna get your hands on some fat snacks and have them on your cheat meals just check them out down in the description okay the next thing that you can really do is this is your time to have the things like oh the enlightened ice creams the halo tops the scandalous you know though all these ice creams that are coming out there that people think they can have all the time on a keto diet but the reality is this is what you should be doing on a cheap meal so one of the things that I’ll do is I’ll take like the fat snacks and I’ll put them along with some halo table put them along with something lightened and I usually get the coconut enlighten or the coconut halo top so I’m not getting a bunch of dairy and that just makes it a lot easier so it’s like a perfect combination adding some cookies into your ice cream and then you’re having a cheat meal but at least you’re keeping it within the keto realm so you want to just kind of erase the thought of the carbohydrates out of your mind spike your leptin along with glucagon that you really want burn some fat get the effects that you can continue to lose weight and burn more fat without having to have the influx in carbohydrates are gonna make you retain a bunch of water and just cause a bunch of annoying effects so as always if you have ideas for future videos you want to know more about my cheat meal protocol and how often you should do it I can go in more depth I just need to hear it from you and I need to see down in the comments section below there’s interest in there before I go take that step to create that video so as always keep it locked in and I’ll see in the next video and a big THANK YOU to fat snacks for making this video possible and for bringing some awesome awareness to some amazing treats that you can have when on a keto diet see you soon

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The Cheat Meal Strategy that Keeps you in Ketosis

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The Cheat Meal Strategy that Keeps you in Ketosis – Thomas DeLauer

Cheat Days

Typically speaking, as you get leaner, your leptin levels get lower, and your metabolism slows

Cheat days can be used strategically in which you increase your calories up to maintenance or slightly above; helps boost your metabolism and restores leptin levels – tells your body that you aren’t starving and that you have an abundance of energy

Having a cheat day you will spike your leptin levels back up and kick start your metabolism to burn more fat – leptin levels rise and fat burning begins

Note: Leptin is highly responsive to glucose metabolism – so if the majority of your additional cals are coming from good sources of carbs your leptin levels will show a significant rise over if you had eaten a surplus of cals coming from more protein or fat

Disadvantages of Traditional Cheat Meals on Keto

Takes you out of ketosis
Disrupts fat adaptation
Spikes your blood sugar, causing cravings
Risking the keto flu

Leptin & Fat Metabolism

Leptin regulates lipid metabolism independently of food intake – leptin stimulates lipolysis in adipose tissue and liver via activation of the sympathetic nervous system

*Leptin has been shown to increase glucagon and catecholamines*

Leptin also stimulates fatty acid oxidation by activating AMPK in skeletal muscle, and preventing the accumulation of lipid metabolites associated with lipotoxicity

Leptin Resistance

You’d think, then, that fatter folks would somehow magically stop eating or start losing weight once their leptin levels were high enough.

The body doesn’t always listen to the leptin message and leptin resistance occurs

The leptin signal isn’t being heard, so it cannot stimulate your metabolism or suppress your appetite

Because fat cells produce leptin in proportion to their size, obese people have very high levels of leptin

Given the way leptin is supposed to work, these people’s brains should realize they have a sufficient amount of fat

The problem is that the leptin signal isn’t working. There’s excess leptin floating around that the brain doesn’t see

When the brain doesn’t receive the leptin signal, it thinks that the body is starving, even though it has more than enough energy stored

Causes the brain to think that we need to eat more and conserve energy – makes us
overeat and feel lazy

One theory as to why this occurs is that leptin can’t get to the hypothalamus because the proteins that transport it across the blood brain barrier aren’t working or aren’t there, since there’s a buildup of leptin in the cerebral spinal fluid that bathes the brain


1) Takekoshi K , et al. (n.d.). Leptin directly stimulates catecholamine secretion and synthesis in cultured porcine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

2) Physiology of leptin: energy homeostasis, neuroendocrine function and metabolism. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3) Ahrén B and Havel PJ. (n.d.). Leptin increases circulating glucose, insulin and glucagon via sympathetic neural activation in fasted mice. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from 2

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