Eating Carbs after Ketosis: Is it a Good Idea to Eat Carbs after Ketosis?

Carbs after Ketosis

The ketogenic diet is one of the popular low-carb diet plans. It is a diet that is high in fat content and very low in carb intake. The daily carb intake in this diet is very drastic. The grams of carbs that you include in a keto diet are between 5-10% only per serving. The name” keto” derives from the word ketosis or ketones. In this article we will discuss that what will happen if we eat Carbs after ketosis.

Eating Carbs after Ketosis: Is it a Good Idea to Eat Carbs after Ketosis? Bariatric Station

Ketosis [1] is a metabolic process that occurs in the human body when there is less carb consumption. Due to this process, the body increases ketone production which is the by-product of fat molecules. Usually, ketone bodies are the secondary energy fuel for the body after carb consumption but, when you follow a keto diet plan, it becomes the chief fuel for the body’s activities.

When you consume quality carbs after a proper ketosis period. Your blood sugar levels will spike up again and the energy production will move back to carbohydrate metabolism. [2] This change is exactly like the one you experience at the beginning of the keto diet. Your body will take some time for balancing the equations again.

What Happens When you Stop Eating Carbs and Sugars?

Carbohydrate has been in the spotlight for a long period due to the famous keto diet. In a ketogenic diet, you majorly reduce your carbs intake to a very little extent.

The question is that what happens if we stop eating carbs? If we stop eating carbs then our bodies will shift its energy needs and try to produce glucose by a step known as gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis [3] is a process in which body generates glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. So, if we say that we do not need carbs live on, it wrong. We actually don’t need carb Intake but our body definitely needs carbs for proper functioning of different organs in body.

When you cut out the influx of carbs and sugar from your diet. The body starts ketosis; the production of ketone bodies for the energy source. In this state, fat becomes the main fuel of the body.

When you stop eating extra carbs and sugars from your diet, the gluconeogenesis process starts and the body produces the required amount of glucose.

Can we live without Sugar or Carbs?

If you are looking for a direct answer then yes, human bodies can definitely survive without carbs. Let me explain to you how. There are four organs in our bodies that require carbs.

  1. Red Blood Cells
  2. Some parts of kidneys
  3. Activated T cells
  4. Sertoli Cells

Only these organs require some quantities of glucose and all the other organs can live on other fuel sources like fatty acids and ketones. All these organs require extremely less quantities of glucose to work and that can easily be gained from dietary fiber and proteins.

Positive Aspects

In our usual routine, we consume a lot of refined and junk food. These unhealthy routines are very harmful to us. So, cutting out servings of carbs from your diet for a specific period is a very healthy option. It will reduce your weight and also will help you to maintain the body functions properly.

Negative Aspects

The negative aspects will only occur if you do not follow the diet plan properly and also the guidelines such as drinking electrolyte water, avoid intensely workouts, proper sleep, etc.

At the beginning of the diet plan, it can cause you little nausea or fatigue, headache, etc. But it will last for few days only. After your body adapts the ketosis change. More overly, if you follow the guidelines these situations will less likely to occur.

Eating Carbs after Ketosis: Is it a Good Idea to Eat Carbs after Ketosis? Bariatric Station

Eating Carb Meals after Keto

If you want to sustain keto for a long term then you must understand each and every aspect of this diet. Unless any other diet plans, keto can be sustained for much longer periods. People who are concerned about consuming less carbs should not worry as we have already discussed that our body can use the process of gluconeogenesis to produce glucose without carbs. Even if you want to have a break from keto and consume carbs, you can go by these steps to ensure your health does not deteriorate.

Slow Addition

When you get off from a keto diet and start re-introducing carbs again, it is very important to remember that you should slowly make the transition. [4] Slowly adds the carbs back into your diet. So, that your body can easily process them

If you start eating re-introducing carbs with large portions after just one day of leaving keto, it can cause serious health problems to you.

Take Carbs High in Fiber

Taking carbs high in fiber and protein is a good option rather than refined or sugary carbs. They are more helpful for the body after a keto diet. You can also use the carb cycling approach which consists of a carb cycling diet. Healthy carbs are always better than sugary ones.

What Happens When you Mess Up on a Keto Diet?

When carbs have been a staple of our lives, the reduction of this nutrient might come as a shock to the human body. It takes some time to adapt long term keto dieting or standard keto diet. If you are doing keto for a longer period like for months. Then craving for a cheat meal is very common and natural. But what will exactly happen if you screw up on a keto diet?

If you messed up at the very beginning of your diet for example a month or so. [5] It will take a little longer for you to get back on track. However, if you are fully keto-adapted like three to four months. It is a lot easier for you to get back because your body has developed machinery for the burning of fat.

If you messed up with refined carb overload like white flour or sugar, alcohols, etc. Your body does not have the nutrients to buffer the high blood sugar. The danger of it is that you can develop a nutritional deficiency in your body. A lot of destructive things will happen if you refined products on keto.

The best thing to do in this situation is to add back in minerals, electrolytes, nutritional yeast, etc. And for the next time avoid eating such empty carbs on a ketogenic diet.

But if you messed up with more nutritional food like fruits, honey, etc. You are more likely to have health damage other than just a slow weight loss. To get on a keto long-term, you simply have to stop eating them and you will back on track in just a few days.

But if you are messing with unhealthy foods like junk or fried food. You need to reeducate yourself on a keto diet. You need to understand its purposes and also how to adapt it. Once you have the understanding it will be a lot easier for you to avoid such foods.

The best screw-up out of these is the one with the nutritional foods. If you want to fulfill your carb cravings, try to choose something nutritional rather than unhealthy stuff. These things can easily wreck your weight management goals.

How Long Will it Take for you to get back on Ketosis?

Cheating on ketosis is a very bad thing. And there are no such things as cheat meals for this diet plan.

Eating Carbs after Ketosis: Is it a Good Idea to Eat Carbs after Ketosis? Bariatric Station

First of all, it takes a very long time for your body to orientate to this diet. It usually takes between 2 to 6 weeks. Your whole body needs to change its main source of energy production, which is a very major process.

So, if you cheat on a keto journey. It will take at least 48-72 hours for you to get back on the ketosis process. But this will happen very luckily. More commonly, it will take up to 1 week for you to get back on the diet again.

Variables

These are some of the variables that will help you to judge that how long will take for you to get back on the ketosis track:

Age:

If you are a person with an age limit of 25, it is easier for you to get back on keto in just a few days. But if you are above the age of 45 or 50, then it will be a rough situation for you.

Metabolism:

If you have a fast metabolism rather than a slower one. It will much easier for you to get back on a keto diet.

How long have you been doing the keto diet?

If you are following a keto diet for more than 3 months, you can easily afford a healthy cheat meal. But you are just starting the diet or it is just the first month. Then it will take some time for you to get back on track.

How much you cheat?

One of the important variables is that how much you have cheated. If you cheated with nutritional food like fruits or honey etc. then it will be less harmful. But if you have eaten refined or junk food. The time duration will increase a lot more.

How well are you sticking to a ketogenic diet?

It is very crucial to know how well you are sticking to ketosis. If you were following a strict ketogenic diet plan. It will be much easier for your body to neglect a healthy cheat meal. But if you were following a moderate keto plan, then it will be a little tough for you to get back on the ketosis process.

Why cheat meals are so worse in keto?

When you are following a keto diet, having a cheat meal is equal to sin. It will have a very bad impact on your diet plan. It can cause health issues like weight gain, headaches, etc.

Instead of a cheat meal, you should follow the diet properly till the calculated period. Then afterward, you can enjoy these meals however you like. But also, remember to take certain precautions like slowly adds back to your diet, sticking to healthy food choices, etc.

Sticking to a keto, the plan can be very tough and tiring, that cheating may feel fair but it is not. It will not help you in any way. Just follow the diet properly, it will all worth it in the ending.

Conclusion

In this modern age, peoples are more conscious and aware of themselves. They want to have everything perfect or near to perfection. Health is one thing which is most concerning for anyone. You have to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, the chances of you developing the disease will increase.

Keto diet is one of the ways that people love to do for a healthy lifestyle. In a ketogenic diet, the carb intake is reducing while the fat intake is increased. So, your energy metabolism works on ketosis rather than carbohydrate metabolism.

People had a misconception that we cannot survive without carbs that we have proved not to be true. Indeed, we can live without carbs as our body has the ability to maintain glucose levels required by the body.

Author: Idrees Samih

Founder, Certified Ketogenic Diet and Ketosis Health Coach.

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