How To Get Back Into Ketosis Quickly?

get back into ketosis

Cheating on the ketogenic diet happens to all of us, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big ways. Whether this is the first time or a repeat offense, relax and don’t get yourself into trouble. It’s not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your keto journey. But it does affect ketosis. If you cheat, what should you do to get back into ketosis? Read on to find the answer.

Did You Cheat on Your Keto Diet?

If you’re cheating with high-carb foods and wondering how long it will take to get back into ketosis, first give yourself a break. It’s too late to go back now. Hopefully, if you see any weight gain, it will be mostly water weight and not a reversal of your fat loss. If you are overeating while eating lots of carbs, you have more work to do to get on track. Getting back to healthy eating and monitoring your daily carbohydrate intake and daily calorie intake will help you get back on track.

Second, use this situation as a learning experience: test your ketone levels with a ketone meter the next day to see if you’ve really been kicked out of ketosis. Some people can tolerate more carbs than others, especially if you’ve been on a keto diet for a while. If you’re one of them, you may find that you’re still in ketosis, albeit at a lower state. While having a higher tolerance for carbohydrates isn’t a pass to dive into the breadbasket or ice cream carton on a regular basis, it may make you more resilient during the occasional lapse. 

How to Get Back Into Ketosis?

You will not go back into ketosis without taking important steps. Some are required and some are optional. Regardless, here are things to consider when trying to get back into ketosis after a cheat meal or several cheat meals. 

Intermittent Fasting 

Intermittent fasting is a healthy, effective way to deplete your glycogen stores and help you get into ketosis. When you fast, your body doesn’t have any energy (calories) coming in. Therefore, it needs to find energy in other ways, namely through stored glucose, or glycogen. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to get back into ketosis.

You are already doing a short fast from dinner time to breakfast time each night at bedtime. To begin intermittent fasting, you will simply extend this fasting window. For example, you could choose lunch as your first meal of the day (instead of breakfast), or try skipping dinner. Most fasts last 13-18 hours, but some people with fasting experience try a full 24- or 48-hour fast. 

Eat Whole Foods & Cut Down Carbs

Dramatically limit and reduce your daily carbohydrate intake to 20-25 grams of net carbs – this will help you get into ketosis faster. Stick to low-carb whole foods and produce – this means no root vegetables like potatoes or carrots.

Consume Healthy Fats

While limiting your carbohydrates, it is also important to consume enough healthy fats if you stay within your macros. This will help your body transition to burning fat more easily.

Some of the best types of fats for ketosis are MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides), avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, and extra virgin olive oil.

Drink Tons of Water

As part of your ketosis restart schedule, you should increase your water intake. This will help you for two reasons: 

  • Drinking water helps you feel fuller, which reduces hunger cravings. 
  • Since you are using your glycogen stores, your body will flush the water away instead of retaining it. Instead of risking dehydration and headaches, drink plenty of water to replace it.

As you increase your water intake, be sure to watch your electrolytes. Drinking too much water can flush minerals from your body and only increase the potential negative effects. 

To prevent this from happening, eat keto-friendly, salty foods such as roasted almonds, Italian sausage and olives. You can also sip on bone broth, which contains electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. You can also take electrolyte supplements to make things easier.


Don’t think of exercise as a punishment for cheating on your ketosis; it’s actually something that’s very good for your body. When you exercise, your body sends glycogen, or stored glucose, to your muscles. In order to use up glucose quickly, thus helping your body transition to burning ketone bodies for fuel, you may want to increase the amount of exercise you do. 

You don’t have to run a marathon or lift the heaviest kettlebell. Just take your exercise up a notch. Whether it’s adding 10 minutes to your yoga poses, a few more moves to your workout, or three blocks to your run, your body will use your carbohydrate reserves to provide your muscles with the fuel you need. Just don’t overdo it, because overtraining can force your body to release stress hormones. These can raise your blood sugar, cause your muscle mass to decline, and make ketosis harder to achieve.

Take Exogenous Ketones

When you are in ketosis, your body is a ketone producing machine. However, when you are out of ketosis, it may take some time for your body to start producing ketone bodies on its own again. You can use exogenous ketone bodies to provide your body with energy as it works its way back to a ketogenic state.


Don’t beat yourself up – try to move on and learn from your mistakes so you can have some awareness the next time around. It is not important to stay in ketosis all year long. Don’t feel like you ever need to punish yourself for cheating or falling off the keto wagon. The most important thing is to look at your long-term health goals and your progress, and then move forward. If necessary, you can take the steps listed above to help you get back into ketosis quickly.

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