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CHEATING (on your Keto diet)… or is it a REFEED?

CHEATING (on your Keto diet)… or is it a REFEED?

“Cheating is an entirely negative word. Start with: what do we mean by “cheating”?

“Cheating is NON-adherence to a nutritional plan. In other words you were structured to have Salmon and Vegetables for dinner and instead you made a choice to order pizza.
That is cheating on your diet – plain and simple.”

Cheating is a negative. It carries emotional stigma, associated with a lack of self-control and discipline, a shortage of willpower, impulsiveness, and failure.

Giving in when you didn’t plan to… yep, that’s cheating. It happens. It’s not the end of the world, but it is cheating. It’s non-adherence.

There’s one other BIG issue, for most people, with cheating. If I’m at all the norm, when I cheat, it’s like I flip a switch. I instantly write off the day and gorge. I mean, my cheat meal (let’s go with a burger and fries) turns into 4+ hours of carb-feasting. M&M’s, ice cream, sodas, potato chips, a bag of cookies. No holds barred.

Sounds like some of you react similarly.

Enter: Remorse. Guilt. Feelings of complete and utter inadequacy.

And along with that comes gut-rot, heartburn, indigestion, headaches, etc. Whether physiological or psychosomatic, the impact of the symptoms are the same.
Enter… the game changer: REFEEDS
A refeed follows the same steps as a cheat… however, you do a refeed on purpose, as part of a plan, rather than as a consequence of events out of your control.
There’s a tonne of confusion between “cheating” and “refeeding” (or “Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD)). Far too many (and some of you) consider them synonymous… when they really aren’t at all.
Frankly, “cheating” is still often used to describe refeeds, which is a shame.

I get that many of you choose not to believe benefits come from refeeding (whether by accident or via planning), and while I denounce that as stubborn dogma and blind discipleship, so be it… your journey is yours. If you elect to not even bother investigating the concept and its purported features and benefits in the groups advocating such an approach… god bless ya, entirely your call.
So why do I contend that CKD or “refeeding” is not at all the same as cheating?

A “High-Calorie Day” does not mean we ignore macros or calories, it means we have “more” macros or calories on that day. We put ” extra” fats / carbs / both into those days’ intake in a measured, controlled and purposeful way. It implies you are still measuring and counting macros and/or calories, and are in control the whole time.

AND, since it becomes part of our nutritional plan, adherence dictates its inclusion… we would be “non-adhering” if we omitted it.

Cheating therefore doesn’t enter the picture at all, nor do its psychosomatic side effects.

While a burger and fries used to cause me all manner of nausea and indigestion and headache when unplanned (aka, cheating), NONE of that happens when it’s planned. Go figure.

As for scheduling a planned refeed: a typical CKD definition plans for a refeed of a day every week.
I believe this is too much unless you are an avid / dedicated lifter. There is a measure of adaptation and autophagy lost with so frequent refeeds, so I recommend a one-day refeed, no more often than every tenth day (or as I do, on the 14th day).

Here’s what I’ve noticed since I was introduced to the concept and began incorporating CKD:
I plan my refeeds every other Saturday, after two weeks of keto/IF/EF;
I look forward to it with eager anticipation, not dread;
On those refeed days, I break at noon with a burger and fries at wherever the kids choose;
Dinner with the bride will include bread, possibly pasta, frequently pizza, maybe lasagna, occasionally all-you-can-eat ribs with all the fixins at Montana’s;
Dinner always ends with a medium Reese Blizzard at DQ! Always!

Nary a side effect, zero gastro issues, never a headache. Like, oh my god! What does that tell you?!?!

Sunday morning’s workouts (those two Sunday’s per month) are the best of the month. Swole and pumped to the point that shaving and after is difficult. I set new PB’s constantly on those mornings.

I often don’t eat on those Sundays… preferring to jump right into a 44… with my first meal being lunch on Monday. By that time, I’m back in ketosis, weight normalized.

While I understand that not everyone can be open-minded enough to explore CKD and the benefits of the occasional planned refeed, I will continue to recommend that you do check it out, especially as a way to “shock the system” if you’re experiencing a stall (what inspired me to check it out).

Great FB group for more info and to see what others are doing: Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – CKD

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