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How to get back into ketosis and how long

None of us are perfect. Sometimes it’s easy to make poor eating choices, and you wonder how to get back into ketosis? I take a vacation and enjoy the food, and then have to get back on track with healthier foods and exercise. Here are some tips and ideas to do just that.

How to get back into ketosis with eggs, avocados, bacon, nuts, etc.

Let’s get real here. I love the keto diet. I love this way of eating, of eating whole real foods and not being hungry. However, there are so many distractions, sometimes it’s easy to stray!

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How I gained back 20 pounds I thought was gone forever

What do I mean by distractions? Well, for me, my biggest temptations are Christmas and other holidays. Around these times of the year, my snacking and portion size gets a little blown out of proportion which causes me to eat more carbs and come out of ketosis.

I don’t like to admit it, but yes, it happens.

Then there are vacations. Traveling and learning about new cultures are some of my favorite things to do, and I enjoy trying cultural foods and figuring out how I can make them fit into a keto way of eating. Also, if I’m in France, I eat at the patisserie. That’s just a statement of fact.

Patisserie window

Tempting, isn’t it!?

Not that there’s been much traveling this year. This has been the year of sheltering at home, and while I love my kids, the online school thing was a challenge! I exercised much less and ate more. Go figure.

Yes, what happened was that I mostly stayed with keto options but overate and snacked due to boredom, habit, holidays, being stuck at home, experimenting with recipes, etc. Again, the lack of exercise did not help either. In fact, over the course of a little over a year, I managed to gain back twenty pounds I thought was gone forever.

That can be more than a little depressing. It also made me start thinking. Okay, it’s time, how do I get serious again, really, how to get back into ketosis?

white kitchen with table and chairs

How to restart a keto diet 

When it gets down to it, the key to restarting a keto diet, a sort of keto reboot if you will, is all to do with the plan. For me personally, in order to be successful, I need a weekly plan with my foods mapped out and options close at hand. It’s not a time for random handfuls of peanuts, I need to know what foods are planned for meals and snack, and know when I’ve reached my limits.

That’s it, the plan is so important! I’ll get into how to get back into ketosis quickly in a minute, but first, let’s look at how to organize your keto way of eating. 

It’s a simple fact, keto foods will not always be close at hand or ready to grab and go from your local lunch stop. Although, more and more options are added all the time, I still find it necessary to make a decided meal plan. It’s so easy to overeat on those quick keto options.

Therefore, I make a weekly plan. First, start with dinners. What do you want to eat this week? Are you prepping for yourself or your entire family? Or like me, do you prep three different options for a family of four because two of you eat keto, one is often vegan for religious reasons, and one is a picky little boy who won’t eat meat? No, judgement – every family’s different!

Plan out your meals according to your macros 

Keeping track of macros is not for everyone, but I find it helps me.

What are macros? “Macro” is short for macronutrients, and of those, I keep track of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Read my post on What is a keto diet? for a quick introduction to the keto diet.

Now, does this mean don’t pay any attention to calories? Not at all! Personally, I find it important to keep an eye on calories and stay under my goal; however, I pay more attention to the big three – carbs, protein, and fat.

How do you know your macro goals? It’s a good idea to visit with a physician to come up with your macros and health goals. Although, for a quick estimate, there are many macro calculators out there. Simply Google “Keto macro calculator”.

Ketosis how to: make a keto meal plan

There are quite a few options to help you organize your foods and take a look at your week.

If you’re serious about restarting the keto diet, write out your meals and snacks on a whiteboard every Sunday afternoon so you know what to prep, and what the grocery list must be.

Can you tell I love lists and planning? I write out the whiteboard with dinners only so the whole family can see the plan, and I also fill out “My Keto Week”, a printable weekly calendar for myself.

First, take a look at the entire week. I plan two meals for the day along with 1-2 snacks. Why only two meals? Once back into ketosis, I’m not as hungry and eat during my self-assigned eating time. Have you heard of intermittent fasting? I’ll get to that in a minute.

It’s important to plan for both meals and snacks. Make the recipes you need to prep early, and decide which weeknights you’ll have time to make dinners. Write it out!

But I have an app for that, you say. 

Yes, I have an app too! Unfortunately, that app does not make decisions on what meals to eat, or when, nor does it do your grocery shopping!

Apps such as Carb Manager, Keto Diet Tracker, and even My Fitness Pal or My Net Diary are fabulous tools. But that’s just it, they’re tools to track your macros and report what you eat. Again, they can’t force you to take action, think out your week, or prepare in advance what you need to be successful.

My advice, use a whiteboard, write it out in a journal, or use my printable weekly keto plan to keep track of meals. The key to being successful on a keto diet is to know your goal and know what it takes to get there.

Be prepared is always good advice if you’re in the Boy Scouts or not.

My keto week printable planner

If you’d like to download my weekly keto planner, subscribe to my email list. You’ll get the bonus of gaining access to the entire Explorer Momma Resource Library where you’ll find not only the My Keto Week printable planner, but a Keto Foods List and more free printables I add all the time.

They are printables to help organize and make a keto way of eating that much easier.

My keto week planner printable preview

How to get back into ketosis quickly

Another question I get asked a lot is “How do I get back into ketosis quickly after a cheat meal…or week?”

One thing I find that helps tremendously is intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is often used to lose weight, get healthy, and helps simplify your life and eating schedule. It specifies when you eat, in order to have a longer period without eating, which helps with burning that extra fat.

For example, I like to use the 16/8 method. It basically means you fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour eating window during the day. A popular option is to plan on eating between the hours of 12 and 8 pm, or 1 and 9 pm. Ultimately, it’s up to you what works best for your schedule and body.

Intermittent fasting can happen twice a week, or more often. I’m not a doctor and always advise speaking to your regular physician before making big changes to your eating or exercise habits. However, intermittent fasting is well-known and works for me.

Overhead view keto paella ingredients

How to get back into ketosis fast #2

Another super-important factor in being successful in this way of eating, and being healthy in general, is exercise!

Yes, exercise, there’s no avoiding it. While at first it can be difficult, there are so many options and aids to help you, there’s no excuse. And, if nothing else, get out in the beautiful outdoors and walk for half an hour.

For me, exercise works well with intermittent fasting because my exercise occurs during my fasting window, not my eating window. When in ketosis, I actually have more energy and enjoy my exercise accomplishments rather than seeing them as a punishment, which I used to do.

Example daily schedule

6:30 – Get up and ready to start the day. Drink a large glass of water. Drink water throughout the day.

7:30 – Get kids to school or take care of whoever you need to.

8:30 – 9:30 – Do an online exercise class in your basement. I like TurboKick or HIIT-type exercises. Or go for a walk or run.

12:00 – Eat meal 1

3:00 – Eat snack

6:00 pm – Eat dinner

7:00 pm – Eat snack 2 if necessary

Obviously, everyone has a different schedule, and that’s why this is an example. Take some time to think about your own work schedule and daily activities, and make a plan that will work for your life.

Just as in with meals, planning is huge with exercise. Which days do you do cardio, strength training, a walk? Do you rest on Saturday and Sunday? If it’s planned and determined, it’s more likely to happen than if you randomly think, oh, I should exercise somehow today.

Tricks and tips to help with a keto reset

  1. When you are tempted to grab an unplanned snack, first drink an 8-10 oz glass of water. Especially at first when trying to get back into ketosis, the cravings come! I find I’m often thirsty, not hungry, and water will stop the craving.
  2. Use your tools. Utilize the new Apple Watch you got for Christmas and plug in your goals. If it tells you to stand or move, do it! Also, use your food apps or food journal. Notice, in my Weekly Keto Planner there are places to plan your daily Meal 1, Meal 2, Snack, and Exercise. Then there are also spots to record what you actually did and how well you followed the plan. Accountability!
  3. Exercise in the mornings before you eat. It will burn more calories and prevent you from snacking.
  4. Get to know how your body reacts to certain foods. If you hit a stall, try a sort of elimination diet to test different foods. Some people do better by eliminating dairy or nuts, while it doesn’t change anything in others.
  5. Get enough sleep. I have a hard time with this one as a mom who enjoys her alone time after everyone else is asleep. However, your body will thank you when you get in those required sleep hours.

How long does it take to get back into ketosis and other questions

I often get these questions about a keto diet.

  • How to get back into ketosis after vacation?
    • Make a meal and exercise plan and follow through. See above.
  • How to get back into ketosis after cheating?
    • Again, make a meal and exercise plan and follow through. See above.
  • How long does it take to get back into ketosis?
    • It’s different for everyone. It can be 2 days for some people and 5 for others. Be patient and follow your healthy plan.
  • What’s a keto restart, keto reboot, keto reset?
    • Make a meal and exercise plan and follow through. Visit with your doctor about any supplements you might need at your next physical or visit, don’t just randomly pick some off the internet.

What to expect when restarting keto diet

So, what to expect when restarting a keto diet? There will be cravings, tiredness, and thoughts running through your head that are counter-productive. But don’t worry! 

Make a step by step plan to reach your ultimate goal. Give yourself rewards, like a keto peanut butter cup or something else you enjoy once in awhile. Just put it in the plan!

Take it week by week, or even day by day, and track your progress. It’s not a quick fix, make it a way of life. 

And in those first few days, stick close to that plan, and when in doubt or that brownie craving hits, down a giant glass of water. It helps.

Go for it! I believe in you!

How to get back into ketosis foods

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.

This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

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