“Can I have cheat days on keto?”


Are cheat meals and cheat days okay? Can you eat carbs without coming out of fat burning? And, what to do when allergic to nuts and on a keto diet where so many recipes include nut flour?

These and other questions are answered this week by our food-addiction expert, Bitten Jonsson, RN:

Unsure how to answer questionnaire after 1 year of keto

I have been following keto for 1 year (60 lbs (27 kg) down, 60 to go!) and have recently been wondering what my “end game” is going to look like – whether I’ll be able to eat carbohydrates in moderation once I reach my goal weight.

I took the UNCOPE survey, and I only say YES to 2 items, as I have been keto for a year… 1 for the Preoccupation (uncommon, but it happens once in a while still) and 1 for Unplanned Use (has happened only twice in 1 year – I am very adherent to keto!). However, if I had taken the UNCOPE survey before going keto, I would have answered YES to every item!

I find that I can handle a single “cheat” meal for major holidays/celebrations and get back to keto afterward, and only have cravings for a little while after, and that I do NOT overeat on those occasions and I don’t feel out of control.


Sarah, thank you for a great question. And congratulation to weight loss and better health I assume. If you before keto answered yes to all six questions on UNCOPE I would say the risk of being a sugar addict is very high. Addiction will not be cured, only arrested. I also think that being overweight is another sign. So far you have managed to bounce back after “cheat meals” but I would see “cheat meals” as Russian roulette. You have no control over your reward system and next cheat meal could send you right back where you were or probably even worse. That is sorry to say the name of the game when it comes to addiction. It is a progressive disease. I suggest you read my answer to Rocky today and follow the guidelines there. Do take care, you have done an amazing journey.


Can I cheat?

Did Keto 4 months lost 70 lbs (31 kg) when I cheat I gorge. 250 lbs (113 kg), how do I eat carbs without coming out of fat burning?


Hi Rocky,

It was a very short question with very little information but I read one important thing. “When I cheat…”! In my world of sugar/carb addiction that is relapse and loss of control. When being an addict we need brain knowledge more than anything. Otherwise, we are stuck in only trying to deal with our food issue. That is a very narrow road. To start a recovery process we need to learn so much about addiction and recovery. I suggest you start by reading the book Food Junkies by Tarman/Werdell. It helps us understand the force of our reward system and addiction, second make a list of your trigger/drug foods, the ones you “cheat” on and lose control over. They are No No. Put the list away and concentrate on foods you should eat, do not fast the first 12-18 months, In my experience, that may cause a relapse. Our brains are very sensitive. Read Terence Gorski’s book, Staying sober, switch the word alcohol to “sugars”.

Join our support group on Facebook in order to gain more tools on how to stay sober from carbs. And the question: how do I eat carbs without coming out of fat burning? Well, you can’t.

My best, Bitten

Substitute for almond flour and milk

I am very frustrated as I look at all these recipes. So many of them call for almond milk or almond flour, or other nuts. I am allergic to nuts. This drives me nuts!

So many of these recipes, like the bread and smoothies and pancakes, sound so amazing. I know there are some that do not call for almond flour or milk, but my question is can I substitute coconut flour or coconut milk, or is that too many carbs?


Hi Cecilia,

I understand this will drive you nuts :), If you are allergic to nuts but not coconut go ahead and try. Otherwise, eat all the other foods and forget about smoothies and pancakes. Coconut is one of my favorites, as coconut oil, coconut cream-milk, and MCT-oil. I use it all the time.

Enjoy, Bitten

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Earlier Q&A

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Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Bitten Jonsson, RN, about food addiction – for members (free trial available)


  1. Jackie
    I keep getting yeast infections since I started my low carb no sugar journey about 2 months ago . Is this normal ?
  2. Susan Roemmich
    KETO is NOT a diet it is a lifestyle.
    KETO is NOT a prison sentence which it becomes if you can NEVER
    Have a NON-KETO meal. YOU
    Understand that there are consequences for every choice in LIFE this is no different. I decide
    what I am going to eat and I accept that eating sugar or gluten or going over my carb limit or calorie limit for a meal or a day is my CHOICE. No need for GUILT OR SHAME we accept the consequence of our CHOICE which is having to discipline self the next meal or next day to make the HEALTHY CHOICES
    again. Feeling better on low carb diet is a motivator in itself and your
    favorite "poor choice" food never tastes as good as you remember.
    It is the GOOD CHOICES we make as a lifestyle is what change our lives. It does NOT DEMAND that
    YOU accept YOU have NO ability to have self-discipline. This is developed throughout our lives in many DIFFERENT areas of our LIFE.
    Food is NOT A DRUG unless YOU use it as one. It is "OK" to be human and make a CHOICE that is not KETO on occasion. Just know WHY YOU follow KETO and KNOW WHY
    deviate. The simple pleasure of sharing without guilt is NOT WRONG. It is a conscious PLAN
    with a BEGINNING and an END.

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