Okay, so you’re not in Ketosis any more. Maybe it was a one-time indiscretion and you just cheated a little, or maybe you’ve been slacking for days, weeks or even months. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. Sounds easy, but sometimes following through can seem absolutely monumental. I get it!
I am writing this because I had a little fall of my own recently. I went into the busy season in my occupation in August and, without trying too hard, I stopped watching what I was eating. I did not go crazy and start eating whole pizzas, but I stopped watching my intake and ate all amounts of carbs whenever I felt like it. Having gained back about 13 pounds, which is nothing compared to the 94 pounds I’ve lost since January, I knew I had to get back on track right away. My health is too important to me to let things go any further. But I know with the holidays coming, I will fail again.
I thought it might be helpful to talk about some tips and tricks that help you (and me) get back to a keto diet a little more easily.
Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up! If you read nothing else but this one tip, that’s fine. But please take this advice to heart, because it is far and away the most important tip I am going to share. I hate seeing someone killing themselves for cheating, or failing, or not having the willpower to stick it out.
We ALL fail at this sometimes. Let’s face it, we live in a sugar and gluten-filled world. Unless we are hermits that don’t ever leave the house, we are faced with temptation daily. It’s all around us and the real wonder is that we don’t give in more often!
I find it heartbreaking sometimes, how people who slip beat themselves up. Just think about it for a second, you wouldn’t talk to a friend or a loved one that way when they slipped, would you? Then why would you talk to yourself that way? Let’s be honest, some of that self-loathing might be part of what brought you to keto in the first place.
Take a deep breath and repeat after me. “I am human. I had a setback and I will probably fail again. That’s alright, what’s important is that I keep on trying”. In the immortal words of Taylor Swift (said that for you Brittany), shake it off!
Don’t excuse your behavior. Own it. I said we all fail sometimes, and we do. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hold yourself accountable. It isn’t someone else’s fault that you scarfed down that pizza or dove head first into a plate of Oreos.
- Be an adult and recognize that you did this to yourself and the consequences suck. Then ask yourself why?
- Did you forget to eat before you went to the party and arrived so hungry you monopolized the buffet?
- Were you running errands all day, taking kids to soccer and not stashing a low-carb high-fat snack for yourself?
- Or was emotional or boredom eating (which I am very prone to!)?
- Did you do the old “oh one bite won’t hurt. Okay maybe three or four bites won’t hurt. Oh hey…somehow I ate the whole thing!”?
Make note of the situations in which you are more likely to succumb to temptation and do your damnedest to avoid them. Preparation is key!
Take notes or keep a journal. You feel pretty bad, don’t you? I know I do, but beyond the guilt and anger at myself, I don’t feel very well physically either. Going off the rails and eating carbs and sugar with abandon might seem pretty fun at the time, but most of us experience some serious discomfort afterward.
Bellyaches, headaches, inflammation if we have dietary sensitivities, it isn’t pretty, but it can also be good motivation for getting back on track.
Sadly, however, it’s quite easy to forget how awful certain foods make us feel once we are feeling better.
Writing it down can help a great deal. Remember how you used to re-copy your notes in high school, in order to better remember them for a test? Same thing here. The simple act of putting it in writing makes it all the more real and vivid.
Be sure to write down how much better you feel when you stick to the plan too. A great comparison for future reference!
Get Moving! My old army buddy used to tell me that the best cure for a hangover is a 5 mile run.
No, I am not kidding, it works. And it works for food hangovers too. You aren’t going to feel great when you get out there. In fact, you will probably feel a little like dog doo. It won’t be your best athletic performance either. It may even hurt a little at the beginning and you will wonder why you are doing it. But afterward, you will feel much better and you’ll be that much further along to ridding your body of the junk you ate.
It doesn’t have to be a fast run or anything super high intensity. But you do want to raise your heart rate a little and break a sweat. It helps your body digest a little better, it clears your head, and it helps your cells uptake the extra insulin and glucose that might be floating around in your blood stream. And, if I can be frank, it helps get your bowels moving too. Which we all know makes us feel better after a binge!
Drink water and other clear, low–carb liquids. It’s cliché, but I find this to be crucial in flushing out my system. You don’t have to go overboard and drink gallons upon gallons or you could dilute the critical salts your body requires. Simply sipping at a cool, clear liquid can make you feel a little more on track.
If you’re sick of the taste of water, flavorings like Mio can help, just be sure to check for carbs and sugar, some of them have a lot.
If you’re prone to boredom eating, as I am, sipping something with a little flavor can help ease the urge to stuff your mouth. Need something a little more satisfying and comforting? Try sipping warm bone broth to fill you up without carbs. Also try adding a little turmeric to your bone broth for both flavor and the anti-inflammatory properties. All the carbs and sugars you’ve been eating can aggravate inflammation so anything you can do to mitigate it will make you feel a lot better.
Find a buddy or a support group. The benefits here are twofold: support and accountability.
Sometimes we really suck at making promises to ourselves. They’re only in our head after all, so it’s pretty easy to pretend we never made them in the first place. But when you say it out loud to a friend or a support group, you feel it’s that much harder to break. And, in this day and age, there’s simply no excuse for not having someone to make promises to. Even if you don’t have any in-person friends that support this keto lifestyle, there are numerous groups and forums.
I am extremely lucky, in that, my wife is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. She keeps me as on-track as I let her, but even she can’t say no to this smile sometimes!
Don’t deprive or punish yourself. Whatever you do, don’t go nuts and exercise like a fiend while subsisting on single digit calories for days on end. That’s never the way to do it. If you feel deprived, you will almost inevitably succumb to the next round of temptation.
I’m the rebellious type, (read, pain in the ass). When I feel restricted or limited, I tend to lash out in frustration and thumb my nose at the limitations, going overboard in the opposite direction. A proper keto diet should be the antithesis of deprivation anyway. So, fill up on those good healthy fats to keep your appetite and cravings under control.
Obviously, this is not the only way to get back on the wagon, you can do it any way that makes you comfortable. I just wanted to try and help give some ideas to help you get back on track, and to help motivate myself to do what I know is right.
Stay tuned to our webpage, our Instagram @ketocouplesjourneyatl and our YouTube and FaceBook pages @ketocouplesjourney for more information and real-life transformations.
Good luck on your journey!