If you’re like a lot of people, your healthy lifestyle took a back seat over the last three or so weeks. Between the parties, get-togethers and endless treats that characterize the season (think cake and cookies and cocktails) you know you’ve a gained a few and you probably feel a tad lethargic and plenty guilty. What’s done is done. You now have a chance to pick up where you left off. Here are my suggestions for getting back on track.
Punishing Yourself Won’t Undo the Damage
So you ate more than you know you should have, and you ate all the things you know you shouldn’t have, and you’re feeling and seeing the consequences of your choices. Something is telling you that you need to suffer because you were bad. Mash down that lie! Starving yourself or eating tasteless, tiny portions of food will not undo the damage you’ve done. Seriously. You have already punished yourself by adding back pounds that you worked to lose and relinquishing that all-over feel-good sensation that you have when you’re eating right and moving. Why would you want more punishment? You do not need to detox and you do not need to starve.
The Detox Myth
I saw this somewhere the other day and I couldn’t help but agree: If your liver and kidneys are functioning properly, then you do not need to “detox”. There are many people and businesses who make good money preying off people’s dysfunctional relationship with food by convincing them that this juice or this pill or this powder taken over several days will somehow “clean” their bodies and remedy all ills. Nonsense. You feel accomplished when you embark on one of these detox programs because you are exercising control over your appetite and you are somehow feeding into the notion that you deserve to be punished. Detoxing as absolution is as useless as walking on nails as penance.
Step 1: Start eating the right foods
It’s as simple as that. Start eating the foods you know you should be eating and stop eating the ones you know you should not be eating. You want to get back into ketosis and allow your body to start functioning the way it should, burning fat for energy.
Give away or dump all the remaining non-compliant foods in your house. We got gifts of chips/crisps, cake and chocolate this Christmas. I said thank you (and I meant it! Kindness is never to be spurned), packed them out of sight, and when we had our big family beach picnic I carried them with me and added to the offerings for those who choose to eat carbs. Simple.
Make your meal plan for the week. Write down what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You know the drill: no sugary sauces, no rice, no bread, no crackers, no cake, no ice-cream, no cookies, no fruit, no beans. But all the meat, eggs, fish, cheese and green veggies you desire. Need inspiration or guidance as to what to eat? Check out my post here where I share what works for me.
Step 2: Drink your Water!
This is one thing that will have you feeling brand new again in quick order! Get your water bottle out and filled and at your side at all times. I use a 1.5L bottle and aim to finish 3 of those in a day. Just developing the habit of sipping from it constantly (it’s always on my desk or beside me when I’m Netflixing and Chilling) helped me up my water intake significantly. Some people infuse their water with fruit to add flavour and make it easier to drink up. If that works for you, by all means go ahead! Bottom line: drink up. All that water will work with your kidneys and liver to naturally, safely, cost-effectively and perfectly give you that detox that you think you need after all that indulging.
The graphic below is a great summary of how you can level up with respect to your water drinking. NOTE: We avoid fruit on keto because of the sugar. Sugar is sugar and we don’t need it. Simple.
Step 3: Start or resume your exercise habit
Working out has been so good for my overall health and has also helped my weight loss. You can never exercise away the effects of bad eating, but here’s what exercise does for you:
- It complements your healthy eating and speeds up weight loss
- It really clears the mind and provides an overall feeling of well-being
- It leads to other good decisions where eating is concerned. People who work out are less likely to give in to the temptation to cheat. Fact.
You don’t have to join a gym or buy a whole new work out wardrobe to get going. In this post, I provide a list of resources that you can use at home to start moving and building up your own exercise habit. I show you how to start out with moderate, attainable goals so that you are more likely to be consistent, which is the goal where any workout programme is concerned. Simply walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week is a great start. You can use one weekend day and 2 week days and get this done.
Step 4: Consider Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting or IF, has been a game changer for me on my own weight loss journey. It complements keto perfectly, and has accelerated my own weight loss. IF is simply depriving your body of food for a defined period of time, usually a day or less. The benefits of IF lie in the fact that your body does not secrete insulin during this fasting window. In the absence of insulin, your body repairs and cleans itself, cravings are suppressed, your mind is clearer and your body burns its own fat stores. Check out this post I did about my own experience doing IF. I explain more of the science behind it and tell you how I eased into it and the benefits I’m reaping from fasting. IF is a great natural detoxer. You really don’t need those juices and powders and pills to restore your body to perfect alignment and functioning.
Take it a day at a time
Inhale deeply, now exhale. You can’t undo the damage you did overnight. You simply need to get up and start again. You can do that by starting to eat the right foods once again. Drink up your water. Start moving more. Try intermittent fasting. And celebrate the fact that you have started again. Don’t give in to unproductive wallowing in regret. That changes nothing. Celebrate the feelings of well-being that you will experience as you start doing the right things again. Revel in your body that you are controlling again and celebrate every single time you make a good choice. Remain consistent and trust the process. You know this. If you start now, by the end of January you’ll be in a great place. I know this.
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I am not a medical doctor nor am I a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. The information on this website is written and produced for informational purposes only. This website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. The reader assumes full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and before starting a new diet or health program.