With the holidays’ wining, dining and feasting behind us, it’s the perfect time to assess how you’re doing.
If you stayed away from the myriad carbs around you and didn’t gain weight or trigger old health issues, well done! One day at a time stay on your successful path to good health.
If you fell off the keto wagon, no shame. Just think that every day is a new time to start again.
Yet there are many ‘good’ reasons to postpone until tomorrow, and we all know there’s always another tomorrow and another after that. You might be reluctant or even fearful to resume keto only to later fall off the wagon again, or feel guilty for thinking that you failed yet once more, or feel pressure from friends and family for resuming something that they don’t think works.
Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Postponing until ‘tomorrow’ for whatever reason is a common pattern. When you break the pattern, you add another tool to your long-term success toolbox.
Think of it this way: if you had stated to smoke again, would you or your friends and relatives discourage you from trying again right away? Probably not.
An excellent motivator to get yourself back on plan is the reappearance of old symptoms like achy joints, headaches, acid reflux, bloating, low energy, poor sleep, or tight clothes. And if you had previously reduced or eliminated medication or injected insulin for type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes by eating keto, you only have two choices: either resume the meds and insulin or resume your low-carb diet.
The sooner you get back on track, the easier it will be to begin feeling better, regaining control of your life and health, and leaving behind any feelings of guilt. The longer you wait the more unhappy you will be with yourself and the harder it becomes. Don’t fret over the relapse. It’s behind you. Look ahead and get back on track.
So here are some tried and true uncomplicated thoughts to help you ‘restart’ your keto lifestyle:
- Take it one day at a time. Every new day is a chance to continue or start again. You are in control!
- To later assess your progress, record your weight, measurements, and blood sugar if necessary. Hold off weighing or measuring until you have done the plan correctly for two weeks.
- Review and recommit to your low-carb eating plan, whether it’s 20 grams of daily total carbs or something else that you know works for you.
- ‘Clean’ your kitchen and home by discarding all ‘illegal’ items. Make a list of groceries that contains only allowable foods and resist the temptation to buy carb-y items. Include protein and fat with each meal. If you are craving or hungry between meals, only have ‘legal’ snacks.
- Remember that the first few days getting off carbs may be rocky. You’ll start noticing progress usually by the fourth day. If you’re struggling by the fourth day remind yourself that this is when people often cheat, which forces them to begin again. Keep taking it day to day! You can make it through another day. Distract yourself. Go for a walk. Just don’t give in because you’re almost there.
It can take up to three months – one day at a time – to establish new habits. Many eating behaviors are driven by habit, so you now have a few months to concentrate on making the positive changes that will help you break the habit of ‘yo-yo’ dieting.