5 Quick Tips for Getting Back on Track Nutritionally after the Holidays
The holiday season is full of traditions that sabotage healthful eating. During the holidays, you may have used food for entertainment or comfort. I know I have headed for the bacon-wrapped sausages more than a few times just to get away from someone I didn’t want to talk to.
Now that the holidays are over, you no longer need to use food for entertainment or social evasion. It’s time to turn your brain back to normal, on-plan eating mode. Eating is primarily for nutrition. Find some healthy, non-food ways to deal with your emotions, and get back to eating when you are hungry!
Everyone who has tried to stay on a diet has encountered setbacks. Here are some quick tips for getting back on track with your nutritional plan.
1. Stop feeling guilty.
The first thing you can do to make a clean break from off-plan eating is to eliminate guilt. I don’t think I’ve met a single person who has found guilt helpful in getting back on their eating plans after a surrender to diet freefall.
Whether you have eaten a single piece of off-plan pie, or if you have been eating out of control since Thanksgiving, guilt will not help you if you just use it to beat yourself up.
If you are struggling with guilt about holiday overeating or off-plan eating, what you need most is to forgive yourself. In other words, change your mind about how long you have to suffer for your mistake.
If you make a wrong turn on the road, do you feel guilty for the next 6 weeks? Probably not. Most likely you look at a map, get back on the right road, and continue driving without any guilt at all.
Do that with your diet.
Falling off plan is not the end of the world. Don’t stress out over it. Don’t punish yourself. Review the nutritional choices you made when you started your diet. Re-commit yourself to healthful eating. Follow up with practical action that supports your decision.
2. Clean your kitchen.
Fill your refrigerator and your pantry with healthy foods on your list. Remove the holiday foods and ingredients that are sabotaging you. Throw out the candy and the junk food. Get rid of everything that is causing you to stumble.
Cook your own food for a while, so you can monitor your ingredients and avoid your trigger foods. If you have a family, ask them for cooperation and support, by helping you keep the kitchen free from the foods you need to avoid while you get back on track.
3. Go back to the basics.
Whatever eating plan you choose, return to its most basic form.
Follow the Atkins Induction plan for a month. Do the Whole 30 thing. Get back into ketosis by counting your macros and calculating your fat percentage. Fill your kitchen and your menus with delicious LCHF foods.
Find some on on-plan treats to tickle your fancy when you want a little something special. There are enough forces in the world sabotaging your dietary success. Don’t YOU be one of them!
4. Try some new recipes.
If it helps you stay on plan, spice up your menus with some new recipes.
There are hundreds of great cookbooks available to help you try some new flavors in your kitchen written specifically for low-carb, ketogenic and paleo plans. And there are thousands of great recipes online for any diet you want to follow.
Google a recipe for anything you want.
Here’s a collection of recipes especially low in carbs to help you get started. All recipes 5 total carbs or fewer. You can’t go wrong with a Dana Carpender cookbook.
The Low-Carb Diabetes Solution Cookbook: Prevent and Heal Type 2 Diabetes with 200 Ultra Low-Carb Recipes – All Recipes 5 Total Carbs or Fewer!
The Kindle edition is only $2.99.
If spending time in the kitchen is one of your triggers for overeating, skip the new recipe thing, and go back to 2-5 basic meals you can prepare easily and eat frequently without boredom. Stick to those until you can face the kitchen without overeating.
5. Eat enough fat to satisfy hunger.
As you get back to your LCHF plan, you need to make sure there is enough healthy fat in your diet to satisfy your appetite, stop cravings and transition you back to fat burning.
Keeping your carbs as low as possible for the next few weeks will also help.
Cook your food in fat, and then eat it. Don’t drain it all off.
If that’s not enough to eliminate cravings and keep hunger away between meals, you can add another dollop of fat in a sauce or dressing. Any healthy fat will do, or a dressing, dip or sauce made from healthy fats.
If you eat a morning breakfast, make it especially high in fat and low in carbs, to satisfy hunger and control mood and energy throughout the day. A moderate serving of protein in the morning can also keep away that late afternoon slump, which can lead to caffeine, energy drinks or off-plan sugar pick-me-up snacks. You may want to track afternoon responses to various breakfast foods.
Fat coffee in the morning, like the famous Bulletproof Coffee, may help you get started with fat burning, though some diet experts do not recommend drinking these high-fat drinks. Sometimes, I have found that by skipping both carbs and protein in the morning, and taking just the fat coffee, my appetite throughout the day is manageable and my mood even. It satisfies hunger, and seems to help stop cravings. I do not drink fat coffee every day, but it is one strategy I use for getting back on plan after I’ve wandered off.
We all stumble in many ways. And the holiday season is especially full of stumbling blocks! But we need to get up and move on. Don’t beat yourself up with guilt and punishment over bad food choices.
The best thing you can do after making a bad food choice is to start making better choices immediately.
Arrange your kitchen and your lifestyle to make room for healthy foods and meals that fit into your nutritional plan.
Follow your plan closely. Keep making good food choices. Eat enough fat to satisfy hunger and transition you back to burning stored body fat.
While you concentrate on getting your food choices under control, remember to pay attention to meal timing. Consider some form of fasting when you need to reset your insulin levels, and get back to burning fat. If you used fasting or intermittent fasting before the holidays, it’s time to get back to it.
Keep paying attention to what you are eating and when you are eating, and how it makes you feel. Eat the right foods, in the right amounts, at the right times. Enjoy your food and feel great.
Happy New Year!
May 2017 be your year to eliminate stumbling blocks and enjoy unprecedented success.
Health, Peace and Love!