I’m sure you’ve been there as many times as I have…. your good intentions disappear for some reason and one cheat meal turns into a cheat day which turns into a cheat week (or month or months!).
Nevertheless, you’ve turned a corner and you’re ready to start feeling good again… you’re ready to get back on the keto wagon.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about getting back on the wagon, it’s that I was doing it wrong!
You see, whenever I had been eating food that was less than nutritious, I always used to get back on the wagon by doing some kind of fast, or at the very least reducing my calories for a while.
It seemed to make sense to me that if I had splurged on junk food, or even just foods that weren’t necessarily junk foods, but weren’t in line with my idea diet, I should balance this out by reducing my calories the following day.
This was back in the day when calories mattered to me by the way!
I came to learn that this way of doing things was not right for two reasons:
1. By reducing my calories the next day (or days) I would put myself in a state where I was super-hungry and so the temptation to fall back into old eating habits was higher.
2. By reducing my calories in this way I was taking steps backward to a time when the calories I was eating were more important than the health I wanted. (Not a time I want to return to).
I have spent a long time now, retraining my brain to focus on health and nutrition rather than calories and weight. And as such, here is what I believe is the right thing to do when you are getting back on the wagon, and why.
Eat more, not less!
Don’t spend today trying to make up for yesterday. Let yourself fill up as much as you like on good food when you are getting back on the wagon.
During the day or days when you were eating less than nutritious foods, although you may have been eating more calories than your body needs, you were, in fact, eating LESS NUTRITION than your body and brain needs.
So if you follow this by holding back on what you eat by fasting, missing meals or otherwise reducing your food intake, you are denying yourself even further. You can’t balance out your calories in this way because your body doesn’t need ‘calories’ it needs ‘nutrients’.
Therefore, when you get back on the wagon and start eating all those beautiful vegetables and fats and proteins again, don’t skimp on them. Allow yourself to gorge on that good stuff!
This way, you will not feel hungry and will not be tempted back to those old foods that you are trying to leave behind. And, more importantly, your body and brain will get their fill of the nutrients they need to function at their best.
The quicker you can get those nutrients back into your body, the quicker you will balance out and get on an even keel again. Eating keto is not a quick fix, it is a lifestyle of health and nutrition.
Nowadays, if I have a meal or a day or whatever, eating foods that are not on my ‘supreme health-giving foods’ list, I make sure that when I am hungry for my next meal I don’t fast, I don’t skimp and I don’t try to cut back on calories.
Quite the reverse, I fill my plate up to the brim with colourful vegetables and plenty of good protein and fats and eat to my heart’s content.
And my body and brain ALWAYS thank me for it.