Today we step back on track. Welcome to the Monday after a long holiday weekend packed with feasting and social gatherings. For most of us, the splurge does not self-limit to a singular Thanksgiving meal, but rather continues for days as leftovers appear and re-appear both at home and in social situations (after you had already decided, again, that would be your last last piece of pie…). Fear not. You have not failed. If you got a little more free-wheeling on the food front than you had intended… don’t sweat it. You can and will resume your fit, low carb lifestyle.
Take a deep, full belly breath, and then exhale all of your stress and any lingering regret you might feel. Today we restore balance. Feasting is an important part of our life. And it also plays a role in regulating our metabolism and in the natural rhythm of feast and famine our bodies have evolved to handle. Right now, it might feel that you lost momentum and have to start over from square one with your healthy, low carb lifestyle, but that is not true. The more time you have spent in fat metabolism, the easier your body will resume that state following brief digressions into glucose metabolism. If you haven’t done so yet, today is the day you will resume your healthy low carb, real food lifestyle.
How do you feel? Do you feel sluggish? Bloated? Have cravings returned? Are you encountering mood swings and energy dips that mirror your blood sugar and hunger? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, it would probably be advisable to resume Dia phase 1 today. Remember to support your hydration and mineral balance with a pot of warm, simmering turkey broth!! Or any store bought option…
Do you feel pretty good? If you continue to feel great, stable energy because you managed to keep holiday splurges to a level that didn’t send you spinning headlong into the sugar cycle, terrific!!! Then continue onward in either phase 2 or phase 3.
I’d like to share a few general tips that will benefit all of us, regardless of how dramatic a low carb lifestyle re-set we need right now:
Out of sight, out of mind (and mouth)
Freeze, discard, or give away all remaining leftovers today, especially whatever poses a particular challenge to your willpower. Bonus tip: throw the turkey carcass and aromatic vegetables in a pot to simmer into homemade broth (see the 3 Phase Dia Fat Burn plan for a recipe).
Breakfast of champions
Hop off the glucose roller coaster with a hearty breakfast abundant in protein and natural fats. Then wait until you’re hungry to eat your next meal. Prioritize protein, vegetables, high fiber fruits (like berries) and natural fats. You’ll be humming along in your fit, low carb lifestyle before you know it.
A silver lining to occasional feasts
Take heart knowing your body wants to restore equilibrium. It strives for homeostasis. So when we experience a few days of much higher food consumption than normal, it temporarily revs our resting metabolic rate. Take advantage of that, and transition as quickly as possible into fat metabolism so your body will readily relinquish stored body fat to be burned as energy.
Get a move on
Do NOT starve yourself
Don’t skip meals, ignore hunger or over-restrict. This is a fairly common knee-jerk reaction to indulgence, but it can lead to a vicious cycle. If you are truly not hungry and your body is telling you to wait (a legitimate scenario after abundant feasting), then you can delay a meal, skip snacking, or loosely observe a 12-hour overnight fast (from dinner to breakfast), give or take a couple hours depending on your schedule and how you feel. Listen to your body, and DO NOT force yourself to go without food (I know intermittent fasting is trendy and it has some very real benefits, but I do not recommend it as a strategy during the postpartum period, for anyone who is currently pregnant or who is working to restore a body depleted from pregnancy, stress, hormonal imbalance or disease, or for those who are not already fat-adapted.) In addition, refusing to eat and ignoring the body’s physiological hunger cues can trigger unhealthy behaviors in those who struggle with body image or a history of disordered eating. Resist the temptation to punish yourself or to purge in any way.
Write it down
If it can help you feel more calm and confident resuming your low carb lifestyle, go ahead and keep a food journal (on paper or online) for a few days. Just enough to feel back on track, and then set it aside.
The holiday weekend came and went. Let it go. When we embrace a healthy lifestyle, we do not look back. Instead, we choose to step forward with strength and grace.