Sometimes I take a tumble from my low-carb WOE and fall off the wagon. There is no shame in this – we are all human and sometimes it is good for the soul to have a blow out, although maybe not so good for the waistline or our health!
There are countless reasons for this happening; diet creep sneaks in, the holiday season just gone, a wedding, a birthday, a change in activity level, boredom, travel and a change of routine, or merely the fact that I have become too relaxed in my thinking and opened the door to old habits. No matter the reason, slippage can in turn become a carbohydrate avalanche. However if this also happens to you, there is no need to beat yourself up over it. That is what being a non-obsessive eater is all about – DON’T STRESS over what are temporary situations that can (and will) be corrected.
I remember the mother of the bride-to-be asking once if it would be permissible to eat a slice of wedding cake at her daughter’s wedding, having been low-carbing quite successfully for several months. She was terrified this deviation from her new norm would jeopardise her success. In the end it is a choice only she could make, but my comment was to ask herself how many chances to celebrate her daughter’s big day would she have? She had after all successfully changed her way of eating, knew the strategies to implement, and was determined to keep the gains made. I could see no harm in taking a “holiday”, just as long as it stays the occasional treat, and does not become a stable. Like most things in life, it comes down to strength of mind and determination to lead a healthier lifestyle.
We all have the occasional stumble but for some this can result in a prolonged tumble and we suddenly find ourselves completely off the programme. Nevertheless, through mindful eating and a planned short term intervention, normal low-carb eating can be resumed. Remember that if you had been eating poorly for years, before becoming aware of a better way of eating, it is only natural that at times you may revert back to some old habits. The important point is to recognize your triggers and KNOW what to do to turn the situation around. A positive approach to healthy eating can take time to mature and much depends on your attitude to want to solidify that change.
There are a number of ways to climb back on the wagon, but a short, intense intervention, by going on a “crash diet” with a Carb Depletion regime, can be the answer for some. For this to work you need to get into a state of calorie deficit. In the normal world I never count calories – the NOWOE is all about macro-nutrient balance coupled with eating mindfully, after all – and the amount of calories you need to cut back on varies from person to person, being dictated by your height, weight and activity levels.
This is a diet that will reduce body fat fast, and maximise lean mass, and once the primary aims are achieved, you can go back to your normal way of eating. It is not for everyone but if carried out correctly, and you are resolute in maintaining a strict regime, this can be an effective shortcut to getting back on track quickly.
Look out for a future blog where I will cover the basics and choices involved to put this into action.