We all fall off the wagon from time to time. It’s inevitable.
With any diet or exercise regime, we’ll inevitably encounter hiccups along the way – particularly when the change in lifestyle and different approach to health and wellness is completely new to us.
If you’ve found yourself in a position where you need to get back on track with the ketogenic diet, don’t worry! There are certain things you can do to make your transition back into the keto lifestyle as painless as possible
1)Don’t be too Hard On Yourself
This is the first, and most important thing to remember. It’s easy to beat yourself up, feel like a failure and become disheartened at falling off the keto-wagon.
You might feel like you’ve undone all of your hard work, or that there’s no point in getting back into ketosis because ‘the damage has been done’.
This is simply not true! We all have slip-ups, and one bad meal won’t make you fat – the same way that one healthy meal won’t make you slim. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, draw a line in the sand and make a commitment to yourself to learn from your mistakes and move forwards.
Remember: a positive mental attitude is crucial if you want to reach your weight-loss or health goals.
2) Use HIIT to Get Back into Ketosis Quickly
HIIT is a type of training technique in which you exert yourself to maximum output for short periods, undergoing intense bursts of exercise followed by a short period of either complete rest, or ‘active rest’ – where you will be walking or otherwise exercising very gently.
A very simple example of HIIT would be to sprint for 30 seconds at your absolute maximum effort, and then stand still or walk for thirty seconds straight afterwards, repeating the sequence for five minutes in total.
If you’ve slipped out of ketosis, then one way to kick-start this mode again is to perform HIIT on a fasted stomach. This is because you want to deplete glycogen stores and burn fat for fuel.
3) Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to monitor not only your nutrition and exercise habits, but also your moods – which can have a phenomenal effect on the success (or indeed failure) of your diet, fitness or weight loss goals.
Some of us are prone to overeating or making unhealthy choices with our diets when we are stressed, angry or upset. Harvard Medical School recently published an article outlining why stress causes people to overeat, in which it was found that not only does stress cause people to consume more food than their appetite truly warrants – but also that stress causes us to crave certain foods above others. Specifically, the article outlines how physical or emotional distress increases the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both.
Now, this can be a bit of a bummer on the ketogenic diet – where stereotypical ‘comfort foods’ (i.e. carbs and sugars) are essentially off the menu.
This is why keeping a journal in which you can jot down your moods is hugely beneficial to you getting back on-track with the ketogenic diet, and staying on track! Your journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life that might lead to overeating or making poor dietary choices.
So, every time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes, and learn how to avoid or otherwise cope with them (without reaching for a bag of chips or a bar of chocolate). Write down:
- What caused the stress (make a guess if you’re unsure)
- How you felt, both physically and emotionally
- How you acted in response
- What you could do to make yourself feel better in future situations
By being more mindful of your moods in this way you’re far more likely to avoid mindless overeating, and can begin to look for other ways to manage daily stresses without falling of the keto-wagon.
4) Prepare and Plan Your Meals in Advance
One of the key ingredients to success on the ketogenic diet is preparation. You’ve probably heard the old saying ‘if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, right? Well this couldn’t be truer of the ketogenic diet.
With processed convenience foods completely off the menu, and a limited intake of an entire food group – this diet is restrictive. There’s no other way to put it. But that’s not to say it can’t be varied if you take the time to plan and prepare your meals in advance.
Take a look at some of the fantastic recipes on this blog, and opt for things that you can cook up in batch and then freeze. Know exactly what you’re going to eat each week, and make sure there’s always an abundant supply of keto-friendly foods and treats in your refrigerator or freezer.
Also, don’t forget about your diet when you’re out of the house! Prepare your keto-friendly work lunches in advance so that you’re less likely to break your diet and fall off the wagon again.
5) Make Your Goals Public
The last tip for getting back on-track (and staying on-track) with the ketogenic diet is to find yourself an accountability buddy.
This could be a friend, relative or even an online support group or individual – the choice is up to you. The only requirement is that this person be someone who can keep you accountable when it comes to your diet and health goals.
You’re far more likely to keep to your diet and stay on the wagon if you make it public knowledge that you’ve made a commitment and are planning to stick to it. Even setting up an Instagram or twitter account for public accountability can work wonders here, so just do what feels right for you.
Do you have any other tips for getting back on track with the ketogenic diet?
Please share them with us in the comments section below.