Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Don't fall off the wagon, jump off and hit the ground running!

Once in a while we all need to take a break from the routine, but don't let yourself get to the breaking point before you decide to mix things up a little.

Despite all my ranting about the evils of grains and sugar and how they should be avoided at all costs because they are completely and utterly unnecessary, I think that it's important to occasionally indulge in some of the food that the rest of the world eats, if you feel so inclined.

Every once in a while, I blow the doors off my healthy eating plan and enjoy something I've been looking forward to for a while. It might be one meal, it might be a whole day, but it's rarely longer than that. Most recently I hit up some fried seafood with french fries which I haven't had for a long time. I followed it up with an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen, chocolate dipped of course.

Did I cave to cravings? Did I give up on a healthy diet? Did I decide that I just couldn't take low-carb one more day? Nope, nope, and nope.

When you have one of these moments, it's important not to do this on impulse. Don't cave for the birthday cake at an office birthday party that you planned to be strong through. Throw away your diet for a day or a meal when it will be really worth it and when you planned on it.

Look, you don't have to be saint every day for the rest of your life. Giving in to temptation because it's there is not a good idea period. If you're a drinker and you're trying to drink less, is it better to plan to have an occasional drink with friends or cave when you feel like you really need a drink? I'd say that letting yourself cave to your perceived "need" to do something or give in is a much less healthy prospect than planning to break the rules every once in a while.

The most important part of any break or indulgence is to get right back to doing the healthy stuff as soon as it's over. If you decide that you're going to break the rules for one meal, then make it one and only one meal. If you decide it's for a day, then when that day ends, so does your indulgence.

Finally, here's what you can expect, depending on how you've reacted to your new healthy diet.
  • If you've been really true to eating a healthy low-carb diet and you've lost some weight, feel healthier, and happier then you'll probably feel like complete garbage that day and/or the next day.
  • If you've had life changing results from low-carb and feel like a million bucks most of the time, have seen things like diabetes, cholesterol, and other chronic ailments improve then you can expect that day and maybe the next (or more) to feel like everything you were used to before.
  • If you've been only sort of committed to low-carb and have seen some modest improvements to your health then you may not feel so bad after your indulgence, but maybe a little less than your normal self.
  • Expect to potentially see a few pounds come back on. This is probably only water weight and should come off within a few days.
  • Expect cravings for all the stuff you're used to passing on, but do yourself a favor and go without. You'll feel better again in a couple of days.
I fall into the life changing group for this diet and find that an indulgence day ends up with me feeling bloated and uncomfortable after the indulgence and the next day. It hardly makes it an indulgence, but that's another conversation.

Your thoughts?


P.S. Don't fear the fat!

No comments: