If you’re doing the 2018 Low Carb Challenge here’s the Week 5 Weigh-In post in our private Facebook group:
You can comment here on this post instead if you prefer.
I look forward to your update!
In my last post about my Fun Low Carb Night Out: Dinner, Drinking & Dancing and in other places around the web, we’ve been discussing the more challenging times to stay low carb – like weekends, social outings and trips or vacations.
Side Note: I don’t drink alcohol often personally, but it’s perfectly fine to enjoy low carb drinks & wines on a low carb diet as long as you know two things:
1) Alcohol hits you harder and faster on a super low carb diet. And 2) Alcohol takes longer to metabolize than food, so just don’t weigh yourself for a few days after enjoying drinks. 😉
I’ve been asked a lot lately if I ever eat off plan, or have a cheat meal or a cheat day. So I thought we would discuss all of that, and I would love for you to “weigh in” on these topics too…
Cheat Meals, Cheat Days or Carb Cycling?
I rarely ever eat off plan anymore – meaning outside my usual Keto Macros of 20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum.
I might eat off plan once or twice a year but even then it’s still considered low carb and paleo, just not keto. Low Carb by normal standards (even according to Atkins) is under 100 carbs per day.
So no, I never eat “not low carb” anymore, by that definition.
Enjoy the video 😉 lol.
Anyway, if I do eat off plan it’s just ONE meal: sushi. And I indulge in that favorite higher carb meal ONLY if I’m already out of ketosis for some reason – like a product review or medication. Otherwise I eat keto-friendly (no rice) sushi only.
I no longer get derailed by that, though.
Getting over binge eating and going totally off the rails was a HUGE accomplishment for me, and I’m SO glad to finally be OVER that hurdle in my own journey.
I used to go round and round and beat myself up over it.
The “dieting roller coaster” can be serious madness. 😛
My advice: just STOP.
Cheat meals are a slippery slope, and it’s entirely too easy to gain all of your weigh back eating foods that are NOT good for you, and feeling regret and disgust on top of that – both of which are unhealthy rabbit holes to go down.
It’s also NOT good on your body to constantly go in and out of ketosis.
I have a friend that suffers through Keto Flu every single week, week after week, because of ONE food in their diet that keeps knocking them out of ketosis. (My advice: order the sugar free replacement for that, silly! -lol)
So no, I no longer go off plan or eat “normal food” (lol, see tweet below!! haha). I used to do that at least once a month, usually twice a month, and that’s exactly why it took me SO long to lose my weight. 🙄
The KEY to Staying on Track (This Makes It EASY)
It’s so easy to stay on track when you… stay on track.:)
You’ve probably noticed that yourself. You get in a good groove of eating low carb consistently and all of a sudden your cravings disappear and you have hardly any appetite.
That makes it EASY because a ketogenic low carb diet is a natural appetite suppressant. 😉
If you haven’t quite nailed the consistent part yet, my advice: Track your meals as you go (and start tracking if you aren’t already!).
I log my foods before I make or order them. That gives me a moment to decide if I want to back out of a decision, and after logging a portion or amount – that’s exactly what I eat.
It also helps me easily hit my ideal macros for the day because I can see them as I go – and know whether I should add a fat or a protein for dinner, or if I have extra carbs I can enjoy later.
It really helps to have a small digital kitchen scale. This is the one I use (below). It’s small, convenient, accurate, and my MOST used kitchen gadget!
Tracking consistently makes for MUCH more mindful eating. 😉
I use MyFitnessPal and just this week hit an 800 Day Streak of meal tracking.:)
Keep It Simple & Make It Easy
I am self employed and work from home, so all of my days are like weekends given my schedule is very fluid and flexible. And when I’m not in my home office I’m traveling or on the go.
My days can go 14 directions at once, so I usually throw together easy foods or quick meals. As long as I have eggs, cheese, butter, cream cheese, frozen berries & frozen veggies, pecans etc – I can pretty much throw a meal together in a minute, lol.
You’ve seen that here in my food diaries, I’m sure. 😉
So stock up on your staples!
I love to keep pecan halves on hand. Two servings is 420 calories and very high fat, and a great replacement meal at my desk or in the car in a pinch.
That keto shake mix makes a great coffee creamer too. And both are instant, so I’ve used them while traveling or even while hiking (just add water, bingo!).
Warning: those Ketologie broth & shake mixes contain super healthy ingredients, including Collagen – which will make your hair & nails grow too fast.;)
Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Pitfalls
If you know where you’re going out to eat, even an hour ahead of time, you can look up the menu online (or on your mobile phone) to scan the options, carb counts & nutrition facts. Then you can know before you get there what you’re going to order, vs scouring the menu under pressure at the table.
Eating at friends or family’s houses is probably the biggest challenge. You’re in total control when you’re at home or out to eat, but not at someone else’s house.
That being the case I will often eat before I go, bring a dish, help serve before & clean up after, play with the kids or pets – or all of the above 😉 lol.
I wrote about my personal experience with that here:
It’s EASY to find low carb options practically anywhere.
The problem most people have with vacations or traveling low carb is NOT the lack of foods available, but rather the temptations – or thinking any “fun” has to revolve around junk food.
Let’s say you’re going on a cruise, for example. Consider what you’ll be wearing and how you want to LOOK and FEEL on that cruise.
That would be the LAST place I’d want to feel bloated and lethargic. 😛
For me, vacations or trips or cruises is when I want to feel LEAN and full of energy and HAPPY.
You can still ENJOY great foods on trips & vacations of course. Like in this photo of me, enjoying Halo Top low carb ice cream on the beach. 🙂
If I’m going to eat junk, I’d rather do that at home in my fat pants.:)
Learn to ENJOY the Low Carb Lifestyle!
I found that it helped me a lot to “stop dieting” and just relax into a healthy active low carb lifestyle – without a goal or an end date, other than to become the happiest healthiest version of myself.
Work on letting go of the “crazy thoughts” like dieting, feeling left out, punishing or rewarding yourself, letting your mood be based on what the scale says that morning, or feeling like you’re missing out on something.
Any time you hear or feel those negatives creeping into your mind, just STOP and let it go. Practice that until they are no longer your normal thinking patterns!
Get in the habit of redirecting your thoughts…
You’re not missing out on donuts. You’re missing out on diabetes, heart failure, obesity, misery and food guilt.
The scales didn’t move today, or the scales moved up slightly. So what?! You’re eating healthy and focused on your goals and doing great – and you’ve already lost x number of pounds. You’re doing great!
Say those things to yourself frequently: I’m doing great, and I’m on track to become lean and healthy and HAPPY with myself!
You absolutely have to change the dialogue in your head, and that is NOT going to happen on it’s own.
Being lean, confident, happy and being proud of yourself for taking control of your health and changing your lifestyle – it’s all priceless. It beats the hell out of feeling disgusted, discouraged, guilty, bloated and miserable.
(Said from my own experience, about my own experience.)
I suppose my final tip, but maybe my most important one, would be to find GOOD low carb replacements for higher carb foods you might be tempted to eat.
That has helped me stay on track more than anything else!
You might also enjoy these pieces I wrote along the way through my own journey:
I would love to hear your thoughts, or YOUR biggest struggles.
Leave a comment & let’s chat;)
Don’t forget to weigh in this week!
Oh! One more thing…
The February Keto Krate is already sold out, but it’s going to be a GREAT box full of low carb goodies this month! My box is on it’s way now and I cannot wait to get it, but if you weren’t already signed up you can’t get one this time – because they sold out early.
I’ll show you what’s in it when mine arrives though so you can check out the fun new low carb foods. I’ll get The Keto Box again this month too, so that’s two boxes full of fun new things to explore! 😉
p.s. Our latest discussion on Facebook is about Low Carb / Sugar Free Sweeteners & Sugar Substitutes:
Netrition – The Internet’s Premier Nutrition Superstore!