This week we have been learning about making it or breaking it. I know, I keep saying this, but I can’t stress it enough … Low Carb is a lifestyle, not a diet. If you’re on a diet and screw up, you just dust yourself off and try again. With a low carb lifestyle, you have done an amazing thing by completely detoxing your body of sugar. After 7-10 days of eating low carb, you no longer crave starches, refined sugars or processed foods. So, if you suddenly decide to give in and eat something high in carbs, your detox is over. All those cravings that have been gone … come back at you in full force. You will feel the effects immediately. Some liken the effects to what vegetarians feel when they eat meat. It can range from an upset stomach to full-on flu like symptoms. Your body has been free and clear of all that nasty sugar, and now you have reintroduced it. Thankfully the sickness will pass. You just have to get back on your low carb lifestyle, and let the sugar work its way out of your system all over again. Which did I mention, will take 7-10 more days? It’s something you really don’t want to have to go through if you can help it. Unfortunately, when we are first starting out on the low carb lifestyle, it will … we all mess up as we learn our way.
So this week I put a few questions out to our Feminine Collective Low Carb Challenge Team. The first being: We’re human, while we are learning the Low Carb lifestyle it’s likely you’re going to make a mistake. You might eat the wrong thing or you might intentionally eat something you shouldn’t. Has this happened to you yet? And if so, what was the cause of it?
Sharron: Falling into old patterns! I had a little slip last night, out of habit making my husband his dessert we had some yogurt cup ice cream. I was putting in a bow,l and I took a small spoonful without thinking, but right after I was like “did you just do that?” Needless to say, the yogurt ice cream is gone! Sugar cravings still there, but I’m hoping will fade. Not a huge mess up since I was just a couple days in, but I did feel bad about it. Back on track today!
Abby: My big downfall is getting about 5 days into a “diet” and thinking that I can “cheat” just for one day and I “promise” that tomorrow I will be right back on my diet. This time I actually waited a few days before committing. I really thought about it first. If you keep reading about this study or that study or this diet or that, you can convince yourself to never do anything or stick with anything.
Carol: Weekends tend to big my biggest challenge-especially if I have company! I’m on the 4th day and find myself not hungry. I did well a year or so on this plan…but somehow this past winter is when a major slip-up occurred! Hopefully I’m back on track.
Trixie: I have been pretty good on NOT messing up because I know myself – I tend to be all-or-nothing (all in or all out). Although, I did have some movie popcorn with butter and was very sick (that’s another good reason not to mess up). But I also like the saying: If you drop and break one egg, you wouldn’t throw the entire dozen out. So don’t throw your clean/good eating lifestyle away for one mistake.
Joann: One challenge I’ve experienced is extremely pushy people in your life who don’t respect your decisions and pressure you to go against your better judgment. Another issue is socializing. I have a bridal shower, graduation party, and baby shower coming up in the next few weeks and I’m not looking forward to the eating situation at those functions.
As you can see from the examples, there are many ways you can “miss-step” when learning the Low Carb lifestyle. People not wanting you to succeed can be a huge factor in undermining your progress. I found this to be true when I first lost weight. People want you to be as miserable as them. When they see you making a change, it doesn’t settle well for them and they may try to sabotage you. It might not be intentionally, but it happens. Stand your ground, this is your life and your body. Change is hard, but you can do it. Also, remember we are all going through this together. This is a challenge, not against one another… but for one another. You can do this!
On a more positive note, I wanted to know what they are doing each day to keep on track? To keep their Low Carb lifestyle going. Below is what they said.
Jan: I’d say keeping low carb snacks on hand keeps me on track. Also using low carb replacements help me to never feel deprived. I love mashed cauliflower & fried chicken coated with ground pork skins. I have been taking my breakfast to the office, but I still love going out for lunch. You can eat low carb most anywhere once you know how to order. Yesterday, we ate at a Mexican place. I had grilled chicken with shredded lettuce, pico & a side of guacamole. I LOVE the Atkins app on my phone! I quickly checked the carbs in the tortilla chips & that alone made me leave them alone!
Abigail: First, I am learning how to cook a new way. I can’t expect to toss a plain piece of chicken on a plate and call it dinner. If I do that, this will never become a lifestyle. Plan ahead. I am making a conscious choice to change. I need to cook for myself first and add any necessary foods for my family. I can’t cook for others and then try to scrape a meal from the leftovers.
Sharron: I’m on day 2 and it’s been a big change, I have been on what I thought was a good change, no white food, more veggies, less sweets, but I wasn’t losing. So I’m trying to organize myself and put “me food” first. Tonight was zucchini lasagna, made extra for future meals. So pre-planning is the way.
Donna: I have to just keep telling myself when I am tempted that the taste will be temporary. The good choice that I make will help me in my long-term goal and it will feel so much better than just that moment of tasting the food.
KeKe: I try to keep my mind focused. Since I have done the program before, I’m all grown up and don’t have to count carbs. But then I realize I’m too grown … so my scale hasn’t been a pretty site.
Shawn: For me the most important secret for staying with the low carb lifestyle is to always be prepared. If I am ever caught without a meal planned or snacks waiting in the sidelines and I get to the point that I am really hungry…. I am tempted to make the wrong choices. Let’s face it, there is temptations everywhere. So you have to have a plan in place so you can deal with them. I also have made my own “little black book” for restaurants I go to. Most every restaurant will have a menu online with all the nutritional information right there for you. It’s nice to be able to just go in knowing what I want to order without stressing.
Marilyn: I will resonate what has been said —- the key is planning ahead. Although, we all have busy lives, we must remember our health is the most important. The best part is when faced with a situation where you forgot lunch at work—- there are options everywhere. Even on a day you want to go out to a restaurant with co-workers—- you can find something and ask it be prepared to your specifications. Don’t be afraid to speak up!
Trixie: Let’s see – with twin babies I have to really plan my grocery store trips. So I really use a list on my grocery store trips (I use www.cozi.com for a great free organizer). I also get a few things on amazon.com (nuts, quest bars). I try to keep snacks at work (in the communal refrigerator or my desk). I chart out what I can eat from the cafeteria or nearby restaurants at work. I try to make enough for lunch leftovers when I make dinner, and I always journal my food.
As with anything new, there is a learning curve, but definitely a curve worth learning. You may stumble the first few weeks, but there is no reason to give up. You are worth it. Your health is worth it. We all screw up now and then, but don’t let it overwhelm you. We are learning, and learning from our mistakes is what makes us amazing. Take the lesson and move forward. If I can do this … anyone can.
Good luck this week and remember … you deserve to live your life healthy and happy. Don’t let anything or anyone take that from you.
So are you ready to start the FC Low Carb Challenge with us? It’s easy, you can even do it from home. Just pick up a copy of the low carb plan we’re using called Fat to Skinny by author Doug Varrieur. It’s a quick read, but it will make the low carb lifestyle really come to life for you. If you have already been doing it with us at home and you’re proud of your progress, drop me an email aByteOfLife@FeminineCollective.com or hit us up on Twitter @femininecollect. We would love to hear all about how you’re doing, plus you might make it into one of the weekly articles.
Week 1 – The Rules
Week 2 – Getting Started
Week 3 – Favorite Things
Week 4 – Screwing Up
Week 5 – I Want Candy
Week 6 – Taking Care of You
Week 7 – You Can Do It!
Week 8 – Wine, Beer, Tequila? Definitely!
Week 9 – Carb Creep
Week 10 – Hollywood Eats Low Carb. You Can Too!
Week 11 – Wow! You Did it!