Hey there, and welcome to my blog. If you’re reading this post, it’s likely because you’re stressed out right now. Like, really stressed. The tension in your body has probably caused you to consider reaching for the carbs. If you’re reading this during the novel Coronavirus pandemic, I feel you, and I’ve been right there with you. Cheating is not something we usually plan to or want to do. Hell, some people even despise the word “cheat” because it has a negative connotation, and since it’s so closely associated with diet culture. The word doesn’t bother me much, so it’s not something I really refrain from using. But if that bothers you, know that I am sorry, and that I use the word “cheat” in the context of “off-plan.” For me, keto has been a saving grace, because it’s helped me to manager my hunger, weight, and pain issues while I worked on healthier eating habits and mindsets about food. I’m going to share with you guys some of the guidance that’s helped me to stay keto for almost two years now (keto-versary 4/20/20!). Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these things and if they’ve helped you.
Know your body
Are you one of those people who can’t stop at just one donut, you need to eat the whole box? Well, me too. If you’re thinking of having a carb-fest, stop and take a breather with me. Do you know how this ends already? Will you be able to take just one bite, or have just one meal, and go back to what the plan is for yourself? Or will it snowball into more than that? By know your body, I mean know your habits. If you have trouble with your willpower muscle, then you’re not ready for a cheat meal, or even a cheat bite. You don’t need to be keto (or whatever your plan is) for forever, but if your goal is to stay on that path, then you should give yourself more time to train that willpower muscle.
Prepare to succeed
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Success comes from preparation, but remember that success is not perfect. Anyone who has achieved something had to spend time learning how to get to that point, and the road of knowledge is paved with failures and resilience to keep going. If you know you’re getting stressed, use some of what you already know about yourself to prepare for the future.
When I feel like I’m going to have a stressful week, I plan ahead by meal prepping so I don’t have the option to make anything that will put me further away from my goals. I also balance my meal preps 50/50 with healthy, fresh food (like salmon and veggies or salads) and comfort-style foods (like keto mac and cheese or cauliflower mash).
It’s also a good idea to prep some keto-friendly desserts just in case you want something sweet. There are tons of recipes out there for single-serve options (like cupcakes or fat bombs) and you can package them in individual containers to prevent you from reaching for extras when you know you don’t need them.
Remember your why
My “why” for keto is that I want to maintiain a healthy lifestyle long-term without pain, so that I can devote lots of time and energy to my family. If certain things, like carby foods, will prevent me from fulfilling my “why,” then I am less likely to do them. Goals are transactional. Everything you do puts you closer to, or further from, your goals. Choose wisely.
Give yourself some grace
Always remember that you’re doing your best. You always do. And when you know you’re not doing your best, you usually take corrective actions to be better. Don’t be mean to yourself, because that does not help you in the long run. Be kind to your body, because it’s already doing a ton of work to keep you going. Take a rest day if you’re worn out. Get a nap if you’re short on sleep. Have a warm bubble bath with some wine so you can relax. You deserve nice things. And you deserve kindness. Remember that.
Uh oh… I’ve already cheated
If you’re reading this after having a meal that you didn’t really plan to have, that isn’t putting you closer to your goals, first you need to stop and take a breath. A second one. And a third. Remember, as we talked about earlier, doing great things involves a great deal of learning. So many people keep from taking the first step toward something great because they’re too scared to fail. Have you ever considered, that if you never take the first step, you’ve already failed? And if you do fail, you’re one step closer to success, because failure is motivating.
If you’ve already cheated, dust yourself off and get back to it. You already know how to start. And you can and will succeed if your “why” is strong enough.
This was 100% real guidance that I use when I get stressed and just want to give up on my goals. I hope this has helped you guys. Will you do me a favor? If this has helped you, please leave a comment below and let me know where you’re from! Community keeps us strong.
Until next time,