What a fantastic break over Christmas and what a wonderful year this will be for us all. I took a few weeks off to celebrate with family and friends over the Christmas and New Years holidays. During this time, I went off my low carbohydrate diet, enjoying all sorts of carbohydrate loaded badies (not goodies) and I’ve put on a few kg as a result. I enjoyed my holidays but I knew that as soon as I was back to my normal routine that I would get straight back into a low carbohydrate lifestyle and to be honest I have actually been really looking forward to it. Going back to my old high carbohydrate eating habits has brought back a lot of the old physical symptoms that I couldn’t stand having before, and which were the reason I went to low carbohydrate eating in the first place. It’s been a reminder of how bad I feel when I am eating carbohydrates and has brought home to me the importance of sticking to a maintenance diet once I do reach my goal weight to ensure I keep as close to that weight as possible.
We have spoken before about Ketosis and how it works on the How Your Body Processes Foods page. As soon as you come out of Ketosis and your body begins to use carbohydrate as your main source of fuel, everything you put in your mouth contributes to your body weight. We have discussed before that carbohydrate is digested into simple sugars and used as an energy source to fuel your body. Consuming too much and the wrong types of carbohydrate is as good as sitting down to a bowl of refined sugar. Those carbohydrates that offer only energy and no nutritional content are easy to consume in large amounts but will ultimately go straight back onto your body as stored fat. I hope that reading the page noted above helps explain how Ketosis works and how eating a high sugar and high carbohydrate diet may be the cause of a lot of health problems. The last few weeks have proven to me that it’s critical to have a plan when going off Ketosis as you can expect that you will gain some weight depending on what types of foods you include in your new diet. If you choose to go low carbohydrate you will never be able to back to your old way of eating or you can expect to put on weight just as you did before.
Last January I made my mind up to make a change in my life as I couldn’t look at my reflection in the mirror any more, I couldn’t stand the pain my body was in and the constant negative self-talk my mind was bombarding me with. I couldn’t stand that my children were asking me to run around with them and I couldn’t, and that I was too ashamed to go to the local pool with them as I couldn’t find swimmers that I felt comfortable in. I was totally out of control body, mind and spirit and I wanted to get back in control of my life and back in the driver’s seat. I consciously made the choice that I couldn’t continue to live like that anymore. I was no longer going to accept the obese version of myself for the rest of my life, I wanted more for myself. I wanted to live to the fullest while my children were still little, to show them that as a grown adult you can take full responsibility for your actions and your life and choose to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Only you can make the choice to completely change the path that you’re on. No-one else can do that for you, You are in complete control!! If you have tried all sorts of diets to lose weight before without success, if you want to get your sugar intake, blood sugar or blood pressure under control and feel your best then try a low carbohydrate lifestyle, what do you have to lose? Make the choice to commit to just four weeks. Four weeks to try a low carbohydrate diet and to see and feel the benefits for yourself. This is your year for change.
There are a few things that you need to sort out before starting any lifestyle change for either general health or weight loss, especially one that involves food. As I’ve mentioned I’ve always had problems with overeating and carbohydrate addiction (Yes, I am the one that can’t open a bag of confectionary without eating the whole bag). Drugs, alcohol and cigarettes are things that you can get through the day without relying on if you haven’t already formed an addiction. Food however is something that we need to consume several times a day to ensure our bodies are working at our peak, and eating is not something we can avoid. If we have had a toxic relationship with food over our lifetime we need to make significant changes to our lives to change this permanently and ensure we break the cycle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a diet to only lose interest when the results weren’t there or to give up because it was too hard. These diet attempts were based on just changing the foods I put in my mouth and back in those days, high carbohydrate and low fat were the focus. Thank goodness, we know more now about how the human body utilises the food we consume. Finally, we are looking at the bigger picture of overall health, recognising how our mental health, stress, lack of sleep, and environmental factors impact the big picture. To change our lifestyle for the better and to do it permanently, it’s essential to look at the big picture as a whole.
So where to begin?? Changing your diet is something that you can begin straight away using the Introduction to Low Carbohydrate Foods for Ketosis list as your starting point. You should also take yourself to your local GP and have a checkup including weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and lactic acid levels so you have a good picture of your current health. To give myself the best chance at changing my eating habits for the long term I found I needed to look closer at what I wanted from life and what I wanted to change. I needed to look at my current life and identify which areas I was no longer going to accept and which areas needed immediate change. Once I did this I had the full picture and I could break down my goals into smaller more manageable steps. I found this approach really helpful and quite therapeutic to get it all out and I chose writing in a basic workbook or journal to do it. Writing my thoughts on paper allowed me to keep a record and go back to my lists when I needed inspiration or if I was having a bad day to remind me of where I came from and what I had achieved. Try to find some time to yourself, somewhere comfortable and quiet where you are able to focus on yourself for a while. Once you have identified where you are now and where you wish to head you can get stuck into the journey.
In my next blog I’m going to talk about my favourite book which helped me identify the most important goals I wanted to achieve and how I could change my habits to achieve these goals.