Thursday, March 15, 2007

What To Do When You 'Blow It' On Low-Carb

One of the best lessons I have learned since I started livin' la vida low-carb is that nothing you can eat will spell the end of your ability to lose weight ever again. If that were true, then my planned splurges would have spelled the end of my weight loss a LONG time ago. Thankfully, I know better and am 190 pounds lighter as a result! :)

But one desperate new reader was so upset by what I'm simply gonna call "the Pop-Tart and waffle incident" (shhhh, nobody has to know about it--hee hee!) that she wanted to know if she "blew it" after cheating on her low-carb diet.

Here's what she wrote:

Dear Jimmy,

I stumbled upon your web site and it is so encouraging to me! I began my low-carb journey one month ago. I learned that I could eat fruits and veggies and not just cream and butter and eggs all the time (although I like those too).

I am an "older" mother of 2 toddlers and a 12-year old and really thought that my metabolism was such that I could never lose weight. But I have lost 13 pounds so far. Yeah!

I am writing you today for some advice. You see, I feel like I blew my low-carb diet because I ate a Pop-Tart and a waffle! We live out in the country and I had no eggs or sausage and I was starving! Have I blown it for good?

I am very upset at myself. I would appreciate any advice at any time. I know that you are a busy person and a family man. Thanks for your web site and for helping out a fellow low-carber.

Have you ever thought these same kind of things whenever you have "messed up" while livin' la vida low-carb? I'm sure many of you can relate to this which is why I am printing this e-mail and my response to it at my blog today.

Here's what I wrote back to her:

THANK YOU so much for writing to me today and CONGRATULATIONS on making livin' la vida low-carb your preferred method for losing weight and getting healthy for good. YOU CAN DO THIS! :D

Regarding "the Pop-Tart and waffle incident" you had, I'm here to tell you it's all over for you. There's no hope for weight loss in your future so you might as well give up right now...JUST KIDDING! Seriously, messing up on your low-carb plan is natural, but try not to do it if you can by planning ahead of time.

Prepare yourself plenty of low-carb options and get rid of (if you can!) tempting foods like Pop-Tarts and waffles (although there are low-carb options available) so you won't grab for them in a pinch like you did. Keep at least some almonds or macadamia nuts on hand at ALL times as well as other low-carb snacks for when the hunger bug bites. Leaving yourself without options only sets you up for disaster.

So you had some sugar today, huh? That's okay and it's not the end of the world. Just get right back on plan and even go back to Induction-level carbs for a couple of weeks to kickstart ketosis again. Remember, this is a lifestyle change and not a get-thin-quick scheme. When you put in that perspective, then no matter what you do you've never totally "messed up."

Browse around my blog or read my book for more hints and tips on sticking with low-carb even when the going gets tough. You hang in there, my friend. One of these days you will think back fondly to that day you had a Pop-Tart and a waffle and realized you're not just on a diet, but a lasting and permanent health solution plan for your life.

Now get out there and GO FOR IT! :) THANKS so much for writing!

We really are our own worst enemy when it comes to this weight loss game we play with ourselves. People think strict adherence to the diet is the most important issue to bringing about permanent weight loss success and even one little mistake like eating Pop-Tarts and waffles is going to cause some kind of irreparable harm. The thinking goes, well I messed up one meal, I might as well mess up again!

Come on, people! One meal like this is not going to send you spiraling out of control unless you allow it! You still have the ability to come back from it stronger than ever. It's all a matter of keeping your head screwed on straight and never forget this is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE and not just a diet. My reader was right when she said her "diet" was destroyed--now it's time for her to begin living and eating the way she was meant to--the low-carb way, of course!

Be encouraged today, my friends, because you already know livin' la vida low-carb is a healthy way to eat. Even if you encounter a few bumps along the road, you ARE being successful and you WILL make it just like I did. Be smart, make good choices, and NEVER EVER EVER give up on this healthy way of life. Just look at the alternative--remaining obese and unhealthy--and it sorta puts it all in perspective for you.

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Blogger ewe2lamb said...

good grief!! I plan in splurges all the time. But I do not do La Vida Low Carb to lose weight! I do it for my health.

Indeed, I might die from eating a pop tart or a waffle, but not likely. Diabetes makes Low Carb lifestyle a necessity! I really hate when my glucose levels go above 150!

3/15/2007 12:16 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

OMG Jimmy-30 pieces of pizza at one sitting?Your wife really does deserve a lot of credit for sticking by you through thick and thin. Great words of encouragement.Thank you.

3/15/2007 2:03 PM  
Blogger The Bunnell Farm said...

Bravo! I needed that! It may sound pale but this could be the one
ingredient that makes this whole thing sail the whole way. That and
the, never never never, stop eating this way. This deprivation
thing is wearing. Looking forward to one good pig out every now and
then, even if rarely, is a very rewarding prospect. Thanks for sharing
this great discovery. I knew it but I forgot it. Dolly Parton uses the
same technique to make her diet's a success. Those who don't know,
don't really know what it takes to pull this thing off.


3/15/2007 2:13 PM  
Blogger Sparky's Girl said...

Everyone needs to remember one thing: Failure is not falling down. Failure is not getting back up!

All of us have been where she is. We goof and feel like giving up. I messed up many times during my first go round with low-carb. I still managed to reach my goal.

I've goofed a few times this go round as well, but I'm still doing great and hanging in there. Life isn't perfect, and neither are we. If we gave up everytime we messed up, on everything, this world would be in an awful mess. But we don't! We keep going until we've found that cure, tackled that mountain, won the championship, etc.

Sadly we are our own worst enemy when it comes to weight loss. We sabatoge ourselves with negative thinking.

I hope she hangs in there and keeps trying, no matter how many bad days she has. She will get there if she just keeps going!

3/15/2007 2:53 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Jimmy, one recovery method that has worked for me after a one-meal diet breakdown is to invoke one day of all-protein-all-fat-no-carb eating. It may not be necessary to do two weeks of induction - for one meal. On the other hand, anything beyond a day's diet breakdown and induction is a good idea.

3/15/2007 3:29 PM  
Blogger SFDukeXXIX said...

I used to have the same guilt trips, but someone explained it to me this way:

If you're trying to climb a mountain and you have to stop to catch your breath, do you give up and just walk back home? The normal thing to do is to sit down for a while and then continue your journey.

I firmly believe that dieting is the same way. You're not climbing the mountain all at once, just going to the top the best way you can.

3/15/2007 5:10 PM  
Blogger BamaGal said...

In my old life whenever I was on a diet and messed up---I'd say the whole day was shot and just pig out for the rest of the day. A friend on the WLS site I belong to offered this analogy to keep you from throwing it all away after one slip up.
If you go to the fridge to get some eggs and accidently drop one on them floor---do you say oh well and keep dropping them on the floor---or do you clean up and your mess and move on...that has stuck with me all this time--and when I find myself slipping up---hey no one is perfect---I just clean up my mess and move on....

3/15/2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This is such a non-issue. I guess we are still scared and brainwashed by the incredible INeffectiveness of the low-fat regime, which worked so slowly and poorly that we really had to be afraid that a small "binge" would set us back for months. This is becuase the only real weight loss of low-fat was from the self-starvation, not from the low-fat at all. How terribly demoralizing that is.

What i love most about low-carb is that if I fall off the wagon I can completely correct the damage and be back losing weight within 12-24 hours! Low-carb is not just another option folks, it is the only way the mammal body works. You cannot fail on it, and you cannot succeed without it, with few exceptions. The power of low-carb is extremely encouraging and empowering. You don't need to have any fear whatsoever of failing, it is almost impossible to fail for more than a few hours. You can be back in ketosis by your next meal!

3/15/2007 7:56 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

I found that is the biggest problem when going low carb and that is the fact that we can't be beating ourselves up when we "cheat"
The first 8 weeks were the hardest for me because those old habits are still there but after we ALL learn from our mistakes, we know what tiggers we have to look for.

Great advice about keeping things around. Personally at work AND at home, I keep cans of tuna around for when my groceries are low.
It works for me so I hope that helps.

3/15/2007 8:12 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

Here we go with the "I learned that I could eat fruits and veggies and not just cream and butter and eggs all the time (although I like those too)" crap again. Geeze.....

Atkins does NOT speak for all low-carbers out there.

3/16/2007 2:19 AM  

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