We’ve all been there; that 3pm energy slump, when your blood sugar and resolve are at their lowest, and the chips or candy bar in the office vending machine beckon temptingly. Or maybe it’s a holiday get-together, and your great-aunt is standing over you with a plate of her famous apple pie. The first thing to remember is that Atkins is not a quick-fix crash diet. The new healthy habits you are learning will hopefully become a lifestyle. There aren’t any “forbidden” foods, but there are foods that will put you on the path to fat burning and weight loss, and other foods that will stop your progress right in its tracks. It’s up to you to decide if that bag of chips or slice of pie is worth it to you. You can have a day of indulgence, but then it could take you four days to get back into fat-burning mode. Is it worth losing a week of burning fat just for a few tempting treats? There is good news. If you read last week’s Constant Craving blog, you learned that new research shows that as you decrease your carb intake, the cravings for those very carbs will begin to decrease. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to make it easier to stay on the path to fat burning and weight loss:
- Plan ahead. Make sure you have healthy snacks readily available, which will make it less likely for you to stray. If someone brings donuts to the morning meeting, grab an Atkins Advantage bar instead. Bring some of your favorite Atkins-friendly recipes to family gatherings, and keep your body fueled with the foods that keep you in the fat-burning zone.
- Eat regularly. This is huge. Your blood sugar drops when you skip meals, and your primeval response to this hunger is the urge to eat anything. Eat three meals a day, and two snacks of your choice. This will help keep your hunger in check, and make it easier for you to make good choices.
- Focus on progress, not perfection. It’s inevitable that you might stray at one point. This is OK. But don’t use this as an excuse to give on up on Atkins. Get right back on track with your next meal.
- Make sure you are consuming adequate fat. Meat & fish, poultry with skin, avocado, nuts if you are in phase two, butter and olive oil! It's amazing how much better you will feel with adequate fat and protein.
It’s a Learning Experience
Many people find out that once they succumb to a moment of temptation, it’s really not worth it. The food that used to be a regular part of your life, whether its cookies, crackers, candy or French fries, may now make you feel awful. Your body has become accustomed to healthy foods and carefully chosen carbs; re-introducing white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, even for a moment, can throw this careful balance out of whack. Your moment of temptation may actually strengthen your resolve once you realize that these foods just don’t taste that great any more. With this being said, eventually, once you reach your goal weight, I will show you some ways you can plan ahead for little indulgences, whether it’s a long-awaited vacation or your great-aunt’s famous apple pie.
Share And Share Alike
Have you ever strayed during your experience with Atkins? What were the results, and what did you do to get back on track? I’d love to hear! Please share your thoughts with the Atkins Community and also let me know what you’d like to hear about in the future.