It took a few years, but my friends and family are very supportive of my diet and fasting. In fact, most of them try to watch their intake of refined carbs and fast here and there throughout most of the year. Notice how I say MOST of the year. They rarely stick to it during the holidays, which makes it difficult for me when I’m trapped in a house full of gingerbread on Christmas Day.
Regardless of how supportive (or unsupportive) our family members are during the holidays, we are still bombarded with temptation. I often feel like my mother’s home is a crack house on Christmas Day, and I’m a recovering crack addict. Just replace the crack with crackers in my case. It can be really tempting to go off the deep end with carbs during this time of year when we’re surrounded by all these treats.
My biggest issue over the years has been the “all or nothing” syndrome. I either eat ALL the processed carbs or NONE of the processed carbs. Note how I say processed carbs. I’ve ever eaten enough brussels sprouts to kick me out of ketosis (fat burning).
If I caved and had one cracker, then I ended up eating the box of crackers. I would think “to hell with it!” A few hours later I would feel sick, tired and would be very upset with myself for what I had done. This would often lead to several days of bad eating before I would get back on track, often undoing a lot of the good progress I had made.
I had to come with terms that I couldn’t be all in with my diet 100% of the time. If I kept up that mentality, I would only yo-yo in weight and never really make any improvement in my health. Pizza is going to happen. Duck fat French fries are going to happen. Ginger bread cookies at Christmas are going to happen. Crackers are going to be at almost every party not hosted at my own home. These foods are going to be available until the entire world gets onboard with my lifestyle.
Soon as I changed my mentality, I started to shed the pounds and experience all the benefits of fasting and being in fat burning mode (ketosis) that I wasn’t experiencing before. It also made me “cheat” a lot less. I could have French fries if I really wanted them on occasion, they were no longer a completely forbidden food. This made it a lot easier to turn down subpar French fries or fries cooked in extra terrible fats during special feasts. Same with breads, crackers and ginger bread cookies. Also, I wouldn’t be as compelled to eat the entire box of crackers or cookies because I hadn’t “blown it”.
Switching to this mentality isn’t easy. It took a couple of years for me to embrace the idea that “all or nothing” wasn’t a sustainable way of living. In the meantime, I had to come up with strategies for myself to help me get back on track after a holiday meal that ended up in the consumption of too much sugar
Protocol for getting back on track after a few too many carbs: Fasting
*Make sure you always consult with your doctor before you do any sort of fasting
As we become more accustomed to this way of eating and receive more acceptance from our families, the more likely we’re going to be able to stick to it throughout the holidays. We may not be perfect nor do we have to be during times of celebration.
- Drink plenty of water before bed – hot, cold, room temperature, flat or sparking. Just drink water.
- Drink more water again in the morning.
- Have a large cup of home-made broth (I use chicken bone broth) or drink pickle juice first thing in the morning and then every three to four hours throughout the day.
- Drink two cups of water for every cup of tea and coffee you drink throughout the day but try to keep the tea and coffee consumption to a minimum.
- If you’re struggling to fast, then add some fat to your tea or coffee. Heavy cream, butter, ghee, coconut oil and MCT oil are great fats to include.
Protocol for getting back on track after more than a few carbs: Meal timing
Sometimes we get a little carried away during the feast without going wild. You might think you’ll be safe to fast the next day but are really struggling with food cravings and headaches. You don’t need to jump into a fast right away after a feast. This is my preferred protocol to follow after I consume any excess carbs during a celebratory meal with friends and family.
- DO NOT SNACK! Get back to basics and focus on meal timing. Eat a low carb, healthy fat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Try to eat your heaviest meal at lunchtime.
- Try to eat your dinner earlier on in the evening if you can,
- Between meals stick to water, tea, coffee, broth and pickle juice.
- Drink two cups of water for every cup of tea and coffee you drink throughout the day but try to keep the tea and coffee intake to a minimum.
Protocol for getting back on track after A LOT of carbs: Fat fasting
One of the biggest problems I see is when people feel SO BAD about overdoing it with the carbs, that they decide they’re going to do a long fast after. Don’t. You’re likely going to get too dehydrated and feel miserable. This is where the fat fasting is your best tool to get you back on track. You’ll find that it takes usually between three and seven days to get you back on track. You’ll still drop those holiday pounds when you fat fast too!
– Megan Ramos, IDM Program Director
By The Fasting Method
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