Cheat Recovery Success
8+ days of allowing excess carbs, sugar, processed foods, baked goods, alcohol, into my life resulted in 8 lbs gained in 1 week. I was surprised it wasn’t more because I felt sick to my stomach. Fortunately, this being my 3rd year of Keto/Low Carb lifestyle I had learned a lot about my body and wanted to apply what I had learned to this recovery. Here is what I did to get the results. Please note: This is a case where I am RETURNING to a weight I previously achieved and what I consider to be my natural weight on keto (125 – 127 lbs). I say this because it took me months to drop the last 10 lbs during my original weight loss journey when I lost 75 lbs.
Rapid weight gain over a short period means water weight. In a way this is good because waer weight comes on quickly but can be lost quickly when I deal with immediately. When I wait the weight lingers and sometimes the weight keeps climbing.
Fasting/ Stop Snacking
Overeating takes a toll on the body and the most natural way to recover from overeating is fasting. Sometimes overeating causes pain and upset stomach in which case I didn’t want to eat, so fasting was easy. I was able to extend beyond 16 hours because of stomach upset. I used my Keto Mojo blood meter to check my blood glucose and my fasting goal went from a period of hours to “Whenever my BG normalizes and or whenever I actually feel hungry … go for the longer of the two.” My FBG has to be at least low 90s before I will break my fast. My normal FBS is between 80-90 and fasting over 18 hours brings it into the high 60s – love 70s. Knowing this, I wait for my FBS to get under 100 at least before eating again.
Exercise / Keep Moving
The best way to deal with water weight (rapid weight gain) from a exercise perspective is to SWEAT and to use whatever methods tolerable to remove water from the body. I use a waist trainer sweat band. In the past have used sweat vests and even full on sweat suits while doing high intensity cardio. It was definitely INTENSE and felt cleansing because so much sweat/water was pulled out of me. If you want to recover from too much drinking, this is the way to go. It is also amazing for the skin!
Meditation and music. I listen to various guided meditations to help me destress mentally. This makes recovery easier. I focus on positive thoughts and positive messaging/self affirmations to help pull me through the hangover/mental stress that can come with the holidays. Staying up late at night watching TV or surfing can also be stressful and can prevent you from sleeping on time. I use peaceful music (e.g. Zen Garden, wave/ocean/rain sounds) to destress. A hot bath with Epson salt also works wonders at destressing the mind and muscles. I like to use dry brushing and massagers to help destress and decompress. In the past I have also gone to the spa for hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms to destress. This can also be a great reward for your hard work.
Cutting Back on Coffee/Sugary Drinks
My coffee contains 4 to 6 TBS of Heavy Whipping Cream (HWC) and a keto approved sweetener such as Stevia or (my prefered) Monkfuit. Though these have low glycemic impact, I believe too much artificial sweetener can impact weight loss on ANY diet. The true goal of pure keto is to eliminate all sugar, even artificial. I am not there yet but I recognize that coffee (even without sugar) can have adverse affects in other aspects of my health. I tend to be more anxious, I tend to crave more sweets, I sleep later or wake up in the middle of the night.
To cut back on coffee I started my day with a tall glass of water with Apple Cider Vinegar (1 tablespoon). I would alternate between coffee and a tall glass of water which helped me cut back on how much coffee I drank. The goal was to have no more than 2 cups a day with as little or no artificial sugar added.
Eliminate Processed / Cook More
We cooked up all out Green Chef this week and this helped us with potion control.
Our family cannot survive without take out/delivery. Hubby and I are both working professionals with children and we rely on these conveniences to help us when we need them. During recovery we had a winter storm which required the kids to be home again while we worked from home. We ordered things that are low carb such as buffalo wings, burgers no bun, rotisserie chicken and grilled kabobs/meats from Indian restaurant. Yes that is part of what I ate during recovery. I could never do this with low fat diets otherwise I’d be ordering grilled chicken salads every single time.
Set Realistic Goals
I didn’t go into this expecting to lose the cheat week weight this quickly because the mental pressure makes it tough for me. I set a realistic expectation of 1.5 months (Feb 14th) to lose 8 lbs. The water weight factor made it do able and when I made this estimate it as also based on high stress periods and travel dates/events that normally cause an uptick in my weight. Your goals should motivate you. In many cases a goal should be broad such as
I Avoided Bars, Shakes & Packaged foods
Every body is different. Many claim to live by keto protein bars but to me they are nothing but candy bars disguised in gym shorts. I gave them a try this summer and they didn’t agree with me. They made my sugar cravings worse and despite what the label said, they knocked me out of ketosis or caused me to have a terrible stomach ache. My only aim to add these was to have an option for busy days when lunch is not an option. It ended up delaying my weightloss, discouraging me overall, worsening my cravings and making me feel that my full day of effort was busted because of processed food. I also avoided sugar free gum, diet soda, any kind of snack food.
Eggs are one of my favorite forms of protein and they are delicious when you get creative. We love deviled eggs made with sugar free mayo to keep them low carb. We even add bacon either on the side or chopped on top. I also love to use left over dinner meat as an omelette filling the next day at brunch. Ground meats are especially good for this. I have even used pepperoni for a pizza omelette which was exceptional! Best of all, eggs are inexpensive and you can purchase quality eggs in bulk at most Costco or farmer’s markets.
Get Extra Sleep
Sleeping off a hangover from food extends a fasting window but on workout days, I make sure to get enough sleep to recover from the workouts. Weight loss occurs in recovery. We slept in late on holidays and weekend, enjoyed naps, and on weekdays, we went to bed earlier. Easy with it getting dark so early in the winter.
It can be tough to stay motivated the first day back from a cheat. It can be demotivating to the point that I want to quit before I have really begun. One of the things that keeps me motivated is progress photos from the past. They help remind me that it takes work and gives me the boost I need to know I can do it … I did it before.
Cute workout clothes
One of the benefits of working out at home is that I can get away with wearing as much or as little as I want. Wearing cute workout gear somehow puts a smile on my face and makes me feel good about myself. Every day I workout I feel the difference in my shape and I see how the weight loss slowly brings back the definition. Very motivating!
Blogging and following keto groups/threads. I also have a Pinterest board of Keto/LCHF recipes (over 500). I keep adding to them and this keeps me motivated.
Social Media: Following others on their keto journey online and helping others through my personal experience. Connecting with others and learning from them and motivating them makes me happy.
Photos of my own beautiful keto food – When I stop to look at my gallery of keto food I realize how lucky I am to have the luxury of eating like a queen everyday. My foods are interesting, thanks to the Green Chef food service and I have lots of nearby takeout/delivery options that agree with my keto/LowCarb lifestyle.
This site: This site has over 140 posts and I am proud of the content I have put out in the past year. This site is my hobby and my love and keeping it current is motivating.