Getting Back on Track after the Holidays

Even with the best intentions, sticking to a food plan through the holidays can be challenging. The endless parties, the cravings set off by plates of pastries, the awkwardness of asking the host for an ingredient list — it can be overwhelming.

The first thing to remember is that you are not alone. Many of us struggle with food — and this struggle is often wrapped up in self-image and self-worth. We can be quick to shame ourselves for giving in to our temptations, for not having the strength to commit to our goals.

It is important, however, to acknowledge these feelings. Dieting is not just a physical journey but also an emotional one. Take a private moment to relax, breathe, and let yourself feel. How do you feel about your goals? Where you are and where you’d like to be? What about when you lose control over what food you eat? Don’t worry about solving anything — focus on truly connecting with the feelings that bubble up. Keeping them under wraps, ignoring them altogether, or, even worse, shaming ourselves for them will only create complications and stress.

Next, it is important to recognize that we are not failures for not sticking to our food plan. Setbacks are only just that — we may have taken a few steps back from reaching our goals, but this doesn’t mean we aren’t still on the path. Remember that you’ve put yourself on this path in the first place, which is something always worth celebrating.

One particularly difficult part during periods of lapse is keeping track of how much we’ve lapsed. Filling out a daily log after a holiday party might feel like it only serves to remind us of our mistakes, but it plays an important part in building the skills and confidence needed to tackle our next challenges. These moments are not failures, but rather opportunities to learn. Just like taking a moment to connect with your feelings, filling out your log can give you the space to consider the challenges you faced and how you responded.

So, the holidays aren’t quite done. What to do? First, figure out what works for you to make it through to the new year. Maybe you choose to commit to keto-approved foods and drinks just during the short respite before New Year’s Eve parties. Maybe you’d like to set aside careful measuring of food during the bustle of the holidays. The new year is just around the corner — continue filling out your daily log with as much information as you can and return to your macros with focus in 2018!