It’s currently 26th March 2020, and the world is changing. We have somehow created a war we cannot win with force, but instead by staying at home (for those who can). It’s time to take our diets back to basics.
With that in mind, I want to take some of the stress off your back. I’m talking about the stress to try and stick with a ketogenic diet if you are currently finding it tough.
I want to bring you back to basics (#backtobasics). I’m talking meat and three vegetables, or even making pickled vegetables to ensure they last longer. Let’s stop worrying about how many carbs are in real food, let’s just worry about putting food on the table.
But packaged food lasts longer? Sure, if all you can get is packaged food, we can make this work too. In a world with shortages, creativity is your best asset.
Here is a short overview to help you jump to a specific section:
Back To Basics #BackToBasics
There are a few key concepts that will help you build up your immune system, and keep you healthy in these tough times. These concepts are simple, but they may not be easy, so do as many as you can without compromising.
Eat A Simple Diet
With lockdowns and other restrictions, it’s important not to place shame around food choices. Whether that be the food choices of your family, or most importantly food choices for yourself.
Real food is fuel. Treating real foods as inherently “good” or “bad” is unnecessary stress at this time.
- Meat and three vegetables
- Tinned / Canned seafood (salmon, oysters, tuna etc)
- Eat fresh vegetables if possible, otherwise, frozen vegetables are also great
- If starchy vegetables are all that is available, eat them. (potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin etc)
- If you are concerned about eating carbohydrates (as the ketogenic diet has taught some of us to fear them), think about eating them around the time of a home workout. Put those carbs to good use! #smartcarbs
Get Enough Sleep
Getting sleep is so important for your body. Sleep deprivation can cause appetite dysregulation, fatigue and accelerated wear and tear just by doing everyday regular tasks.
- Stay in bed for 8-9 hours
- Don’t stress about being asleep for the whole time, your body will get as much sleep as it needs
- Leave your phone in a different room, and make sure the TV is turned off at least 1 hour before bedtime.
If you are someone who is currently tracking your macros, I would suggest bringing your overall energy intake back up to maintenance. If you don’t know what your maintenance is, you can use my Macro Calculator to help you figure this out.
Being in a caloric deficit is stressful, and is unnecessary during this time.
If you are someone who does NOT currently track macros, I would suggest trying the hunger rating system. The system is explained below, but you want to be eating because you’re hungry, not because you are bored.
I find that mindful eating can be a helpful process after following a strict diet guideline (like a strict keto diet, or consistent macro tracking).
- Write down what you eat for each meal
- Try to give each meal a “fullness” rating 20 minutes after finishing
- Follow your goals
- Weight loss? – Aim for 1 – 5
- Maintenance – Aim for 3 – 7
*If you are struggling with stress eating, or using food as an emotional coping mechanism, I would suggest seeking help either by reading “Brain over Binge” by Katheryn Hansen, or “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Ruben, or alternatively speaking to someone in person at The Butterfly Foundation national helpline.
Get Some Exercise
This one doesn’t have to be complicated. Pick an exercise and do it. Walking, running, cycling and indoor bodyweight exercises are fantastic! Here is a great youtube video that you might find helpful.
Don’t Drink Too Much
Ordinarily, drinking in moderation is okay, but moderation can be a blurry line. What is moderation? What is too much?
Keep this in mind: Consumption of alcohol is immune-suppressing, meaning you weaken your immune system by introducing a toxin that your liver has to process. If I were you, I’d avoid drinking altogether if you can.
Here are some key facts from the World Health Organisation about alcohol:
- Worldwide, 3 million deaths every year result from harmful use of alcohol, this represents 5.3 % of all deaths.
- The harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions.
- There is a causal relationship between the harmful use of alcohol and a range of mental and behavioural disorders, other noncommunicable conditions as well as injuries.
What Can I Do Right Now?
Here are some key takeaways that you can implement right now to ensure you are best prepared whilst taking it back to basics.
- Eat a simple diet, mostly containing real food
- Turn off TV/phones 1 hour before bedtime
- Eat at caloric maintenance, either by tracking or by using the hunger system.
- Go for a walk every day, attempt to get 10,000 steps.
- Don’t consume alcohol.
We will all get through this. Remember to practice social distancing where you can. Together we can get through.
If you need someone to talk to, remember you Contact Me! I’m here for you.