This has been quite an interesting week with such a bizarre turn of events in a short time. So many of us are at home for a couple of weeks, which brings along new challenges when following a keto or low carb diet. In this post, I’ll give you tips about how to eat healthy when stuck at home.
How to Eat Healthy When Stuck at Home
I don’t know what it is about the uncertainty of our world that makes me want comfort food and to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies. If you’ve been struggling staying keto or low carb, you aren’t alone. I polled the Easy Keto Low Carb Recipes Facebook page, and while there were many sticking to the keto lifestyle, there were equally as many struggling. It’s easy to stress eat when everything we’ve known is suddenly up in the air. How do you eat healthy when stuck at home?
In full disclosure, I haven’t eaten perfectly for the past few days. I’ll do great most of the day, then find myself giving in here, and there later in the afternoon and into the evening. Even if it is just a handful of my kids’ Cheetos or a small cookie, those little bites add up, and before I know it, I find myself, saying what the heck., I’ve already screwed up today I might as well eat whatever I want, which is never a good route for me.
When I go off plan for several days, it makes me physically feel yucky. My stomach gets all bloated, my clothes don’t fit as well, and my energy levels are lower. With not knowing how long we will be home, I know I have to feel my best. Healthy eating is essential to my overall well being. Otherwise, I know it would begin to affect me mentally.
Since I know that there are many who might be dealing with the same struggles, I thought I’d share a couple of different tips that might help all of us to eat healthy when we are stuck at home during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history.
Tips to Eating Healthy During a Challenging Season
1. Resolve & Discipline Always Win – Sticking to a healthy eating lifestyle goes far beyond motivation. As I mentioned in this post about what making my bed taught me about weight loss, motivation is fickle, and it is based on emotions and circumstances. Motivation will fail me, especially in our current situation, not knowing a definite end in sight. I have to resolve and make up my mind to stick with daily disciplines over and over that bring success. Giving in to temporary desires over and over (hello Oreos) never truly makes me feel better.
2. Remember Your Why & Your Wins – When temptation hits, which it surely will remember your why and your wins. Why did you start following a keto or low carb diet? What milestones have you accomplished along the way? Have you gone down a size? No longer controlled by sweets? Have more energy than you used to have? Write these things down if you have to so that they are a constant reminder of why you should continue on your healthy eating journey despite the fact that your life might look very different right now.
3. Switch from Keto to Low Carb – If you have been strict keto and cannot seem to get back on track, perhaps switching to more of a low carb lifestyle might be helpful. By doing so, you’ll give yourself a bit more leeway and a few more carbs a day. You also won’t have to focus on staying in ketosis. Eating low carb instead of keto might be the ticket that gives you enough freedom for success. If you aren’t familiar with how they are different, Low Carb vs. Keto: Differences and Benefits is a great resource.
4. Plan Ahead – If you find yourself struggling because there is suddenly more food in the house that you wouldn’t normally eat, planning just might help you stay on track. Plan meals and snacks with healthy alternatives. For example, if everyone else is eating pizza, make a delicious crustless pizza or pizza chaffles. That way, you can satisfy your cravings and stay on track.
Also, if you meal prep ahead of time, you won’t be without healthy food options. Here are five simple steps to meal prep that will make cooking meals easier when you get weary of cooking.
5. Keep Easy Keto Treats & Snacks on Hand – When you are home all day every day, it’s easy to succumb to mindless eating and snacking at some point. There are so many wonderful recipes for keto sweets and snacks, but sometimes I just want something I can grab quickly without getting the kitchen dirty again. With being home for an extended amount of time, all of us will likely be cooking more, so having easy options we can grab and enjoy may help us not grab our kid’s snacks. Here are a few of my favorite keto snacks I like to keep in my pantry. If you can’t find them locally or don’t want to get out, Amazon is a great option.
- Keto Granola
- Whisp Cheese Crisps
- Choc Zero Premium Milk Chocolate Pieces
- Lily’s Chocolate Variety 6 Pack Candy Bars
- Lily’s Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cups
- Lakanto Sugar-Free Chocolate Bark
- Lily’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
- Moon Cheese
6. Pick a Day – I wouldn’t normally suggest this, but desperate times call for more options. Pick one day a week or every two weeks, where you enjoy carbs without guilt. Maybe you would like to spend one day a week baking with your kids but have avoided it because you don’t feel strong enough to say no to special treats. In this case, maybe picking one day a week to have a baking day or comfort food cooking day with the family would give you enough options to be able to stick to keto or low carb the other six days. If you don’t think you could get back on track after a day off plan, then this option would not be a good choice for you.
7. Pick a Nonnegotiable Start Date – With a recent run on groceries, you might not be able to stock up on low carb pantry foods you normally eat. Or, you may need a short time of adjustment with everything else feeling out of control before recommitting to healthy eating. In any case, set a new start date. On this day, you’ll get back on track, no questions. What that might look like is this, ” For the next two weeks I’m going to figure out our new homeschool schedule, stock up on low carb groceries once stores restock, and get my feet under me again. Then, exactly two weeks from today, I’m going back to eating low carb.”
A few days before your new start date, begin a meal plan and grocery shop to set yourself up for success. If you need meal ideas, here is a list of over 90 free keto meal plans you can access anytime. Having a start date will also give you time to mentally prepare for the change.
8. Begin & Stick with a New Exercise Routine – Now that our schedules are no longer full of kids’ sports activities, school activities, homeschool groups, church, youth group gatherings, etc. we have a lot more time to do things we’ve been putting off due to lack of time. When I am consistently exercising, it helps me to make better food choices as I don’t want to undo all the hard work I’ve done. There are lots of 30-Day Exercise Challenges on Pinterest that are easy to begin. Even 20 minutes of exercise a day helps me to think differently about the foods I put in my body. Here is a Pinterest Board full of different exercise programs and sculpting programs in case you need inspiration.
9. Give Yourself Grace Upon Grace – We’ve never faced this type of crisis before in our lifetime. I don’t know that anyone knows how to maneuver the changes that have happened in our world. Most of us aren’t used to being stuck in our homes for extended periods. You may need a time of adjustment first before you can get settled and determined to get back on track. If so, that is okay. There is no shame or judgment. In this case, don’t forget to make taking care of yourself and staying healthy a priority, even if it takes you a bit to refocus while the dust settles around you.
All Is Not Lost
If you are struggling, all is not lost. Simply, choose how you can eat healthy while stuck at home. What you do might not look like what the next person is doing, but you have to find what you can stick to amid new challenges.
I’m hitting my reset button today and recommitting to staying on track. I’ll stick to more low carb than keto, for a short time at least; perhaps I’ll go back to keto as we get settled into our new normal. Since I am at my goal weight, I may even choose an off-plan day once every week or two and enjoy making (and eating) family recipes that have been handed down through generations that aren’t low carb with my children. I may even assign my older kids a night to cook dinner (it’s an important life skill after all) and just enjoy what they choose to cook without guilt. I can assure you if my son is cooking cauliflower WILL NOT be on the menu. lol
Relish the Time & Make Memories
Most of all, I want to enjoy this time with my family, make memories we might not have taken the time to make if we weren’t stuck at home, and relish this time together. I’ll still eat healthily, just not as strict as I normally would so that I don’t come out of this having gained weight. I just don’t want it to be something I think about constantly, or that controls me. This season in our home will be dedicated to time together and memory-making.
When you get weary remember, every storm runs out of rain. There will be a new season.