We’ve been away, lucky buggers, to France for a skiing holiday. The only problem, and I know I’m ungrateful, is I just don’t like skiing very much. A couple of years ago I learnt to ski (and documented it here) and got to the point where I can get down a hill in one piece. But it ain’t totally natural! Or fun for that matter.

I had a lesson on this trip to boost my confidence and while I got on fine, I just don’t like steep hills. So after the 3 hours we were up the mountain my legs were exhausted from bracing at all times! I know I just need more practise and young Hannah would be horrified by my lack of get up and go, but this holiday didn’t seem to be the one it was going to happen on.

Mike has been lovely about it and let me loaf around while the kids get on great in ski school and he goes off on his own exploring.

Loafing around

But loaf is the operative word here and, in between working on my blog, I’ve been left wondering about my relationship with bread and all those other yummy things you find here in France. Because without the skiing, I think I’ve put on about 7 unwanted lbs…

Halton Castle - a visit to this privately owned Castle in NorthumberlandAt home I have learnt to seriously steer clear of pretty much all carby goods. Since giving up drinking 6 months ago, carbs have become my nemesis. A little toast for breakfast and I’ll be craving sugar for the rest of the day. It starts with a 10am sugar crash, which leaves me feeling weird and jittery. It’s all I can think about and I’ve been known to secretly eat 3 kitkat chunkies in one go. I’m ashamed to say it but, much like my drinking became a problem with no off switch, so too has my sugar eating. Rather than full filling my dream of losing weight when I stopped drinking, I put a stone on in the first couple of months!!

So, much as it sounds drastic, for me I know sugar has to go in all it’s carby glory if I’m going to avoid my visions of being hauled out of my house by crane. And this week in France has helped proved that.

Baguettes. Mmmm. Croissants. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

A morsel of either and my ‘off switch’ takes a vacation.

Enter the Keto Diet

For the 2 weeks prior to my birthday I had it nailed. I was following a free 2-week Keto Diet Plan from Diet Doctor and from day 1 my sugar cravings had gone. Like not a hint.

Praise all the sugar-free gods!

The meals were filling and delicious, I wasn’t hungry between meals or really thinking much about food. Oh and I lost 6lbs.

It does take some getting used to as this diet is higher in fat than most and, of course, you aren’t eating carbs, beyond lots of veggies. But that suits me. Greens for breakfast is my idea of heaven.

Cheer up your veg with this Heavenly Herb and Garlic Butter Recipe - super simple and ready in minutes.

 

Then my birthday happened…

Mike was away climbing Kilimanjaro (which I wrote about here) but he sent me some beautiful flowers with a big box of chocolates. Over the course of the day my brain got louder and louder telling me it was my birthday, indulge!

“You can start again tomorrow!”

I ate 4 chocolates in quick succession and nearly made myself sick.

That’s all it took and I’ve been struggling to get back on the sugar-free wagon since.

Brain Stuff

Apparently, according to The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb, when you get used to something giving you pleasure the neural pathway in your brain becomes like a motorway (made easier by more addictive substances such as sugar and alcohol). Each time you get pleasure you’re making the journey even easier, widening the lanes, filling in potholes.

For some this motorway will be for booze (I imagine after 6 months off the drink my pathway is like one of those motorways to an abandoned city in Japan – there’s some foliage growing on the edges but the road is still very much there and easy to pass), for others it’s porn, and for many they will feel much as I do when faced with a box of chocolate or haribo.

Get in my face.

And if you’re having a bad day (or a good day for that matter), your brain is quick to suggest your chosen vice or happiness quick fix to help.

The temptation personalities

You may be wondering, and this is perfectly valid, why on earth can’t she just have one and then stop. And this could be because you’re a different personality type (when it comes to temptation) than me. Did you know there are two types?

There are Moderators or Abstainers (you can take this all or nothing quiz to see which you are) and it all comes down to how you feel deprivation.

I first read about this in Gretchen Rubin’s book Better than Before (all about forming new and better habits – loved it) and knew straight off the bat; I’m an Abstainer through and through. I find life a lot easier if I just cut out the bad stuff rather than moderate it (probably why Slimming World didn’t work for me. That syns system was like torture!). If alcohol/sugar isn’t an option, it removes it from my brain. No deprivation felt.

If you think I’m mental, you might be a Moderator!

Conclusion

So, the lure of it being my birthday and having “done so well” over the past couple of weeks pushed me back onto the sugary motorway to doomsville. I’ve been struggling to get back on my nice riverside pathway of low-carb loveliness since.

And, those damn French with their delicious crepes and pastry goods did not help! (As I was part way through writing this, Mike came in and said shall we go into Chamonix and get some crepes. I was like, “Is the Pope a Catholic?” No hope.)

So, long story short, if you suffer from crazy sugar cravings and you’re an Abstainer personality, I would highly recommend giving the low-carb, high-fat Keto diet a try.

As a side note, I’ve done different types of low-carb diets and I found this one by far the most satisfying and best reducer of sugar cravings… it’s nice to lose a little weight but by far the best thing is feeling in control of my cravings.

On that note, I hope you’ve had a lovely Easter and enjoyed an egg or two (chocolate or chicken)!

Since we’ve been back I’ve managed to get back on it and I feel so much better for it.

Here are some helpful Keto resources I’ve found along the way…

LOADS of recipes: Ruled.me (they also do a 30 day meal plan where you pay what you want for it)

Loved this granola recipe from Gnom Gnom – it’s been ideal when I fancy pudding or something crunchy. BTW you can also have berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) with full fat yogurt.

Here is my Low Carb Pinterest Board for lots of recipes and ideas.

And of course, as mentioned above, there’s Diet Doctor, who’s 2 week plan I followed. There’s also loads of recipes that you can access for free.

Have you ever tried the Keto Diet? How did you get on?

And how about those personality types – which are you, Moderator or Abstainer?!