9. Transitioning safely back to your new normal

There is going to come a point, probably sooner than you’d planned where you realise that your food holiday, lovely and brilliant as it has been(and you will feel AMAZING) is going to have to end. Your dirty washing will have to be bundled up and you need to get home to your normal routines. You need to do it without scaring the shit out of your body.

If you have been feeding your body the way I fed mine, you are now going to have to teach your body that there are breaks between food and to learn to manage those breaks. And the activity contained within them. You may have a very short time to do this, planning in poverty is rarely linear and with the best will in the world, there may be crisis that supercede your need to keep treating this. Especially as you are likely to feel more marvellous than you have in ages. Once you feel marvellous you will find it more difficult to justify sweeping everything off your priority list and the wolves will probably start baying at the door, upset at your lack of attention to them.

How many calories are you working towards?

You should by now, know how many calories you will be taking in when you are slowly trying to gain weight, how many you are aiming for. You need to get to there safely. If your budget is likely to be interrrupted you need to get to the within a reasonable distance of the calorie intake you are likely to have. So you don’t crash and burn.

You should also have established what you will need as a safety net.

Day 1

How to do this

By now you will have evolved some routines, a breakfast routine, a snacking routine, a way to deal with hunger pangs. Now you need to go back to food at intervals. Decide which points in the day are intervals at which you will have food, this may be traditional mealtimes, might be breakfast, tea with the kids and then sit down at 8pm, it may not, depends on your life. Decide those points and then have enough nutritious snacks  available to manage hunger in between. The  first thing you are killing is the food holiday gluttony, you can’t just eat what you want for a couple of days, some of it has to be cut out.

Snack all the time, raw veg, fruit, nuts, porridge, cereal, toast, eggs, and keep an eye on what is useful. If you have been at about 3-4000 calories a day you are probably sick to the back teeth of it anyway. Gradually drift as closely back to what will be your normal routine, treating food as fuel for your activities, responding to hunger pangs but remaining fairly satisfied. To within 3=400 calories.

Try to do this as gradually as you can, and if the pressure is financial, consider how much of that energy you can replace with cheap staples and do it more gradually. Prepare for sharp drops in energy and make sure you have snacks available.

Then you should just be able to get on with your life and take some new routines with you. Remember, tea and roll ups are not food groups.


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