We're headed for the end of the year, all the holidays, and all the stress that comes along with navigating the season. Do you struggle with staying on track through all the events and parties? Today, I want to give you my five favorite and easy tips to help you stay on track and keep the holiday food stress to nil.
1. Don't Say the "K" Word
Whether you're new to keto or fairly seasoned, staying keto while at parties and events can often bring us unwanted attention, and it can run the gamut; from people asking how it's going, to Aunt Susie demanding you treat yourself with her famous fruit cake. It's a lot easier for most people to just eat what you're going to eat (keto, of course!), and avoid the conversation topic of your eating habits altogether. And while we love it when people are genuinely interested in our lifestyle, the holiday dinner table is probably not the most ideal time to have those discussions. Unless you are ready and willing to have a potentially uncomfortable conversation over the turkey, it's probably best avoid evangelizing.
2. All-In is Easier than 99%
When you commit to 100%, you make success your only option. It's significantly easier to make you are making choices to be proud of when you enter any circumstance with this mindset. However, as soon as you start compromising by taking that one bite, or having that one dessert, you are setting yourself up for a dangerous mind game. Suddenly, you are focused on which bite, meal, or dessert you're going to pick. The answer should be none! When you go all-in, you will feel proud and empowered by maintaining complete control of all your choices. This can bring you a joyful peace of mind through the holiday season. And remember, pride feels better than regret!
3. Bring a Side Dish
If you're headed out to a gathering and you're unsure if they will have any low carb sides, bring your own. Meats are pretty common and easily found, but the sides tend to be much more complicated; you could conceivably find nothing friendly outside of the meat. Bringing at least one side dish that you know you can enjoy without compromising your health is the perfect pre-emptive antidote! Your side could be anything you like, from a fancy salad to a low carb casserole. Just let your hosts know you are excited to share something you really enjoy with the company, so you don;t take them off-guard. This strategy can also help keep nosy table neighbors from offering unwanted comments about your plate.
4. Skip the Bar
Holidays bring a lot of peer pressure around drinking alcohol. While a glass of wine or spirit without sugary mixers are fine on occasion, we want to keep your goals in mind! Drinking your way through the holidays can be dangerous waters. Alcohol has oxidative priority in the body, which means the body stops burning fat while it processes the liquor, which is less than ideal. Never fear! If you are faced with the pressure to partake, you can always go the mocktail route. Get yourself a fancy glass, and add some water! You can even use ice, lemon and lime. If you don't mind olives in water that works too. These looks like cocktails, and no one will question your drink. This is often easier than trying to explain your new health venture, especially if it's a boozy event! Enjoy your water, your body happily burning fat, and be so proud of yourself for crushing those goals!
5. Too Full for Dessert
After dinner we all know what happens: out come the desserts. You may be asked to try them all. If you're feeling pressured to partake, you can always say "I can't possibly eat another bite!" and given the typical holiday smorgasbord, it's very believable. I've found that for those who are particularly pushy or persistent, requesting they add a small bit to a plate of leftovers you can take home to try is always a huge success! Onceyou're safely ensconced in your own abode, you can eat what you like off the plate and dump the rest. You could give this sample platter to someone else. Gifting a neighbor, friend, another family member a sampling of the "awesome fare" you had at the party is right in the giving spirit of the holidays. Of course, if you are comfortable and confident in your keto approved desert skills, you could always bring something to share. You can find the best holiday recipes (including amazing desserts) at our sister site, My Ketogenic Kitchen.
The ultimate goal is to make it out without feeling so uncomfortable about any peer pressure that you cave and make decisions you'll regret. It's OK to protect yourself in these situations. If asked what you thought of anything in particular, simply say, "All the food was so amazing!" and leave it at that. This tends to do the trick every time!