High-carb foods are hard to avoid. They are in every aisle of the grocery store and featured on restaurant menus. When the holidays hit, avoiding them gets even more challenging. If you follow a low carb or keto diet, you don’t have to boycott the holidays. You just need some practical ways to navigate through them. This blog post shares ways to enjoy a few splurges without ruining your diet.
Keto Holidays – At-A-Glance
- To navigate the holidays, identify the reason you want to stay on track (a.k.a. find your big WHY)
- Enjoy a keto-friendly dessert
- Have a high-calorie day (not a high-carb day)
- Pick one high-carb treat
- Take one meal off (not the entire day)
- Use intermittent fasting to decrease your daily calorie intake
Enjoy The Holidays AND Stay Keto (Low Carb) [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Why it is so important to find your motivation.
- How to splurge without ruining your keto diet.
- Fasting strategies to help you avoid overindulgence.
To Stay Keto, Know Why You Want To
I have several quick and practical ideas to share with you. However, there is something that you need in place before any of them will work. That thing is a reason for wanting to stay on track through the holidays. I refer to this as figuring out your Big WHY.
If you are on a low carb or keto diet, you know that consistent effort leads to the results you want. However, life is going on all around you, tossing up obstacles you must navigate through. If you don’t have a reason to stay committed, you’ll do what’s convenient. But, when you identify that big reason WHY, you get the motivation to stay on track.
Enjoy a Keto-Friendly Splurge
Staying on track doesn’t mean there is no room for enjoyment. You can treat yourself without setting back your progress.
One way to do this is with a keto-friendly dessert. These foods include flour alternatives, like coconut flour or almond flour, and sugar substitutes, and there are countless recipes on the Internet. While they are not health foods and should not be eaten regularly, they will produce less of a blood sugar spike than typical desserts made with white flour and sugar.
Another way to enjoy the holidays and stay keto is to simply eat more. In other words, have a high-calorie day but not a high-carb day. This way, you can splurge on larger than normal portions of low-carb/high-fat foods, like meats, cheeses, or a dish you take to the party, without breaking your low carb commitment.
Pick One High-Carb Treat
What if you feel pinned into a corner by people who want to love you with food, or you worry that you’ll feel deprived if you don’t have a holiday favorite? Is it OK to have one sweet or high-carb treat? In my opinion, it is. However, this will work best for those who have been following a low-carb or keto diet for many months because your body has likely become fat-adapted. When you reach that state, you are less prone to cravings, and your body is more efficient at using up that high-carb treat and returning back to fat burning. If you are concerned about sweets triggering cravings, stick with one of the strategies I mentioned earlier.
Before we move on to the next strategy, you might be wondering, “How do I pick just one treat?” There is a trick that may help you with this dilemma. As you are reading this post, mentally choose your one sweet treat. Got it in mind? Great! Now stop choosing.
There is a phenomenon known as the Paradox of Choice, which shows us that having many options requires more effort and can leave you feeling unsatisfied with your selection. When you consider fewer options, you easily evaluate the good and bad of the item, increasing satisfaction and eliminating “what if’s” and “maybe I should have’s.”
To put this idea into action, when your holiday celebration comes, enjoy your predetermined treat and move on. Because you are not considering other options, you’ll have an easier time getting back on track.
Take One Meal Off
Another strategy is taking one meal off rather than an entire day. This can work because it feels freeing to eat whatever you want for an entire meal, but you still have boundaries in place. Overindulging for an entire day can leave you feeling like you have gone too far, making it hard to bounce back.
Use Intermittent Fasting
Intermitting fasting can give you an edge during the holidays and help you avoid an entire day splurge. For instance, you could fast until noon, have a hearty salad for lunch, and enjoy a holiday dinner with your family. If your family gathering is earlier in the day, you can enjoy the early meal and then fast until bedtime. Anyway that it works for you; shortening your eating window can naturally reduce your daily calorie intake, but know your limit. Pushing yourself to do an uncomfortably long fast can backfire, making you too hungry to stay in control.
There is a romanticism about the freedom to eat whatever you want. However, when you overindulge, you may see that freedom comes at a cost. That cost may present as unpleasant symptoms, such as a bloated stomach or urgent bathroom visits, or triggered cravings and mood swings that take time and effort to regain control.
I hope this article gives you some ideas that will allow you to enjoy the holiday without sabotaging the hard work you’ve put into getting your diet under control.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week!