The fat-fueled life has done well for you.
You’ve worked hard to cut the carbs, fought through the keto flu, battled your cravings with fat, and you’ve diligently cleaned out the pantry of all the non-keto temptations. Nonetheless, it’s probably still recently dawned on you that it’s tough to stay keto during Thanksgiving and Christmas due to the sugary treats and carb-stuffed side dishes!
But don’t worry, all hope is not lost! The holidays are a time to enjoy family, friends, AND food. With a plan, you can still live keto, feel satiated, stay energetic, and avoid that excess, sticky holiday weight gain.
Below are some tips on how to hack through the holidays — keto style!
Develop good habits and maintain them during the holidays.
Keep active to stay energetic, positive, and motivated.
Make a goal to incorporate some form of physical activity daily. Even light activity like walking and yoga will help keep you motivated to stay on track.
Incorporate time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting to keep calories in check.
Studies have shown that despite changes in diet, people who practice timing strategies with eating consume fewer calories. This can be a good technique to balance out those extra calories.
Focus on adequate sleep to reduce cravings and stress.
It’s well known that good sleep goes a long, long way in maintaining a healthy weight and managing stress, in addition to reducing cravings and hunger throughout the day.
Practice meditation to help you tackle the temptations.
Even 5-10 minutes a day can help clear your head of (and mentally organize) those overwhelming holiday lists, tasks, and anxiety, which sometimes lead to emotional eating and cravings. There are several guided meditation apps available like Headspace or Calm — give either one a try for relief from this crazy time of year!
Plan ahead for your holiday festivities
Visualize and plan before the event. Questions to think about:
- How is the day going to play out?
- What kind of food will be available?
- Who will be at the event that may try to push and tempt you?
Stay committed with your decision.
Whatever you decide to do, stick to it by remembering how great you feel and how far you’ve come.
Consider eating a small meal or snack before the event.
This way you’re not hungry going in. It’s easier to say “no thank you” if you have a full belly.
Make sure you have an answer for questions about keto, or just avoid mentioning it.
A few commonly asked questions are, what is keto? Why are you doing it? And, isn’t that much fat bad for you? Keep your keto education game strong and use some of these tips when dealing with keto critics. Whatever you do, avoid engaging others in debate.
Bring a keto side dish or dessert.
I like taking recipes like keto cheddar biscuits or keto pumpkin cheesecake mousse! That said, feel free to loosen the reins on other dishes that may be present. Maybe you decide to stay keto, but don’t stress about what’s in the sauce.
Allow yourself to indulge in foods that are keto-friendly.
Ditch the calories and macros and just enjoy your keto dishes to your heart’s content.
Plan to go off plan.
This takes a bit of knowing yourself. Can you go off plan for one day or night, but get right back on the next? If so, let go, and remember that keto can be balanced!
Most importantly, do not beat yourself up!
Whatever happens, the holidays will come and go. Pick-up where you left off… you’ll be just fine!
Remember, keto is a way of eating and living healthier. It should not be considered an “all-or-nothing” approach. Eating keto means something different for everyone. Whichever way YOU decide to tackle the holidays, keep moving forward and keto-on!
Happy Holidays, my fat-fueled friends!
Up Next: Need a keto side dish for Thanksgiving? Check out our recipes for the perfect holiday side dish.
Tara Finnerty RDN, CSP, CD—is a ketogenic specialist and fat-fueled enthusiast. Tara is a registered dietitian in Utah and owner of Sugar House Nutrition LLC. Her aim is to provide nutrition support for people wanting to reap the many health benefits of the ketogenic (keto) diet. Her expertise in the keto diet was initially working with children who have uncontrolled epilepsy. Tara supports nutrition diversity and works toward helping people find an individualized approach to make healthy eating sustainable.