Surviving the Holidays
It is crazy to think that Halloween is rapidly approaching, which means thanksgiving is right around the corner and before we know it Christmas and the New Year will have come and passed. If you are anything like us at Beta BIOS, holidays can be a death wish to your commitment to the ketogenic diet. It is especially hard when certain holidays like Halloween, Easter, and Valentines day are basically centered around the consumption of candy! Moreover, even for those of us who don’t have a sweet tooth, it is common for holiday gatherings like New Years and the 4th of July to offer carb heavy beers and mixed drinks to guests. With temptations at an all time high it can seem almost impossible to stick to the Ketogenic Diet! So how will you survive the holidays?
Maybe you have a plan of action. Maybe you haven’t even thought about it. Or maybe you clicked on this blog post hoping that I would have the answers. Well I can tell you that there is no surefire way to survive the holidays without giving into the temptations of sugary treats. I will admit that it can be extremely difficult especially when everyone around you is indulging in the foods and drinks that you have given up. Even individuals that have followed the diet for years may still have a hard time passing up all of the carbs that are staring them down through the holidays. Even though I can’t give you a direct answer as to how to make it through the holidays on the diet, I will try to give you the best tips that I can.
- Remember how far you have come. Ask yourself, “do I really want to throw away all of my hard work just for a Christmas cookie or a beer?” Remind yourself of how good you feel on the diet and how much effort it was for you to begin the diet in the first place. Do you want backtrack and have to redo it all over again? In the end feeling better and being healthier should mean more to you then indulging in those carb temptations. Of course it is easier to say that you will resist the temptations before they are right there in your face. Nonetheless, try your best to think through your choices very closely before you make them. Don’t make your choices in the moment, try to think about how the choices will affect you in the future.
- Eat before you go to a gathering or party. In some cases this can be a rude thing to do. I’m not recommending to fill up before attending a Thanksgiving meal and risk offending the person who slaved over preparing the meal for everyone. But there are certain cases when this tip applies. For instance, before that big Halloween party that you are going to go to next Tuesday have a nice hearty keto meal at home and make sure you are good and full. This way when you get to the party and there is candy everywhere it will look much less appealing. But what should you do if it is rude to eat before you go?
- Be selective. As long as you are not completely turning down the food someone made for you they will not be mad if you only eat the items that are ok for your diet. On Thanksgiving, if you find yourself at the table looking over all of the options you have in front of you, make sure to only choose items that have little or no carbs. Avoid taking bread rolls, cranberry sauce, that piece of pumpkin pie calling your name, etc. The majority of the time there will be something that you can eat that will not jeopardize your diet and that way you will not hurt anyones feelings.
- Bring a keto friendly item to the table. Worried about there being nothing for you to eat? Bring a side dish along with you to 1) be a thoughtful guest and 2) have a plan b if there aren’t many low carb options at the party. If you like to drink but know all there will be at the party is beer, bring a bottle of low carb bitter wine that you like or a bottle of you favorite distilled spirit and share it with the party. This is a great way to ensure you will stick to your diet and not take that beer that is being offered to you.
- Tell people to hold you accountable. Don’t make it someone else’s job to keep you in line but you also shouldn’t hide the fact that you are trying to cut carbs from your diet. When you have your word on the line it can give you all the more reason to resist the high carbs that will be at your disposal. When people know your goal and how proud of yourself that you are they will be less likely to offer you foods that are full of carbs and possibly call you out if they see you breaking your word. If you are around the people that care about you the most then they will have your back through the holidays.
And the most important tip that I have for you. . .
6. Relax! Make sure that you remember your commitment to the diet and try your best to resist carb heavy foods, but don’t stress yourself out! These are the holidays for cryin’ out loud! This is a time for you to enjoy yourself and have a good time. The holidays shouldn’t be stressful and you shouldn’t pay so much attention to sticking to your diet that miss all of the memories that are happening around you. Don’t hate yourself because you have a snickers on Halloween or a bread roll on Thanksgiving. Just remember that it is a slippery slope you are going down to throwing a lot of hard work and away and be as moderate and thoughtful about the diet as you can.
I know that you will survive the holidays. It is just a matter of surviving them on the diet. The tips I have given you can help but ultimately it is up to you and your willpower to say no to carbs. I know you can do it. If you are strong enough to already committed to this diet then the holidays are just a small hurdle for you to get over. Remember that Beta BIOS is here for you and if you need help or more advice then you can join our Facebook and use it as a great resource to help you through this season. Through the holiday season we will be allowing anyone who requests access to the Facebook to be apart of the group just to help anyone out there who needs it.
One thing that I didn’t mention in the tips is the possibility of you hosting your own holidays and serving only keto foods. This is a great idea. There are a lot of good recipe ideas for keto holidays out there and that is probably the best way to ensure that you stick to the diet. If you want to do this then more power to you! Just be careful that the people you invite might be reluctant about the keto diet and the carb free meals. Until this diet really catches traction and people recognize it for how amazing it is, a carb free Thanksgiving or Easter can be a turn off. Just be careful with what you decide to make and maybe consider a few options for people who want those carbs. Right now we are working on developing a holiday recipe book for the ketogenic diet that will have meals in there everyone will enjoy regardless of their diet. We are hoping this book will be out around this time next year and we will have that resource available for you to use next holiday season!
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful holiday season!