I’m on my fourth week of following a low carb diet plan. I started with Atkins and now only do very minimal carbohydrates. With the holidays approaching, I knew that I would be up for a challenge to keep my carbs low and not ruin everything I have worked hard for– a six pound weight-loss and more to come. It’s not easy to follow a low-carb diet during the holidays but with some simple planning, together we can stick to it and still enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas meal! Here are a few tips that have worked for me for other events that can apply to Thanksgiving dinner as well. Be sure to share any tips you have in the comments!
Skip all carbs for meals leading up to the holiday party. Maintaining a low carb diet is different than a no-carb diet. So for breakfast and dinner, avoid fruit, grains, and other food that contain carbs. Plan to enjoy a few carbs at the party. This will help keep your net carbs for the day at a reasonable level. Just don’t go overboard with the pita chips or the buttery croissants once you have a few bites. Remember, stay strong!
Eat a little before you leave for the party and drink plenty of water while there. Nothing like going to a holiday party starving to cause you to raid the carb loaded appetizers or sides. Eat a half meal before you leave and plan to savor the flavors of what is being offered at the party in reasonable amounts. Drink plenty of water as this will cause you to eat less.
Be careful of sneaky carbs found in cocktails or other foods. There are good cocktails and then there are bad cocktails full of sugar and more sugar. Avoid anything frozen, pre-mixed, or brightly colored. Go for sugar free sodas and mixers and ask the bartender for skinny variations of whatever you are drinking. The perfect cocktail for a low carb diet includes a diet soda, vodka, and twist of lime. Freshly made margaritas are another great choice. Fresh as in the lime is squeezed right then and there. I rather eat my carbs that drink them so I have been doing skinny cocktails for some time now. I’ve put together a Pinterest board on skinny cocktails and refer to it when I’m somewhere and can’t think of what to drink. Has come in handy plenty of times!
Be realistic about your own expectations during the party. The only thing worse than leaving a party guilt ridden about what you ate is to leave the party having had too much to drink. So, to avoid both of those situations, have reasonable expectations on how much you’ll eat and drink. Set limits but make them reasonable. After all, it is the holidays. You don’t want to completely limit yourself as that is the fastest way to end a healthy diet quickly. Instead, be reasonable. Pick the important events where you may splurge a little. When you spread out the month or so of festivities, three of those days are what matter most (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve). Indulge a little and do so without feeling guilty about it. When picking your carbs, pick tasty ones. Chips, bread, etc. are really empty calories. Enjoy a few bites of cheesy macaroni bites instead. Much more satisfying and worth the carbs. If you’re going to have dessert, pick the best one and just have two or three bites only. That’s usually enough to satisfy you.
What are your tips for keeping a low-carb diet during the holidays?