Be prepared to test your low carb resolve this Christmas: This Keto Christmas Survival Guide will help you to arm yourself in readiness for the super high carb celebrations ahead.
A little preparation and planning might make all the difference to you this season of fun and feasting.
It’s worth your time to be aware of the temptations ahead and to have a few distractions already at hand. You’ll stand a better chance of not ending the special day feeling bloated and upside down on your sofa.
Now, lets get one thing straight: If you do fail, it’s not going to be the end of the world. Learn your lesson, suck it up and move on.
Don’t dwell on what happened, there really isn’t any point.
If you have given in to some low carb meals, or even indulged in an industrial sized blow out, there isn’t too much you can do about it now.
From time to time I’ve certainly done this – and as a carb addict, I know all about cheating.
However, over time, I’ve learned to just let the slip-up go.
The alternative, which is to beat yourself up about it, can actually exacerbate the harm. It will tempt you to throw in the towel altogether, or at least until the New Year.
There’s nothing worse that you can do for your diet, self-esteem or general health than to decide this; a one-day binge is worth feeling that you may as well carry on cheating.
You may well decide to stay off the Keto wagon all the way until the New Year/ your birthday/Uncle Joe’s birthday bash.
It’s surprisingly easy to come up with literally dozens of special days that could be used as an excuse to carry on cheating.
Don’t let one-day become two days, let alone a week or so. Whichever way you cook this, rembember:
One-day of disaster eating is always going to be better than two days of high carb regret.
So, what can you do to survive Christmas with your ketones at a reasonable level?
Being aware of the dangers:
If you’re reading this, you’re already taking an important step in the right direction.
You’re already aware that there may well be a problem once you’re with your family and friends. This shows that at least you’re giving christmas some much-needed prior thought.
We all know that as lovely as Christmas is, it can certainly bring with it some sky-high stress.
This could be because you’re the one planning, buying and cooking for the day.
It could be because you’ve invited your parents, who you love, but who rub you up the wrong way too.
There’s not much in life more stressful than assorted relatives, even at the best of times. Throw in a big, difficult to cook meal, and it’s no wonder you’ll be feeling less than calm.
Plus, there is the not so small matter of Mama’s apple pie which you’ve loved since babyhood.
Are you going to be strong enough to resist? Do you even want to resist? Could you work one slice of pie into a planned cheat day ?
The trick here is definitely all about knowing yourself.
I’m a carb addict: I’ve learned over the years that “just one slice” is a seriously dangerous policy for me.
The chances are that once that first sugar fix hits my brain, I’ll be eating a lot more than just one slice.
Certainly, I’ve cheated plenty in my time, but those times are getting much more infrequent now. I just don’t have the will power to cheat in a controlled way.
You need to take an honest look at yourself and work out if this is you too.
Finally, under the heading of being aware, you need to consider how much peer pressure you’re going to be under.
If there is even the smallest chance that your friends will try to tempt you off your keto diet, consider having some great come backs ready for them.
Practice a few calm but firm ways of letting the people around you know that you plan on keeping to your low carb ways. Tell them that you are happy with the decision you have made for your health.
I’ve talked about being prepared here. This is so important, and has already been touched on in the section “Being aware”
Luckily, you probably already know what sort of day you have ahead of you. You will probably sit down to a meal that contains a lot of meat, which will be a great help to you.
If, however, all your family are meat shy or even all out vegan you may need to contact whoever is in charge of the kitchen and ask about what you should bring.
You can always say something along the lines of, “I’ll be eating mostly meat at lunch. Would you like me to bring some extra for anyone else who’d like some?”
You know your family and friends best : find a friendly way to let them know that you’ll be bringing something you can eat while making sure they still understand that you’re looking forward to being at the table with them.
When you do finally sit down with your group, make sure you eat plenty of protein and a lot of fat. The fat will help you to feel satiated, and full for longer.
Both these effects will help you to say no to the next danger zone: dessert.
I’m pretty sure that my friends didn’t even know how to prepare so many fantastic looking desserts before I started on my keto journey.
Now, every last one of my friends seems to be able to whip up a dozen different sweets, which all shout my name before they’ve so much as left the kitchen.
I seriously recommend that you eat as much meat and fat as you can fit in without feeling uncomfortable. The more full you are, the less tempting dessert is going to be.
Further, you could consider bringing a low carb treat for everyone to try. That way you’ll get something sweet, and be able to contribute to the meal.
Finally, know how you are after an alcoholic drink or two. If your self-control flies out of the window after your second drink, don’t even go there.
Stick to soft diet drinks, or water.
However, if you do feel that an alcoholic drink would help you to celebrate, make sure you understand which drinks are low carb.
Read through this guide and make sure you don’t accidentally drink a weeks worth of carbs.
My go-to drink is a Martini on ice. Simple, super low carb and, well, lovely.
Don’t believe that you can rely on will power alone to get you through the day.
Just don’t do this: you may feel that you can walk away from the Christmas cake right now, but you’re not going to feel the same once you’re with all your friends and enjoying yourself.
Will power and Christmas day don’t do well together, and the success rate of relying on this method is dangerously low.
Be realistic about what you are able to resist. There’s not many of us who can sit at a table with all the people we love the most, and not go along with what everyone else is eating or drinking.
Remember to do your planning, and have enough low carb choices available to you. This way you don’t have to go without.
Always make sure that you have something low carb and sweet too, if dessert is your thing.
Have all your keto friendly statements ready for when friends urge you to have a bite of something. Its perfectly acceptable to tell your friends that you’re taking care of your health.
Let them know that you prefer not to “have just one” as you feel better when you stay committed to your low carb lifestyle.
This is about you showing yourself a little love, and knowing that you deserve to stay healthy. Its good to follow your chosen way of feeling healthy and managing your weight.
If you respect yourself enough to believe this, and you let other people know, they are much more likely to accept your choices.
In other words, they will respect you too.
Don’t turn one disaster day into a week or more.
Finally, be kind to yourself if you do make a few, or even a lot, of poor choices that you were not planning.
We are all human, and that includes you. The worst thing that you can do after a slip up is to start to feel bad about what you’ve done.
A slip up isn’t going to put your weight loss or your health goals out of your reach. At worst, they will put it back by a few days.
The only time that a slip up will become a major problem for you is if you decide that it’s no point continuing with your keto diet at all.
We’ve all been there. We binge on high carb treats, and end the day feeling tired and bloated and frankly, sick.
In this state of mind it’s all too easy to feel despondent about our ability to stay with healthy eating.
It’s so tempting to say ” I may as well stay off the diet until New Year” or some other important date in the future.
Don’t do this! As said at the start of this guide, a one-day slip is always, always better than a two day slip.
Make absolutely certain that your slip-ups never last more than just the day they happened in.
Wake up in the morning knowing that the occasional poor choice is what it’s all about as a human; feel pleased that you’ve slept off the worst of your bloated, tired feeling.
Look upon the new day as another opportunity to move forward with your healthy eating. You’ll be back on tract to meet all your health and weight loss goals in no time.