With all the social functions, family gatherings and festive food and drink around at this time of year, it can become a bit of a minefield if you are trying to keep your eating habits on track. I wanted to share some tips that helped me survive last Christmas, as I was fairly new to keto and concerned about completely derailing myself. We are all unique, so everyone will find an approach that suits them and you need to work out what works for you!
Have a think in advance about what functions you will be attending over the holidays, what food options will be available and any triggers you may encounter around certain foods or alcoholic drinks. Plan how you would like these to go, whether that be sticking 100% to keto-friendly options, going with the flow and making the best low carb choices or really enjoying all the delights of the festive season. Don’t make it about willpower, make it a conscious decision with your long-term goals in mind. Whatever decision you make enjoy it and remember food does not have any morality, it is just food, so no guilt or remorse please.
For me the Christmas period is not a time to be strict keto by limiting my carbohydrates to 20 grams per day. This would just not be practical and I would be setting myself up to fail. I know I will be eating more regularly than I usually do, as I would normally intermittent fast at least 16 hours per day. I also know I will be eating more keto friendly treats and desserts than I would in everyday life. With this in mind, I set my intentions to eat the best low carb options I can over the festive season and this leniency will help me avoid a nosedive into a carb-filled rollercoaster.
Most of all don’t sweat the small stuff! Yes, there may be a sugary glaze on the ham at Christmas lunch, but in the scheme of your whole life this is just one meal. Try not to be too obsessive as you want to be able to enjoy the time spent with your friends and family. Getting straight back to normal eating is the key.
Prior to Christmas day and the public holidays make sure you stock up on all your favourite keto friendly food options. Perhaps make or buy your favourite low carb bread replacement. I find this helps me if we have visitors staying that are eating toast or sandwiches so I don’t feel like I am ‘missing out’. Also, I know with my family, there will be lots of sweet treats and desserts around so I like to plan what I can have as a dessert option. The thought of sitting there while other people eat yummy things and I don’t, is very challenging for me! I like to make a keto friendly cheesecake or chocolate treat that I can enjoy with everyone else.
For Christmas Day, get involved in helping decide on the menu, whether you are hosting or not, and offer to bring a salad or side dish that is keto friendly. Most Christmas meals will include suitable protein already, such as ham, turkey, chicken, seafood or pork which is great. Offer to bring your favourite salad or vegetable side dish, a cheese platter, vegetable sticks and dip or devilled eggs, which everyone will enjoy. When dessert is served choose berries, cheese or take a keto dessert like keto trifle. Check out our Australian keto Christmas lunch ideas for help to plan your Christmas menu.
Life goes on
Whether you chose to stick with the low carb food options or enjoy your Mum’s famous Christmas pudding and custard, the key is for life to continue on as normal. Don’t impose extra restrictions into your diet as ‘punishment’ for what you have eaten or feel guilt or remorse. Just take each meal as it comes and make the best food choices you can each time. Having your fridge stocked up with your favourite keto-friendly food options will make this easy and avoid you having to resort to other foods.
We would love to hear how you survive the silly season. Let us know in the comments how you plan to manage Christmas this year.
- How we Survived Christmas
- Keto Chocolate Salami
- Tips for Surviving the Silly Season
- Keto Chocolate Truffle
- Keto Tropical Trifle
- Keto Christmas Lunch ideas
- Keto Maple Glazed Ham
- Keto Christmas Gift Guide
- Keto Raspberry Trifle
- Keto Vanilla Custard
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