5 Tips To Thrive During The Holidays On Low Carb
This time of year can create issues for those of us on a lower carb diet. You go to work and at the office people are bringing in sweet treats loaded with carbs, the holiday part for work is sandwiches, or pasta dishes. You go visit friends and the meal plan has every kind of carb you can think of (and then some)!
It is a proven fact pure will power can last only so long, even the strongest of us will give in to the temptations if they present themselves long enough and frequent enough.
Tip #1 - Determine what are your trigger foods
Trigger foods are what will set you off eating every carb in site leading to all the guilt and bloat that is associated with it. For me my "trigger" food is pizza, I have a hard time resisting pizza and once I eat pizza it makes me want other food that is higher in carbs
To combat this it is important to know what your trigger foods are and use every ounce of will power to avoid these at all costs.
Tip #2 - Make Look A Like Foods
Often I don't recommend look a like foods. You know I love bread so I am going to use a whole bag of almond flour and make bread. Yes it is lower in carbs but if you eat enough of it it can cause issues for you, stall weight loss and make you wonder why nothing is working.
With that said during the holidays make yourself some treats that are carb friendly. Currently I am following a lower carb Paleo diet and I am having my wife make some Paleo chocolate coffee cookies so I can have 1 or 2 when everyone is eating Christmas Cookies.
Tip #3 - Consider Having a Cheat Meal
*Disclaimer* - This isn't for everyone, especially if you are new to low carb having one cheat meal can often lead to disaster and knock you off track. Those of us who have been low carb for a long time can often have a cheat meal and pickup low carb eating like nothing happened.
Lets face it, it is the holidays and you are visiting family and there will be temptations. If you decide to have a single cheat meal (and are confident you can resume low carb right away) have a cheat meal, enjoy your grandmother's cooking for one meal that you otherwise have avoided.
Lets face it your grandmother is only going to be around so long and you won't always get to sample her cooking.
If you are new to low carb and are worried this tip will derail you from your long term goals skip it!
Tip #4 - Consider Hosting a Christmas Party Yourself
Have a variety of low carb dishes that people are bound to love. For those that are not following strict low carb have some finger food that isn't terrible with carbs that they can enjoy such as a veggie tray, some dips, and other low carb treats that aren't going to make non-lowcarbrs bat an eye.
Tip #5 - Raise Your Carb Limit (for the right type of carbs)
For example, when I am following low carb I don't eat as much veggies. Say I am generally following a 20 net carb diet. During the holidays I will often raise my daily carbs to 60 carbs per day, but I am not eating 60 carbs of brownies. I add in things like different fresh veggies, a little sweet potato etc.. Things that may not be super low carb but healthy, non processed and not bread, cookies, cakes pasta etc.. Essentially taking a couple weeks and eating lower carb Paleo (versus strict low carb).
This goes without saying if you are following a very low carb diet for health issues or some other reason then maybe only raise your carbs a little (i.e. 20 net to 30 net) and enjoy a few extra bites (of the right carbs).
The holidays are supposed to be fun, if you make a few mistakes own them and move on from them. Do not beat yourself up, you are human while it would be nice to be perfect none of us are. Do the best you can. Stressing yourself out about being perfect will only create more issues than it helps.