Common Problems with Eating Low Carb at the Holidays
Low carb eating can be a challenge at the best of times, but seem almost impossible with the holidays coming. We associate the holidays with parties, special meals, traditional dishes and more. Planning ahead can help you avoid many of the most common problems low carb dieters experience each year at the holidays.
Not setting your goals
Knowing your weight goals will give you a target to aim for. Even if you do not continue to lose weight at the rate you have been on your low carb diet, you use your goal and scale to make sure you do not gain weight during the holidays.
Not knowing your carb counts
Make sure you know your carb targets for each low carb phase you are on. For example, Phase 1: Induction allows you to eat 20 to 22 grams of carbs per day and Phase 2: Balancing, allows 25 to 60 grams per day. Once you know your daily carb allowance, you can then plan your menus each day during the holiday period. You might not have complete control over what you eat when you go to parties, but learning your carb counts will help you make smarter choices at holiday gatherings.
Trying to have it all
Holiday parties and buffets are full of temptations. Rather than try to taste everything, choose your low carb favorites and things you absolutely love. Take small portions as a taste. If each one does not taste delicious, push it to one side and try something else.
Starving yourself before a holiday gathering
This is one of the worst things you can do, leaving yourself open to out of control eating and over eating. Eat before you go so you will not be tempted to stuff yourself because you’ve been starving all day.
Not using low carb makeover recipes
You might be feeling miserable about the holidays because you think you will have to pass up all of your seasonal favorites. Research low carb versions of your family’s traditional dishes so no one feels like they are missing out.
Not paying enough attention to protein
Plan your holiday meals around protein, the main course at each holiday meal, rather than the appetizers and side dishes. Protein will help you feel full for longer and less likely to give in to temptation.
Going crazy with side dishes
The trouble with side dishes at the holidays as that delicious natural foods like green beans and cranberries are doused with sugar, starch and cream. Aim to serve your foods as close to their natural form as possible.
Digging into (non-low carb) desserts
Holidays seem to be synonymous with cakes, cookies, candy and other goodies. Avoid desserts unless you make low carb versions of your favorites. If you can’t resist, aim for low carb items like cheesecake and meringues.
Drinking too many carbs
Alcohol is full of empty calories and can also cause carb cravings. Steer clear of mixed drinks and spirits to stay on track with your low carb lifestyle.