If this is your first holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) on a low carb high fat diet, this months’ series of articles are for you! They are taken right out of our notebooks and conversations last year – the first holiday season in our lives where we lost, instead of gaining weight!
Up until last year, we couldn’t escape the inevitable weight gain over the holidays. Once we started to learn about nutrition, curb sugar addictions, and eat mindfully, we danced our way into the New Years without any extra jiggles. You’re going to do it too – no matter how new you are to a Low Carb High Fat diet!
We’re devoting the month of October to share tips and hacks we used during last year’s festivities to help keep holiday weight gain at bay.
If you have already mastered control over sugar addiction and have been eating a healthy low carb high fat diet for a few months you can breathe a sigh of relief. Your chances of undoing your good work up until this point are practically null. After all, you’re feeling great, your energy is high, you understand the trappings of over-eating and blood sugar spikes, and you’re motivated by visions of further weight loss or at least maintenance. You’re a fat-burner and proud of it!
On the other hand, if you haven’t been on a low carb diet for long and the sugar monster inside of you still lurks nearby, the holidays can present a problem. Years of traditional feasting and family favorites are “old habits that die hard.”
These four tips are for our friends that are not yet Keto-adapted (i.e. are not in nutritional ketosis). If you are Keto-adapted, these tips do not apply to you as you are already comfortable with moderate plates, intermittent fasting, taking time to enjoy every bite of food, and keeping your fat macros high.
- Skipping meals before a festivity to justify gorging later. Until your metabolism is humming along in ketosis, skipping meals can be dangerous. Standard glucose-based metabolisms feel they need to eat every few hours as their blood sugar dips. The hunger is uncontrollable and the willpower required to skip a meal or two to justify a high-sugar or high calorie feast is an immense feat! This almost always backfires on the dieter because once willpower has been depleted the opportunity for poor food choices is greater. Therefore if you are new to a LCHF diet, ditch any notion of fasting up until a feast and continue eating by your dietary protocols. You’ll be happy you did so as you countdown the new year without any extra pounds.
- “I’m Getting Full! I need to eat faster!” This was one of our favorite family sayings at the dinner table. Sad, but true. We’d sit down to a Christmas or Thanksgiving meal with 4-5 delicious courses only to discover that after the first three we were getting full. To ensure we could make it through the main course before feeling that we couldn’t stuff down another bite, we’d speed up the forkfuls heading to our mouths. Is it any wonder we grew to become obese?
Eating fast is never healthy. If you are hungry and eat fast, you are likely to overeat and miss your bodies clues that you have reached the point of satiety. It takes the average person’s brain 15-20 minutes to register that the stomach is full. Eating fast also ensures that the full nutrition from foods will be wasted (chew, chew, chew to break down the cell walls of every morsel to ensure full nutritional benefit) – your stomach and intestines can’t be expected to do all the work, and they won’t.
- Any BMI ≥ 35 or 40 is severe obesity
- A BMI of ≥ 35 or 40–44.9 or 49.9 is morbid obesity
- A BMI of ≥ 45 or 50 is super obese
- “Nuts are too high in fat so I don’t eat them.” As long as you aren’t allergic to nuts, they are the perfect LCHF snack! The high fat and fiber content helps you to feel satiated and drives away hunger. According to a recent study, people who eat one ounce of nuts 30 minutes before their main meal ate a lot less per sitting and were, on average, more successful at weight loss and maintenance. (Note: Eat raw nuts.)
- “Have a cocktail, you earned it!” For every person that’s contacted me saying they can drink alcohol and still lose weight, there’s an equal amount who say one drink will force them into a week long plateau. For those who stall, whether the cocktail is low carb or no carb has little bearing. You can’t eat less to afford room for alcohol and you can still have a great night out with family or friends without imbibing. If you don’t want to take chances with your diet or potentially mess up your weight loss efforts, it is easier to simply be the designated driver this year. Need more reasons? Alcohol has no nutritional value. Alcohol often triggers food cravings. Alcohol burns slower and longer in most metabolisms (as long as your body burns alcohol it isn’t burning the food in your system or stored fat on your body.)
If you haven’t started your Low Carb High Fat diet yet, this is a great time to start! Get your copy of the book, curl up in the quiet hours of the holiday season and prepare to make 2016 your best year ever! I’ve lost and kept off 55 pounds and my mother (currently aged 51) has lost a total of 70 pounds. If we can do it, so can you!