Staying true to your low carb high fat way of eating over the holidays for the first year, can seem like a challenge!
Throughout the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holiday season, we are surrounded by a range of decadent treats at parties and family gatherings. Friends attend your house and workplace with sugar-laden goodies – it is part of our heritage and tradition after all! These temptations can become unbearable.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing some tips with you on how to steer clear of the holiday trappings, stay true to your diet, and avoid holiday weight gain! Be sure to visit often or subscribe to our RSS feed so you don’t miss these updates.
The first thing we want to share with you is that even if you do “fall off the wagon”, give into temptation or indulge a little, don’t beat yourself up about it and surely do not fall into the trap of saying “Oh well, I messed up, might as well keep enjoying myself until January 2, 2016!” It is far better to get back on track immediately. Better for your weight goals but also better for your overall health.
Your best strategy is to add a few simple but festive low carb high fat appetizers and dishes that everyone will love – whether you’re entertaining at home, bringing a dish to a potluck party, or even indulge in (they seem decadent but they fall into the LCHF way of eating) on your own.
By next year you will get so good at this that you’ll easily prepare an entire entire buffet of low carb appetizers and entrees. We just need to get you through this first seasonal holiday to ensure you don’t derail your weight loss efforts up until this point!
A fantastic way of adding decadence to your menu without adding empty carbs (at this time of year those are most often wheat and sugars), is to turn your focus on high fat foods.
Creamy soups and “bacon-wrapped anything” come to mind.
Make soups and appetizers to feature foods you may not buy regularly. These recipes are abundant online – from Pinterest to Facebook or via Google search.
- How about a Lobster Bisque?
- Or a flavorful crab dip with a cream cheese base?
- These low carb pizza appetizers are delicious with adjustments (Note: Cut that marinara sauce back to half – which is still ample – and only eat one or two. The adjustment for each appetizer is 2.1 grams of net carbs and are worth every bite).
- Crab stuffed mushrooms with bacon are another deliciously decadent idea. In fact I hope you make these all year they’re that good. Don’t be scared off by the 6 net carbs per serving. Serving size is 4 large and loaded mushrooms. Plus, you can cut back on the carbs provided by fresh garlic by just using 1/4 tsp of dried garlic – not as tasty but darn close!
- If you’re hosting, or need a hostess gift, consider festive colored mini-skewers composed of mozzarella cheese balls, grape tomatoes and bite-sized pieces of green pepper. Add a low carb high fat dip to the tray and watch everyone ask “you eat like this while losing weight?”
- Guacamole is another delicious high fat dip idea. Fill the tray with celery sticks and wedges of cucumber or our delicious Chipotle Crackers for crunch. (Chipotle cracker recipe is a favorite from Low Carb Breads, Crackers and More.)
- If you’re really stuck for time (no time to prep, chop, mix or bake), cheese is usually a safe snack. Cut into wedges, softened and stuffed into celery sticks, or baked in an oven safe dish with drizzled olive oil and fresh herbs…yum. Even with a little time on your hands you can melt the cheese slightly, mix in some finely ground almond or coconut flour, and bake into round crackers or cheese ‘sticks’. Crunchy. Delicious. And won’t kick you out of ketosis!
- As long as you’re not allergic, nuts are also an excellent low carb high fat, seasonal party food. (Choosing nuts over sweets at large gatherings has saved us more than a few times!) At this time of year many varieties are available. If you’re bringing nuts to a family gathering, make them extra special by lightly tossing in a clean flavored oil (hickory or chipotle infused are our favorites), then lightly salt and gently roast in the oven.
- Dress up the well received deviled egg! A mixed dash of ground chiptole and paprika plus finely chopped green onions or parsley add gorgeous festive color to turmeric-infused yolks. Low Carb, High Fat, Budget Friendly, Utmost Wellness, Beautiful, and Delicious!
Finally – for all of us who are past the addicted to sugar (glucose) stage, satisfy your memory cravings with a little fruit or some berries. Add whipped cream to up the fat macro while increasing portion size so you don’t feel like you’re going without.
Last year we made a quick low carb apple crisp (no oats, flour or sugar) which was the equivalent to 1/2 apple per serving. With Christmas spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg) and a mountain of whipped cream we were all satisfied and satiated – without blowing our daily carb limit or messing our macro-balancing for the day!
You do not need to feel deprived on this diet through the holiday season. As we’ve shown above there are ample opportunities for decadence and deliciousness! Perhaps the best part is that this year you can dance your way into 2016 without the 10-20 pound weight gain most people suffer with in January.