The holidays bring up a lot of memories, which can be strongly associated with certain foods. Remember that holidays are about the people you are there to see.
Focus more on your friends and family and less on the food.
For those of us with a habit of turning to food in times of stress, the holidays present a unique challenge of added stress and readily available foods. Plus, family members and friends can sometimes add pressure to eat a certain way.
Challenges You Will Face And How Can You Overcome Them:
Knowing yourself and the situations you find most difficult to manage will help you better plan ahead and stay the course when they arise.
Ask yourself which do I want more? To eat things that can throw me off track and cause me to take days to recover from (and possibly feel sick during the recovery) or do I want to stay the course and not have to suffer the repercussions of eating things I shouldn’t have?
Communicate Your Needs:
It can be intimidating to share your way of eating with others, especially if it’s still new. If you bring it up ahead of time though, most hosts will appreciate your honesty.
If you’re nervous, you could try employing a friend or family member to speak to the host on your behalf (especially if they’re the one that knows them better).
For those closest to you, being honest about why you are turning down the food may be all they need to back down and offer support.
Prepare your response to being tempted:
Say, “no thank you.” Many people will accept this.
State Your Refusal Of Food In Positive Statements:
- Start with a positive: “I remember how good your (whatever is offered) is!”
- Insert your reason: “Unfortunately, my body really can’t handle carbohydrates very well”
- End with another positive statement: “But I can eat your delicious (a low-carb alternative)!”
Communicate with Confidence.
The way we communicate sends signals to the other person on how they should respond. If you are able to assert yourself with confidence, many people will realize “convincing” is not worth it.
Some simple but confident phrases you can try are:
“I am sure it’s so good I won’t be able to stop myself.”
“Keeping to the diet is keeping me healthy.”
“Thank you so much for checking in on me. If I need anything I’ll let you know.”
At the root of why some people feel the need to push food, is from their fear that they also may be forced to change, or that things will be different now.
Assure your friends and family that this is a personal decision (you add your reasons why if you feel comfortable) and that you will not try to impose it onto them.
Allow them to eat what they choose, without judgement or commentary from you.
- Eat a good nutritious meal before you leave for the party. Tell the host that you won’t be able to make it for dinner, but you’d love to come and visit with everyone afterward.
- Walk away from the tempting food. Even a quick walk can help you put things back in perspective.
- Know what you are safe to eat/drink. Plan your restaurant meal by checking their menu online.
- Share your favourite recipes. If you have the opportunity to bring food to a celebration it’s a great chance to show off how delicious low carb foods can be.
- Healthy snacks. Keep a diet-friendly treat handy. Keep a bag of nuts with you. They will satisfy your hunger and keep you away from temptation.
- Stick to proteins and veggies: The safest bet is to stick to protein like turkey, ham, and roast and roasted veggies like broccoli, french green beans, and Brussels sprouts.Go for the veggie casseroles but first ask the person if it was made with flour or sugar added.
- If you’re tempted by desserts, bring a healthy dessert well.
- Have the party at your house. You can provide homemade salad dressing, real butter, whole grain breads and a free-range turkey with real gravy. Your guests may want to contribute, make up a healthy menu and ask them to bring food from your menu.
Drinking can make sticking to healthy habits more difficult in many ways. For one, the extra carbohydrates and calories in alcohol add up. Further, drinking lowers inhibitions – which may make you more likely to eat off plan.
If you know you are going to drink alcohol, stick to lower carbohydrate options and consider using seltzer to cut drinks.
Did you know that alcohol, depending on the amount, is burned as fuel before MCT oil, ketones or body fat and take you out of ketosis?
Remember why you started your diet and how hard it was to get into this healthy state, that may help you resist temptation.
Holidays are for enjoying time with friends, family, and loved ones, If you do eat off-plan, take it as a learning experience. Forgiving yourself and moving forward afterwards are what matter and are the best plan of action for reaching your goals.
Take the focus off of food
Make celebrating the holidays with your family and friends more fun and meaningful than the meal. Bring some games that get everyone involved. Plan activities for the kids. Or, get out the old family photo albums and tell stories as you reminisce about the good times you’ve shared together – that didn’t revolve around food!
Have a healthy, happy holiday season!
SOURCE: Navigating Social Situations on Low Carb: Holiday Survival Guide
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