‘Tis almost the season, which means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The holiday season is filled with spirited joy, and everyone is starting to wind down from the year. For most keto dieters, Thanksgiving is a stressful time. All the hard work you have put in during the year could be thrown out the window thanks to the temptations waiting for you on the dinner table. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you love keto hacks just as much as we do, then you are going to love this Thanksgiving keto survival guide.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
One thing is for sure, there will be a lot of food. There is no getting around it. The first step to surviving Thanksgiving on your low-carb diet is to mentally prepare yourself for a few situations. At some point during the day, a family member or friend is going to ask you to try their heavenly stuffing or grandma’s famous apple pie. There is a 99 percent chance of this situation arising. You may be passionate about sticking to your diet but you also don’t want to come off as impolite either, they did just spend hours slaving over the stove to make these dishes after all. Before leaving the house, think about what to say to Aunt Gertie without hurting her feelings. Not everyone will understand your diet, and that’s ok, sometimes it’s best to say that bread/pie/potatoes give you indigestion or that you are saving space for the turkey instead. Most will just leave the discussion at that. Ditch the pie, but don’t ditch everything on the table. Eat the turkey (without the gravy), enjoy the veggies, and don’t count calories while you are doing it.
Bring A Keto Dish To The Thanksgiving Table
If you are not the host for Thanksgiving this year, let the host know about your diet ahead of time. For some, it may feel a bit awkward to bring up the topic, but there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Make a point to the host that you don’t expect them to make a dish especially for you. Instead, offer to bring along some keto side dishes or desserts to share with the table. There can never be too much food, and the host will appreciate the help.
Bring along some of these keto Thanksgiving favorites:
- Creamed spinach or kale
- Fresh green salad with a vinaigrette dressing and MCT oil dressing
- Mashed cauliflower with butter
- Almond flour pumpkin cheesecake
- Hazelnut fat bombs
Hosting A Keto Thanksgiving
If you are hosting the Thanksgiving dinner, the key to success is to keep it simple. There are so many keto recipes online, it’s easy to go overboard with the dishes. You may be dying to try out a few, but your guests might not be dying to eat an entire low-carb meal from starters to dessert. As the host, it’s important to consider what foods your guests will also enjoy. Have a few low-carb dishes available like an unsweetened cranberry sauce, but also have the option of traditional cranberry sauce for your guests. Put some bread rolls on the table, or ask a family member to bring a dish of green bean casserole or candied yams. That way, the Thanksgiving table will have keto and non-keto options for guests to choose from. If your guests are also following a keto lifestyle, then go all out and make the entire meal low-carb.
Here are a few ideas for a keto Thanksgiving menu:
Keto Thanksgiving Appetizers
- Toasted Pecans and Almonds, sprinkled with fresh black pepper.
- Mozzarella cubes marinated with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano.
- Keto rosemary and parsley crackers served with sour cream and dill or cream cheese dip.
- Devilled eggs creamed with low-carb or homemade mayonnaise and garnished with paprika, green onion, and chia seeds.
Keto Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Almond flour bread.
- Baked Brussels Sprout casserole with bacon.
- Cauliflower rice, pecan, and cranberry stuffing.
- Umami Gravy.
- Cauliflower and garlic mash.
- Bone broth soup.
- Shredded Zucchini, cream cheese, parmesan, and butter casserole.
- Creamed spinach.
- Roasted asparagus wrapped in bacon.
Keto Thanksgiving Desserts
- Pecan and pumpkin spice fat bombs.
- New York-style crustless blueberry cheesecake.
- Almond flour pumpkin pie.
- Almond flour pecan pie.
- Keto coconut milk ice cream.
This is easier said than done, especially when there are so many delicious foods on the spread. Many people save space for the meal by not eating anything heavy the entire day, however, this is not the best approach on the keto diet. When it comes to portion control, set yourself up for success before you arrive. Eat a wholesome breakfast in the morning and a small snack before you leave the house to avoid overeating. If you arrive at your guest’s house feeling ravenous, you will start grazing on appetizers mindlessly.
Mingle with a drink in your hand. A glass of low-carb red wine won’t do any harm, but before the family sits down to eat, make sure that you have a sparkling or still water in hand. This will occupy your hands so you don’t constantly pick at the appetizers, and it will also fill you up before the main course.
Eat Slowly and Mindfully
Nothing beats the excitement of sitting at the table, ready to dig into that succulent turkey. But don’t get too excited when eating. We are all guilty of shoveling fork-fulls of stuffing and casserole down because it’s just oh-so-delicious. We are only human! Instead, chew your food slowly and savor the flavors – it’s not a race for seconds. When you eat slowly, you are giving your body enough time to recognize that it is full. Your brain only registers satiety 20 minutes after you have had the first bite. Imagine how many calories you can eat before those 20 minutes are up? Eating slowly and chewing your food properly also helps with improved digestion. Wolfing down a meal can trigger heartburn and bloating, which puts a real damper on the holiday feast.
Keep Your Ketones At An Optimal Level
It may be difficult to resist temptation, but you can keep your ketones in check with a high-quality exogenous ketone supplement. Keto supplements are beneficial for maintaining ketosis, boosting energy, and replenishing electrolytes. When we eat heavy meals, it can leave us feeling sluggish, keto supplements will help stave off brain fog and lethargy by giving your body the boost of energy it needs. You will be up and ready to shop till you drop on Black Friday without feeling bloated and tired.
Surviving Thanksgiving On A Keto Diet: It’s Ok To Slip Up
Thanksgiving is about family and reflecting on the blessings you have received over the past year. Appreciate your loved ones and the food on your plate, even if it means going a few carbs over. It’s not the end of the world; one cheat day won’t hurt so you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. As long as you have the right mind frame and a top-quality keto supplement you’ll be back on the wagon tomorrow. Don’t let your guilt prevent you from enjoying Thanksgiving and the special time with your family.
Happy Thanksgiving fellow keto dieters!