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Low-carb eaters are a different breed than your typical dieters. Instead of counting calories and choosing low-fat everything, they’re opting for a daily intake of healthy fat as their main source of fuel for energy. This way of eating is referred to as the ketogenic diet because the goal is to achieve elevated ketone levels in the bloodstream which is how you know your body is burning fat, rather than glucose, for fuel.
Luckily for low-carb folks, Christmas is a very keto-friendly time of year. If you’re looking to minimize your carbohydrate intake during the holiday season, it is quite possible that you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods that are typically served at parties.
Here are some tips for not falling off the wagon when it comes to low-carb Christmas and holiday menu favorites.
The Dipping Swap
When it comes to dipping, swap out healthy fresh veggies for bread, crackers, and chips. Most keto eaters can enjoy their share of creamy dips, soups, and spreads while dining on celebratory fare. Rather than dunking with crackers, opt for celery sticks, cucumber slices, green peppers, snap peas, radishes, tomato halves, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Pair your high-fat choices with healthy greens.
A fresh salad of leafy greens topped with olive oil and vinegar makes the perfect digestive accompaniment to cured meats such as aged salami, dried sausage, or prosciutto. In fact, once you’re all-in with keto eating, you will likely begin to crave more acidic foods as well as develop a new appreciation for fresh salads. It’s all about your body wanting to increase the intake of the foods that it needs to maintain a healthy balance. Leafy greens will help keep you regular while the acid and healthy omega-3 oil will help you run those fatty meats through your system quicker.
Avoid dips made with packaged soup mixes.
These will typically contain MSG and an artificial and addictive form of sugar called dextrose which can seriously spike your sugar levels and take you out of fat-burning mode. This may be more difficult to do if you’re attending someone else’s holiday celebration. However, one workaround would be to show up with a couple of your own, homemade dips that you prepared in your own kitchen and seasoned using simple spices, dried onions, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
Skip the Starch with Your Protein
Instead of pasta, potatoes, or rice with dinner opt to pair healthy green vegetables alongside your roasted meat selections. If you’re attending a holiday buffet or something like that, you’ll want to add some fresh broccoli, spinach and green salad to your plate. Some green colored veggies, like string beans and zucchini, do contain slightly higher levels of carbohydrates. But you may be able to justify a small serving of these depending on your total carb intake for the day.
Dodge dessert if at all possible.
Probably the worst temptation to face as a low-carb eater surviving the holidays is the dessert table. Your best bet might be to simply exit the room while dessert is being served and eaten. You could use this time to take a brief walk outside in the fresh air. You might head to the restroom to freshen up or find someone to chat with outside in the lobby if you’re at a hotel or restaurant.
Best Low-Carb Appetizer Choices for Holiday Meals
Wondering what exactly you’ll be able to eat as a low-carb dieter during the holiday season? This December, the thought of attending all those festive occasions with so much food, glorious food, will likely have you feeling left out. Consider, though, that many party fare is actually a keto dieter’s dream, and lots of popular party dishes are definitely permitted. You may actually have a lot more low-carb choices than you thought.
Appetizers Are Your Friend…
When it comes to low-carb living and enjoying yourself around the holidays, the appetizer hour is probably your best time to shine. Consider the following food choices that are not only healthy but they happen to be delicious AND low carb.
These tasty snackers are a perennial party favorite, especially around the holidays. The traditional kind is just fine, but you can also vary up your deviled egg stuffing by mixing in extra ingredients such as avocado, crumbled bacon, capers, onion bits, horseradish, celery, pimientos, and other delicious additions.
If you love the traditional spinach and onion dips, you’re in luck. You can still have it on keto and you won’t even miss the bread bowl when you have plenty of healthy, fresh veggie slices for dipping. Other options for scooping up delightful dips include pork rinds and keto-friendly crackers which are made with ingredients like almond flour rather than grain-based flours.
Cream Cheese Spreads
If you love to nosh on a nice smoked salmon spread or take a dunk of yummy, savory herbed cream cheese, then you definitely won’t mind being a low carb eater this Christmas season. Enjoy a dollop of cream cheese-based spread along with some fresh veggies and salad. No one minds if you eat your cream cheese with a fork if that’s your preference. It’s all about keeping it low carb but treating yourself when the option is available.
Meat and Cheese Platters
Antipasto gets the nod of approval from low-carb eaters foraging for fun food options during December holiday celebrations. Indulge in delicious, sliced aged meats and cheeses paired with tangy, marinated veggies such as red roasted peppers, pickled cauliflower, olives, and mushrooms. Your meats and cheese will go down easy along with a serving of healthy green salad. So delicious, you’ll forget that you’re on a “diet!”
If you do slip back into old habits at this vulnerable time of year, pay attention to how you feel when your body is full of carbs and sugar.
One interesting thing that can happen when you switch to a low-carb diet is that you’ll have more energy. Then if you happen to eat a lot of carbs, you might notice that you feel especially sluggish and lethargic after your body comes down from the brief sugar high. You might decide that you really don’t care for the feeling. Knowing this, you can use the memory of how tired and low you felt after binging on sugar, to stay strong for the next temptation that comes up.
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This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.