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The Thanksgiving Challenge: Staying Keto with your Family

November 16, 2018

The Thanksgiving Challenge: Staying Keto with your Family

Thanksgiving is coming – and we know how hard it can be. You’ve worked so hard to get into ketosis and stay there, and you’ve made so much progress… and now you get to watch everyone else in the family eating mashed potatoes, stuffing, and five types of dessert, while Aunt Barbara announces to the whole crowd, “Oh, it’s just one piece of pie! It won’t bite! Live a little!”

It’s rough. We know. But we want to you to be able to stay strong, and not have to make a New Year’s resolution to go back to the keto diet. Here are a few ways you can survive the holidays and enjoy your family time without going out of ketosis.

Remember why you went keto in the first place

You’re following keto for a reason. Whether you’re losing weight, finding more mental focus, getting better control of diabetes, or simply want to be healthier, you have made a conscious, sustained effort to eat a better diet. You want to continue being your best, so why “celebrate” with food that makes you feel worse?

Focus on the family

Sure, Thanksgiving involves a big meal – but it also involves football, card games, watching silly movies with your cousins, jumping piles of leaves, outlet shopping… you get the idea. When you’re sitting there watching the mac and cheese pass you by, remember all the fun you’re going to have the rest of the weekend.

Plan ahead with keto-friendly foods

A lot of traditional Thanksgiving foods can become keto rockstars with just a few twists. Check out these keto Thanksgiving recommendations including recipes for gravy, stuffing, and a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

Increase your distance

Two of the most common ways to change your habits are to reduce your exposure to triggers that make you start a habit, and to make it harder to carry out the action. You can’t avoid food at Thanksgiving – but you can sit farther from the buffet, or make sure you’re sitting in front of the Brussels sprouts (here’s a great keto Brussels sprouts recipe for everyone to enjoy!). You can also help serve, clear, or clean the dishes instead of sitting longer in front of the food.

Just say no

When Grandma Shelly tells you you *must* have a piece of her marshmallow sweet potato casserole, tell her no – but let her know how much you care, then change the subject. Practice saying something like, “Grandma Shelly, you’re the greatest! I know how much love you put into this dish, and I’m sorry I’m not eating it tonight. How’s Uncle Ron’s goat yoga studio franchise coming along?”

Be thankful

Making a habit of being thankful can make you happier. Psychologists have found that cultivating a habit of being grateful – by keeping a gratitude journal, or writing thank-you notes, or literally counting your blessings – can help combat depression. So if you start feeling like keto is keeping you away from all the fun, sit and be thankful for the choices you’ve made to live a better life, and for the people who care about you.


Have a wonderful keto Thanksgiving!