This week’s mini keto challenge may REALLY challenge you if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, or often get derailed by social events during the holidays – or even on the weekends. 😉
Fun vs Food at Social Gatherings
(or: Thriving instead of Depriving!)
There will ALWAYS be food-focused gatherings and social events in our lives, so it’s smart to consider how you’re going to handle those parties and situations ahead of time.
It starts with adjusting your mindset, but you also want to be totally PREPARED, and I’m going to help you with both!
Armed with these tips & ideas you’ll be able to easily navigate holiday meals, parties and social events… gracefully! Without conflict, without feeling deprived, and actually having MORE FUN than usual even. 💃🕺
I’ll share exactly how I went from feeling deprived (or worse: going off the rails) to feeling MORE ALIVE and enjoying social events more than ever – without sabotaging my health OR my goals.
Our first three mini challenges should have you fully prepared and feeling GREAT as we head into the holidays.
If you missed any of those, or need a refresher, here they are:
Ready for mini-challenge #4 ? 🙂
Here we go! …
As we close out the year you’ll find yourself having to make A LOT of decisions that affect your health and weight loss journey. From the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday this week to holiday parties, Christmas and New Years…
These last 5 weeks of the year will really put you to the test!
Over the years I’ve heard countless stories from people that worked diligently toward their goals and felt AMAZING, only to have it ALL UNDONE in two short months at the end of the year… and how AWFUL and frustrated they felt going into the New Year having to start all over.
That does NOT have to be your story this year!
“Food Guilt” and being disappointed in yourself are terrible feelings, and not something you want to put yourself through.
Especially not at a time when you should be celebrating and ENJOYING life the most!
If you do choose to eat off plan, make it a ONE MEAL deliberate choice. Enjoy what you want, in moderation, then get right back to your goals – with no guilt, and no shame.
If you already know that you cannot eat off plan in moderation, or easily get right back on track after a single indulgence, OR that you’re going to feel shame and disgust over it… don’t do that to yourself, period.
There is usually *something* low carb and healthy available at any event or gathering. And you can always bring a dish to add to the party too, so you KNOW you have something delicious to enjoy while you’re there. 😉
These tips will help you make the MOST of the year-end holiday season, while maintaining your figure AND your happiness!
How to Navigate Holidays & Social Events Gracefully on a Keto Diet
In addition to bringing a dish you KNOW you can eat, have something satisfying to hold you over before you go so you don’t arrive famished.
Stay focused on the REAL REASON for the get together.
It’s not uncommon to make an event ALL about the food, but consider WHY you are going and all the things you enjoy (or are looking forward to) about this particular holiday or event.
Is there a friend or family member you can’t wait to see, a new baby to cuddle, a fun game you always enjoy? Get excited about the event itself. The food is simply there so everyone will be fed…
😏 If you walk in feeling left out, deprived, or focused on what you CAN’T have, you are NOT going to have a good time.
🤗 If you walk in excited to see everyone, contribute to the spread, and focus on the reason for the gathering, you’ll have a GREAT time!
Don’t discuss “your diet” with friends & family. 🤐
It’s best not to bring up your “way of eating” at all, and certainly not to make a big deal about it. The holiday or any particular social event is not about you, it’s about the reason for getting together – so stay focused on that.
If you bring a dish, bring something everyone will enjoy (whether they eat low carb or not) and don’t make a fuss over it, simply add it to the spread.
Everyone will choose what they want to put on their plate – you included! Simply eat the low carb foods, or nibble on meats or cheeses or olives or berries that are available while you’re socializing, and SMILE (a lot).
If you don’t make a big fuss out of it, no one else will either. You can easily avoid the whole conversation and potential conflict, and simply HAVE FUN.
Prepare Your Responses In Advance!
If the topic of “your diet” or your weight loss comes up, or you have a certain “food pusher” or Negative Nellie in your group, it really helps to prepare your responses ahead of time so you don’t get caught off guard and don’t get caught up in a conflict – and can get through the event gracefully.
You don’t need anyone’s permission or validation about your food choices. You are eating healthy and losing weight for yourself.
Walk in to any party with a thicker skin than usual. People can be hard to deal with sometimes. Learn to bite your tongue and smile, and REDIRECT the conversation – or your attention elsewhere – with a smooth flow. 😉
PRACTICE THAT BEAUTIFUL SMILE!
If someone compliments you on your weight loss or how great you look, flash a smile and say “thank you!” and quickly turn the conversation toward them. Ask about something that’s going on in their life, or something you KNOW lights them up.
If it’s someone you already KNOW is going to get under your skin, be friendly & fast with that person – and get yourself caught up in a new baby, a great conversation, or excuse yourself to go help in the kitchen.
Anytime you find yourself feeling deprived or looking at all the foods you can’t have (because YOU choose not to), bring yourself back in check.
Remind yourself why you’re really here, that this event is not about you or even about the food, and get focused on the FUN you came for. 🙂
If there’s nothing very FUN about this gathering or social event and it’s more of an obligatory show-up (we all have those, I get it!), focus on making someone else’s day – then make an early exit, as gracefully as you can.
Focusing on someone else is a great way to get OUT of your own head and redirect your thoughts away from your feelings and cravings.
If you bring up the word diet or keto, or ACT like you’re feeling deprived, you’re really seeking attention – and inviting negativity. Don’t do that. Stay out of your own head (because it makes you the LEAST fun person at the party!).
Practice being your happiest healthiest self, focusing on others instead of yourself, and wearing your best smile with a splash of confidence!
The bigger the crowd, the easier it is to redirect the situation or conversation. If you run straight into the cheesecake with Aunt Martha handing you a piece, say “Oh, that looks beautiful! I’m headed to the ladies room though, I’ll be right back” – or “What a gorgeous dessert! I want to catch up with my cousins for a bit, so I may have some later – thank you!”
Your events and your family are unique to you, so you know them better than I do. Consider what to expect, and decide in advance how you’re going to handle it.
“HOW DO YOU PASS UP ALL THOSE DELICIOUS FOODS?!”
I get asked that all the time since I attend catered events and big group dinners often. My short answer is: “because it makes me feel AWFUL.” 😛
There are times I’m tempted, sure – but I know from experience that I’ll immediately regret it. I’ll feel bloated and lethargic, my hands and feet start swelling up, and then I’ll have to go through keto flu all over again over the next few days.
It’s just not worth it.
If I *do* decide to eat something that will affect me that way (something NOT keto), I make that decision deliberately – and only if I’m headed home soon and feel confident I can get right back on track and it won’t drag me straight down the rabbit hole and totally off the rails.
The main point of any social event is… to be social. Not to gorge yourself with ridiculous amounts of food, or make yourself sick, or make you feel regret and self-disgust.
That does NOT sound like a “fun time” – yet that’s often exactly how I hear people describe their holiday experiences. 🙁
Keep the REAL purpose in mind: to enjoy great company & conversation with family or old friends, meet & socialize with new people, and to have A GREAT TIME.
It’s the same if you’re going to the fair, out to see a movie, to a wedding or birthday party, enjoying a cookout, etc. Learn to focus on the FUN and on the people around you, instead of just being focused on the food there.
It’s so common to ignore the BEST parts of any event when ALL you’re focused on is the food, and totally miss out on the people and the fun.
Make it a point to SWITCH your focus, even if you have to constantly practice and refocus your attention – again and again.
Since I’ve trained myself to switch my focus like that, I’ve found I am enjoying life SO much more!
Sometimes when I feel consumed by the array of food around me, I’ll intentionally change directions – like offer to hold the baby while a young mom makes her plate (she’ll LOVE you for that!), and FULLY focus on engaging with that sweet baby. 🥰
Or find someone FUN to talk to. Find the oldest person in the room and see what beautiful stories they have to share. Offer to help out in the kitchen, or go play with the younger children in the group.
Make MEMORIES and enjoy conversations and MOMENTS you’ll never forget, long after the food is GONE.
The entertainment usually revolves around food, but it doesn’t have to for you. You can CHOOSE to focus on the experiences and the fun instead, and just enjoy the food for the sustenance it is.
That’s not to say you can’t enjoy the meal too, because there are plenty of beautiful low carb foods to ENJOY. Just load up on the meats and veggies and salads, or the “safe foods” and ENJOY yourself!
… for even more ideas & inspiration
Need Help Understanding Keto?
Handy Getting Started Links:
- Start Here: Keto Challenge Q&A
- LCHF Explained: Why You Need FAT
- Getting Started With Keto (Checklist)
- How To Set Up MyFitnessPal To Track Net Carbs (Free)
- Understanding Your Macronutrients: Use Ratios vs Grams!
- Healthy Fats & Super Foods
- Feel Yucky? Learn About Ketosis & Keto Flu
- Not Losing Weight? Check These 4 Points First
- Nutrient Database: Research Foods Without Labels
The challenge this week is to switch your focus and train yourself to ENJOY the people and the socializing, and to find very specific things to look forward to – besides the food.
It takes practice, so this holiday season is a great time to start practicing being the NEW YOU with a new outlook that will bring you WAY more enjoyment than any food ever could. 😉
What Can You Expect During This Mini-Challenge?
You’re retraining your brain, so it will take a mindful approach and it will definitely be challenging, but you’ll be creating new habits that will serve you year-round!
You will feel IN CONTROL and on a mission, which feels GREAT.
You will no longer be a victim of habits and feelings and circumstances (or Aunt June!).
You will be IN CHARGE of your own life, making VERY deliberate choices about your food and your health.
If you choose to eat off plan deliberately (with intention) or get knocked out of ketosis inadvertently (it happens!), simply go right back to the Keto Reboot and get right back on track. ✅
Here’s to an amazing week together! ♥️
I look forward to hearing how things go for you this week, with any holiday events or social get togethers you attend.
If there’s something in particular about the holiday season that stresses you most, or a situation you’re not sure how to best handle, leave a comment and let’s discuss it. Maybe there’s an angle you haven’t tried yet or thought of before. 😉
As always, I’m here WITH and FOR you!
Let me know if you have any questions… or what your plans are for this holiday season – and if you plan to try any of these tips, or how YOU plan to navigate the holiday socials and still stay focused on your goals. 🙂
p.s. If you aren’t already a part of our Low Carb Challenge Facebook Group, you’ll find the link on this page: http://www.90DayLowCarbChallenge.com (but you don’t have to commit to 90 days for these FUN year-end mini challenges!) 😉
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