Christmas is approaching rapidly – the parties, the alcohol, the family gatherings and the carbs are on our doorstep. Sticking with Keto over Christmas or starting Keto right before Christmas might be the last thing on your to-do list.
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Don’t fret! You can stick with Keto or even start Keto right now and I’ll show you how.
I believe now is the PERFECT time to get back on the Keto wagon even if you’ve been waiting for the New Years resolution willpower to kick in.
It doesn’t have to be hard to start Keto before Christmas, or even stressful or too restrictive.
Christmas is a time of celebration, family and food, so finding a way to enjoy yourself AND treat your body well will set you up for success in the new year!
Keep reading to learn why December is the perfect time to start Keto and get my 5 tips for sticking with Keto over Christmas.
Why Christmas is the Perfect Time To Start Keto
If you’ve ever set a New Years resolution to lose weight or get healthier, you’re not alone – nearly 50% of us set this same resolution.
However studies have shown up to 80% of New Years resolutions fail and if you’re like me, you know this all to well.
Our motivation starts high early in January and we make drastic changes to our lives.
We throw out all the carbs, sign up to a new gym and buy a heap of new activewear. New year, new me, right?
We stay strong for the first few weeks, or even months and then… life gets in the way.
Whether it’s work or family stress, loss of motivation, lack of results, life inevitably derails our New Years willpower.
All the evidence is telling us that waiting until January won’t make it easier to stick with Keto – so what if we tried something different this time?
Christmas Kilos Don’t Have To Be A Thing
You’ve likely heard that most people put on anywhere from 1kg – 4kg over the Christmas period.
Luckily that’s not true. Studies show that the average weight gain over Christmas is actually only half a kg – nothing to write home about.
What we do gain over a carb heavy Christmas is a whole lot of lost motivation and self belief.
The issue isn’t what shows up on the scales after a ‘normal’ Christmas.
The problem is the mindset shift that happens when we let loose over Christmas, including:
- Guilt and shame from how much we’ve eaten
- The pressure and inclination to drink more alcohol
- The bloated feeling from too many carbs
- The addiction to sugar (anyone else live off Christmas chocolate for a week?)
- The overwhelming number of social events
- The loss of normal routine
- The belief that next year will be different when we haven’t actually changed anything
- Potentially sparking old family issues by seeing people you otherwise wouldn’t
- The lack of motivation coming out of it
There is no Perfect Time to start Keto, and it’s certainly not January
If you’ve been waiting until the New Year to get your health back on track and restart Keto, I encourage you to rethink this approach.
We love to start new health kicks on a Monday, the first of the month or the New Year for a reason.
This is known as the ‘fresh start’ effect but you can create your own whenever you want to.
You can decide that this week, or this very email is your fresh start. The wake up call you have been waiting before.+
The problem with waiting until the New Year for the fresh start motivation to start Keto is that it gives us an excuse to go all out over Christmas.
If you were planning to start in January, it can turn into an excuse to eat and drink whatever you want over Christmas because you will undo it all once the New year comes.
If you believe this, please check the list above of all the downsides of making Christmas a free for all, carb and alcohol fuelled bloated hell!
Restarting Keto in December
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve started Keto a few times but haven’t been able to stick with it.
Or you are currently on track and want to know how to stick with Keto over Christmas.
You know how great you feel on Keto – the reduced bloat, energy, positive outlook and mental clarity are all amazing effects of a Keto diet. So why not bring this awesome energy to your Christmas parties?
Instead of being tired, sleeping poorly, hungover, and not feeling confident in your own skin, wouldn’t you rather walk into your Christmas party and feel amazing?
I’ve noticed in my 10 years of eating Keto that the highest self confidence doesn’t come with a goal weight.
The confidence boost on Keto comes when you start seeing results and you know what you are doing is working, so you want to keep doing it.
Your body is saying thank you for feeding it nutritious food and rewarding you by feeling amazing.
This is when motivation is the highest, so what better way to go into the Christmas period than full of confidence, starting to see results and full of resolve that you can make Keto stick long term?
This is why I believe December is the perfect time to start Keto. Stick with it for 3 weeks and ride into those parties with confidence and ease, and a determination that this is THE time you stick with Keto For Life.
Sticking with Keto over Christmas doesn’t mean surviving on broccoli and celery though.
Food is connection, enjoyment and celebration at Christmas, so we need to be realistic with ourselves and find balance.
5 Steps To Survive Christmas on Keto
If you’re already on Keto or I’ve convinced you to start this week, amazing! It can be a little scary though, so I’ve got 5 Tips to Survive Christmas on Keto below.
If you would like more support to stick with Keto over the holidays, the Keto For Life program is designed to support you through this silly season.
Tip #1: Plan in advance
Whether you’re at a fancy restaurant for a work do, or in your Mum’s backyard for a Christmas BBQ, a little preparation will remove a lot of the fear of stumbling on your Keto diet this festive season.
- If going to a restaurant, read the menu in advance and choose your most Keto meal AND a back up. It’s happened so many times that I’ll choose a dish, only to find it is sold out / not available and end up panic ordering the pizza.
- If you can, get involved with the planning of the work Christmas party! Nothing beats choosing the restaurant yourself. If you’re based in Melbourne, you can check my Melbourne Keto Cafe and Keto Restaurant list here for some ideas.
- If going to a family pot-luck style or BBQ Christmas, prepare your favourite Keto casserole or dessert and take it along. You can still enjoy some other foods as well, but you know you’ve got your back up there that is a fail safe. My favourite Keto Potato Salad but you can really load up salads to be quite amazing on Keto.
- If you drink alcohol, buy it in advance and decide how much you will have. I have been enjoying Burleigh Big Head no carb beer, available at most bottle shops these days.
Tip #2 Allow some flexibility
Sticking with Keto at Christmas is not going to go perfectly – that much is certain.
Whether it’s the shops being sold out of the ingredients you needed, a change of venue or menu, or a few too many cocktails, it is called the silly season for a reason.
Being flexible with yourself is essential and is key to sticking with Keto For Life. If we expect ourselves to be perfect 100% of the time, we are almost guaranteed to fail.
Instead of being hard on yourself when things don’t go to plan, plan in advance for some flexibility. Maybe you know Aunty Anne’s trifle is the best and you’ve been looking forward to it all year – plan to have a small amount.
Maybe your favourite cocktail is a Negroni and you always enjoy one with your boss at the Christmas party – have it.
What flexibility allows us is freedom from the panicked feeling of “I can never have that again” which often leads to total blow outs.
One piece of trifle or a Negroni doesn’t have to mean 20 or McDonalds recovery the next day.
Choose your battles, but allow space and self-compassion to loosen up a little bit at this time of the year.
Tip #3 Focus on quality over quantity
Even if you have been on Keto for a while, our results can stall as our portion sizes creep up.
You start to lose track of what a reasonable quantity of cheese or cream is when you know it’s Keto.
I don’t believe in tracking macros or calories on Keto constantly as it can become overwhelming and obsessive, but if your portion sizes have increased over time it can be helpful to do a quick check for a few days or a week.
So when Christmas comes and you want to stick with Keto, focus on the quality of the foods instead of the quantity.
My normal family Christmas feels like an eating competition – a battle to try everything on the table that each family has brought along, and still leave room to try the 10 different desserts available.
Instead of trying to have huge portions of everything, try to use your flexibility from Tip #2 in allowing yourself a small portion of things you want to try instead of loading your plate full.
Eating slowly and mindfully will also reduce the urge to go back for seconds or thirds.
Giving your body a chance to feel full (usually about 20 minutes) and drinking plenty of water will help you recognise the difference between comfortably full and over stuffed and bloated.
Another way to achieve is be last in line for the buffet style Christmas if that’s your family’s style!
Tip #4 Don’t go it alone
If you’re the only person in your family eating Keto it can feel a bit lonely or overwhelming.
You might be anticipating judgement from family members that you aren’t eating like they do.
Remember this is a reflection on them, not you – chances are they know they are eating too much and eating food that is not healthy.
By eating reasonable portions while reaching your health goals, you are shining a light on their own insecurities.
You also don’t have to be battling through Keto on Christmas alone.
In these groups you can swap recipes, coping tips and get support from others in the same boat.
Tip #5 Fun doesn’t have to equal food
Shake up your idea of Christmas fun, connection and bonding!
My old Christmas parties and gatherings used to mean stuffing ourselves with as much food and alcohol as we could handle and repeating this for a solid 3 weeks leading up to Christmas.
Now, I try to bring some fun Keto approved energy into these gatherings.
Whether it’s throwing a frisbee, going for a walk, bouncing the newest family member on your knee – keep busy, social and moving!
While we know food is a way of connecting as a group, it doesn’t have to be the ONLY thing you focus on over Christmas.
It’s up to you to find your Keto Christmas fun – maybe you even volunteer to be Santa for the kids this year, no chance for a third serving of Christmas pudding when you’re handing out gifts.
There’s no doubt the Christmas and holiday season brings challenges for anyone trying to start, restart or stick with Keto.
The key takeaways from this article are:
- There’s no time better than RIGHT NOW to start Keto
- January won’t make it any easier, if anything it makes it harder
- Be prepared but also flexible
- Take control of your health now, instead of waiting until the New Year!
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Not sure how to start Keto?
Here’s some resources to help you!
- What is Keto?
- What Can I eat on Keto?
- How Much Should I Eat on Keto?
- What To Expect On Keto
- Ketogenic 21 Day Meal Plans
- Preparing for the Ketogenic Diet EBook
- Understanding Net Carbs and Total Carbs