Eating around the holidays is always a touchy subject, but all I want to say is give yourself a break. It’s not just because it’s the holidays, but I feel like around the holidays is when people need to hear it most. Give yourself a break. Stop overthinking holiday foods. You don’t need a keto stuffing. You don’t need keto Christmas cookies. You don’t need to be tracking anything. Let yourself live a little.
To me, the difference between a diet and a lifestyle is being able to live your life unencumbered by your food choices. In my daily life, eating keto isn’t stopping my from enjoying food, restaurants, drinks. I go out to eat, maybe even a little too much. I order foods that I like. I cook foods I like. I enjoy maybe a little too much wine because I like it. I am eating things I like. I’m eating keto 90% of the time because that is what I like. I like the food and I like the way I feel. This lifestyle I have chosen helps me to regulate my blood sugar and PCOS symptoms.
But, I think what makes the holidays hard is there are foods that are attached to the holidays and nostalgia. Also, I think some of the food is just good. Like stuffing…why don’t we make stuffing more than one day a year? It’s everyone’s favorite. So, when Thanksgiving comes around and there is stuffing, I’m going to eat it. And, I’m not going to worry about it. Because, it’s one day and one dish. It’ll probably mess with my blood sugar and I’ll be tired later, but it’ll be worth it. When Christmas comes around, and I want to decorate cookies, I’m going to eat it. And, I’m not going to worry about it. Because it’s one day and one (more like 4) cookie. And again, it’ll probably mess with my blood sugar, but it’ll be worth it. Because I will get to enjoy that time and that food with friends and family and it’s the holidays everyone is in a food coma after.
I have been doing keto for over 2 years now. A few days or a couple weeks of enjoying the holidays isn’t going to hurt me. I’ll have some temporary symptoms of fatigue and bloating, but that is normal. I’m not going to be back at square one with a laundry list of PCOS symptoms making me miserable. To me, that’s what makes it a lifestyle not a diet. I’m not moderating foods as a temporary quick fix so I’m able to enjoy indulgences because I know the 10% of the time I am enjoying new foods or celebrating with food is not going to take away from the 90% of the time I am moderating foods so that I feel my best.
Some people who eat keto may disagree. There are plenty of recipes recreating holiday favorites with keto ingredients. But to me, that restriction isn’t worth it. For starters, most of the ingredients used in keto food that is trying to replicate carb heavy food will be hard to digest. They consist of a lot of sugar alcohols and hard to digest fiber. Some of those ingredients will spike your blood sugar anyway. And, I promise you a cauliflower stuffing or a keto cookie is not going to live up to the real thing.
Stop worrying about what you enjoy over the holidays. If you are following keto to be a lifestyle, not just a quick fix diet, enjoying the holidays is not going to ruin your way of eating. Live a little. Enjoy the holidays.