Thanksgiving is here this week , which means food, food and more food. Since I’ve been living the Atkins lifestyle for more than 25 years, I’ve learned some strategies that help me enjoy this holiday to its fullest without overdoing it on forbidden treats or even feeling deprived. Here’s what works for me on turkey day and well into the holiday season:
Follow the 3-2 plan. I strongly recommend eating three meals and two snacks a day. That will keep you full and satisfied and less likely to grab something to eat that’s not on your plan.
Eat before you eat or cook. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your house, keep plenty of Atkins-friendly snacks on hand during all your cooking and preparations for the big meal. By hosting your own party, you have total control over the menu and activities. If you’re not hosting, fortify yourself with a filling Atkins-friendly snack before you go. My favorite snacks are Greek yogurt with slivered almonds and blueberries, or Cheddar cheese with strips of red pepper, or an Atkins Advantage bar or a shake. Or you could a have a small low-carb meal, such as a chef salad topped with grilled chicken. The combination of a small amount of carbs with fat and protein will stabilize your blood sugar. That way, you’ll have the physical backup to your mental fortitude so you can pass up holiday foods that are not on your low-carb meal plan.
Enjoy your options. Thanksgiving features plenty of low-carb options, with the star being the turkey, of course. We have some delicious recipes in our recipes database for turkey, ham, mashed cauliflower (instead of potatoes), green bean casserole, low carb stuffing ideas and more. There are even some decadent low-carb desserts that everyone will enjoy.
Work it off. No matter how “good” you are when it comes to Thanksgiving temptations; the reality is that you’ll probably take in a few extra carbs. And there’s nothing like a little exercise to make you feel good about yourself and renew your commitment and motivation. Squeeze in an exercise video, take the dog on a walk or do something active with the family after the big meal.
Give yourself a break. The holidays are a time to enjoy family and friends, and yes, some favorite foods. If there isn’t an Atkins-friendly alternative, enjoy a little bit of the real thing, and don’t throw all reason to the wind, just make sure your next meal or snack is low-carb. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not continuing to lose weight during this time. A true sign of success is maintaining what you’ve already lost while still enjoying food, friends and family.