If you have committed to an eating program that limits carbohydrates, you don’t want to go (too far) off-track during the food frenzies that punctuate the winter holidays. Here are a few tips that can help you manage office parties, family gatherings or other temptations.
Bring a dish
If you are sure that your hosts won’t be offended — or if the gathering is potluck — offer to bring a dish that is within your plan and that you really enjoy. Mashed cauliflower (instead of potatoes), roasted Brussels sprouts or a salad with low-carb dressing are great options — and other guests might just appreciate having a healthy dish available.
If you’re going somewhere where you can’t predict or control the offerings, be sure to eat something on-program before the event. You’ll be less hungry and better prepared to limit your choices (and portions).
Prepare your defense
Family members and friends may not understand why this kind of diet is important to you. They could try to make you feel guilty about not eating Aunt Dot’s macaroni and cheese. If a polite “no, thank you” doesn’t work, explain that you are following a meal plan recommended by your doctor for a specific health issue.
Budget for a favorite carb
Whether it’s stuffing, dessert or a favorite drink, don’t deny yourself a measured portion of something you look forward to at this time of year. After all, full deprivation might lead to over-doing it down the line. Just plan ahead and keep on track as much as possible.
Be a people person
Remember that holiday gatherings are also about forging ties with colleagues, friends and family. Spend more time socializing so you don’t focus only on the food. Have fun, and if you go off-plan, forgive yourself and focus on making better choices next time.