Awwww… the holidays. They are a whirlwind of shopping, entertaining, parties, food and more food. So, let’s start with my seven tips for surviving the holidays with your sanity and waistline intact:
- Eat three low carb meals a day, plus a low carb mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. If you do one thing, and one thing only, do this. One of the great things about Atkins is that eating low carb keeps your blood sugar steady, hunger under control and energy levels even, which is especially important when there are tempting holiday treats everywhere you turn.
- Ruin your appetite. Before you hit the holiday party circuit, eat a low carb meal or snack. My favorite snacks are almonds and strawberries, cheddar cheese with a strip of red bell pepper, or an Atkins bar or shake. You can also have a small salad topped with grilled chicken or a romaine lettuce wrap with ham or turkey and a little mayo and some cheese. Your goal is to eat a combination of a filling high-fiber carb with some fat or protein, so you don’t arrive at your party starving.
- Start planning your low carb holiday menu. I love nothing more than hosting an entire holiday dinner featuring low carb holiday recipes. A prime rib, ham or turkey can easily be the low carb star of the show, and then you can round out your holiday dinner or brunch with these low carb holiday swaps.
- Go easy on the holiday cheer. If you’re past Phase 1 of Atkins 20Ò, stick with a glass (or two at the most) of wine or spirits. Go with club soda for a mixer, or anything else that does not contain sugar. If you’re hosting, you can feature a signature low carb holiday drink such as Old Fashioned Eggnog, Ginger-Lemon Champagne Sparkler or Hot Buttered Rum.
- Watch out for Hidden Holiday Sugars. Your body can only process two teaspoons of sugar at the time, and the rest is stored as fat. If you follow my 5 tips for avoiding Hidden Holiday Sugars, you should be able to start the new year off without any extra pounds.
- Rein in your stress. This time of the year brings on its own level of stress (and stress eating), but exercise is an excellent form of stress relief. Go for a walk with your family or take some “me time” and hit a yoga class. You can also download a meditation app to breathe through your stress. And it never hurts to just say no. You don’t have to go to every holiday party if a cozy night at home sounds much nicer.
- Be kind to yourself. If you fall off the low carb lifestyle wagon for a moment because you can’t resist your family’s favorite Christmas cookie recipe, savor the treat and then follow up with a low carb snack or meal and some stress-reducing exercise. You can also choose to “level up”: If you’re following Atkins 20, go with Atkins 40Ò for the next couple weeks to give yourself some new food choices while still sticking with some low carb guidelines. On Atkins 40? Try Atkins 100Ô.
The holidays are a time to enjoy family, friends and traditions. Your goal with your Atkins’ low carb lifestyle is to maintain the results you’ve achieved so far while making the most of this special time of the year and setting the stage for a wonderfully healthy 2020!