Most social events are a mine of carbohydrate-rich snacks and desserts. Food choices are limited, and if you don’t know how to plan your meal in advance, you may find yourself throwing your hands up in the air and giving in to temptation.
You may feel good in the moment, but chances are you’ll regret cheating the next day.
Here are some tried-and-true tips for staying the course
Be honest and open in your communication
The best form of defense is a strong offense. If you feel insecure when people start asking you about your dietary restrictions, plan a short, concise speech. It should be 15 to 30 seconds on what you can and cannot eat.
It’s not about trying to convince someone that they should also follow the keto diet, but to politely let them know that you’ve given it a lot of thought and that your decision comes from a place of confidence.
Practicing speaking with confidence should dissuade most people from prodding too hard.
You don’t owe anyone an in-depth explanation
Remember that your food choices are personal
Make it clear that you don’t need special treatment.
This is important. Some people will think you don’t know how to accommodate them properly if you don’t know how to feed them.
Often when people host parties or dinners, it is because they want to gather the people they love and provide them with a meal or an evening of entertainment.
If your friends or family don’t know how to do this for you, they may be frustrated or disappointed.
Let them know up front that you’ve come for the company, not the food. And if it’s convenient, bring a dish or snack to share, so they feel satisfied that they’ve been taken care of.
Let it be known that it’s about health.
You can let them know that you’ve decided to prioritize your health for a while and explore what diet makes your body feel better. So far this diet is working very well, so you’ll stick with it.
By making it clear to people that it’s about health, and your health in particular, you leave them little room to judge and snack. And no one can argue with a diet that makes you feel good.
Don’t be dogmatic
It’s good to get excited about a new diet that works for your body. It can cause problems if you try to impose your new diet on all your friends.
If you’ve been on a keto diet for a while or have tried other diets in the past, you’ve probably seen how trying to change someone’s mind often backfires. Getting on the horse or assuming that what’s good for you is good for everyone is an easy way to turn against you.
Instead, say why you like keto and emphasize the fact that this diet is working for your body right now. When people understand that you are open to different points of view, they are less likely to impose theirs on you.
Reassure people that you are not judging them
If your friends or family members challenge you or question your decisions, it’s most likely because they are starting to question themselves.
It can be unsettling when someone shows up doing something completely new and different. Will you still want to be their friend? Will they still be able to relate and connect? Some people need reassurance that you are still you.
Know your triggers
Everyone has their triggers and for many these manifest themselves during social events. If you can anticipate your triggers before they occur, you will be able to respond much better rather than react.
Here are some tips for dealing with the most common triggers:
If you like to drink in company, the best way to avoid the sugary cocktail dilemma is to choose diet-friendly options.
If you’re going to a party at someone’s house, you can bring your own alcohol. Low-sugar wine or cocktails like vodka and lime are easy and affordable options.
Set yourself a drinking limit before you go. Know your point of no return and one too many drinks can result in a glycemic nightmare or unwanted snack.
Sugar and carbohydrates are a trigger for many people. And if you’re following a ketogenic diet, it’s probably been a while since you’ve tackled your favorite sweets.
The best way to combat the siren songs of the dessert table is to fill up on high-quality foods and keep in mind your goals . If you know that there will be tempting desserts at the social event you’re attending, you can offer to bring a keto dessert to add to the table.
Your keto option will be high in fat, and super satiating. This should help curb any urges for sugar.
If food and alcohol can make people lose their minds, some people can make people lose their minds.
Unfortunately, this tends to occur especially at parties and family celebrations. If you are dealing with an aunt, cousin, or family friend who gets on your nerves, it is time to set clear boundaries.
Whatever your destination, planning ahead is essential to staying on track. This includes:
1/Eating in advance
If you don’t know the menu for your next social event, don’t leave it to chance. Eat something in advance. That way you won’t starve if the main course is a pizza with garlic bread.
If choosing where to eat is your responsibility, congratulations, your life has just been simplified. Look for restaurants that offer keto-friendly meals and dishes that will please other members of your group. A search on “Paleo” or “farm-to-table restaurants” usually yields promising results.
If you tend to eat out a lot, make a list of the most convenient places for you so that you can suggest them when needed.
If you are invited to a restaurant, check the menu in advance. If there do not seem to be any low-carb options, you can call and ask if they can meet your needs. Almost all restaurants will be able to offer you something.
3/Carbohydrate meal planning
If you are on a targeted or cyclical keto diet, you can plan your extra meal around the social event. But this can be a slippery slope, so be careful not to overdo it.
4/Bring your own food
If you are attending a dinner party, ask the host if you can bring a side dish or dessert. If you go to a restaurant, bring your own salad dressing or other sauces to replace the high-sugar options.
Whenever possible, bring your own things. This means everything and nothing from people.