The festive season symbolizes hot sunny days on the beach, family feasts, and celebratory drinks… all things we look forward to all year round. The prepping and planning are part of the fun but most people, who haven’t been on the ketogenic diet for that long, have one ‘tiny’ challenge. Okay, this is an understatement. All the frolicking and festivities will most definitely tempt you daily to just give into the moment. After all, you deserve it right? And why does the word deserve to look awfully much like dessert?
Having said that, you should be so super proud of yourself for joining the Keto club and sticking it out. You probably feel so much more energized, and most of you will see in your clothes that the extra kilograms start to drop off after a while. This is a long-awaited moment for many – when your clothes start feeling a bit looser. Oh, what a joyous feeling!
Almost everyone who started following a keto lifestyle struggle to let go of carbs in the beginning, and it often is a long journey to get to the point where keto has become a lifestyle and not just another diet fad that doesn’t work. But the conundrum is, for most “keto club members”, that ketosis and refined carbs are not, and will never be, friends. Not even for the festive season.
So, to prep yourself emotionally and mentally we have put together some useful and practical tips to help you curb your carbohydrate cravings during the summer holidays.
What drinks to enjoy whilst doing keto?
Okay, first things first… most of us love a glass of wine, beer, or bubbles, right? And during the festive season and holidays, we love it, even more, heck we deserve it!
Here's a secret that we know will earn us lots of brownie points with our keto friends. There are some drinks that you can enjoy without feeling guilty!
- Dry White Wine has about 3-4 grams of carbs per 148ml (stick to one glass per day if you can)
- Dry Red Wine also has 3-4 grams of carbs per 148ml (also stick to one glass per day if you can)
- Light Beer has about 3 grams per 355ml (go light here and stick to one glass a day)
The golden rule here (yes, there are always rules in life) is to stick to one glass for women and two glasses for men per day. But for those who want more details, we’ve dived a bit deeper into searching to find the best varieties of wines to enjoy. Here's the list of the best wines to enjoy whilst following a ketogenic diet:
- Best white wines: Brut Champagne and Sauvignon Blanc
- Best red wines: Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon
If you feel too restricted by the one-glass-a-day measure, we have even better news. The following alcoholic beverages have zero (!!), yes that’s right, zero carbs:
- Gin (share the news and make your keto-friends very happy),
- Tequila (for all your wild friends),
- Whiskey (for the more sophisticated among us),
- Vodka (try Vodka, lime, and soda as a refreshing drink) and surprisingly,
Can alcohol kick you out of Ketosis?
For those following a ketogenic lifestyle or considering jumping on, in essence, being in ketosis means that your body burns fat from the food and your body, for fuel and then produces ketones.
So what happens when you drink alcohol whiles following a ketogenic diet?
Your body registers alcohol as a type of poison and it literally stops and focuses on getting rid of it first, by metabolizing it. This means that your body stops breaking down both sugar (from food) and fat, to break down the alcohol instead. As a result, any excess sugar or fat is likely to get stored in the form of glycogen in the liver and primarily body fat. When you’re in ketosis you don’t have much glycogen present in your bloodstream. As a result, alcohol is sent to your liver and converted to acetaldehyde to be metabolized faster. So you’ll feel intoxicated faster.
But yet again, there is some good news here as well for us keto-followers who don’t want to lose control or dignity in front of their friends or family members.
How to reduce the impact of alcohol on keto?
Some of you might know that the trick to minimizing the effect alcohol has on your body is to increase your water intake. Your body is made of 60% water. Alcohol is a known diuretic and makes you run to the bathroom more often. So the trick is to add more water to your system before and during alcohol consumption.
The rule of thumb is to down a glass of water – yes, get it over as quickly as you can. And then you go for your glass of wine or whatever. Just remember to keep downing the water before every drink, if you’re having more than one. This will help your body flush out the toxins and protect you from those nasty side effects.
What about food cravings?Do you also feel that the moment you can’t enjoy that ONE thanksgiving or Christmas meal where everyone is gathered, and everyone’s spirits are high, your mind immediately goes into ‘I-feel-deprived-mode’? This leads to overeating and trying to catch up on all the carbs you’ve parted with over the past few months. Thank goodness, for most people like this, there is hope. And this tip is super practical and easy! (You can thank us later…wink)
Before you start to indulge in that super special meal, decide upfront which carbs are at the top of your list. So, choose the must-haves. Don’t just grab a bread roll because it’s there. Think about what will make you feel that you haven’t missed out and enjoy every bite. Perhaps all the carbs are not that special at all, but the dessert might be the deal breaker for you! And for Christmas dinners or special occasions, it usually is.
The bottom line is, to give yourself a break and let go of that perfectionist mentality. It is a fact that the all-or-nothing mindset causes most people to yo-yo diet. Celebrate with your friends and family and put more focus on the occasion than on the food or drinks.
The same principle should go for your entire holiday break and in fact after the holidays too. Decide upfront when you have a special occasion and try to stick to that decision – this way you’ll feel in control and proud that you haven’t deprived yourself or let yourself down.
Here’s to feeling festive and enjoying it to the full! Cheers!