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This is a tough time of year for those who follow a strict diet regimen that lies even somewhat outside the norm. Keto people can’t have carbs. Paleo can’t have dairy. Vegetarians can’t eat the turkey! With a myriad of family dinners and holiday food traditions, it can be downright treacherous! Afterwards, were left either feeling guilty for abstaining or feeling guilty for giving in, whereby sabotaging ourselves, right? Well it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are my holiday suggestions

Some of you won’t believe I’m saying this, BUT give yourself permission to go off your diet for a day. The reason you feel so guilty afterwards, is that you didn’t give yourself permission to indulge, you failed to resist and succumbed to the pressure. Then take down the pressure! If you go in to it with the mindset that you are allowed, you will relieve the pressure that’s self-imposed, as well as the awkward resistance in front of your family.

1. you’re not going to undo everything you’ve accomplished for however long you’ve been faithful to your diet. If you’ve been keto long enough, you’ll be able to slip back into ketosis within a day a two.

2. you won’t offend your family and needlessly hurt the feelings of those who’ve put so much work and joy into their holiday creations. Dear Aunt Gertrude poured all her love into that pound cake.

So, you’ve given yourself permission to de-rail for a day, great. Here’s my next suggestion. De-rail, but not too far. You have to set limits here. Once you de-rail it can become very easy to go how wild on a binge. Permission to indulge does not give justification for gluttony. You want sweet potato pie? Great! But do you need half of it? Exercise self-control and you won’t have far to come back to the rails that you de-railed from.

Now, put in some work to compensate and bounce back. Perhaps, do some intermittent fasting before the meal and a little after. Give yourself a little more exhausting workout that will place your body is a position that is conducive to using up those extra carbs or calories.

The holiday’s shouldn’t be a time of stress. Spending time with loved ones, gathered around the table and being thankful for our blessings should be our priority, not our diet. If you follow these suggestions, you should be able to more easily create a stress free environment to enjoy with your loved ones, and maintain a healthy eating habit as a long-term protocol.