Have a Very Keto Christmas: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Low-Carb Diet on Track During the Holidays

Keto expert Mark Sisson dishes on how you can maintain the low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet during the holidays.

High Angle View Of Fresh Meal During Christmas
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Staying on the ketogenic diet during the holidays may seem like an impossible feat, but with the right tools and a little preparation you can do it.

In fact, Mark Sisson, author of The Keto Reset Diet and founder of the health food product line Primal Kitchen, tells PEOPLE the very low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat eating plan—which has helped celebrities like Jenna Jameson lose weight—actually works fairly well with Christmas dinner, since the main attraction is often the meat course. But there are a few sneaky by-products of the meal that can set you off track (like one too many glasses of alcohol).

Read on for his tips and tricks for having a very keto Christmas.

Courtesy Primal Kitchen

Take full advantage of the meats.

“This goes for the Christmas turkey, ham (avoiding any sugar glaze), goose, beef roast, or whatever meat dish takes center stage at the holiday table,” says Sisson.

Forage wisely among the appetizers.

“Whether you’re navigating a company holiday party or a pre-dinner spread, skip the crackers, breads and crostini,” he says. “Instead, zero in on simple but rich selections like olives, cheese, salami, shrimp, oysters or the crudités platter.”

Look for the vegetables (or bring them yourself).

“Unfortunately, holiday vegetables are often starchy choices like potatoes, sweet potatoes or squashes. Others tend to be loaded with sauces, whose carb count can be in question. Look for non-starchy options like green beans with butter and garlic or fresh salads. Since the vegetable offerings are usually the trickiest, offer to bring a vegetables side or salad to share when you’re a guest.”

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Choose drinks carefully.

“Drinks can easily contain more sugar than a dessert, so be thoughtful. Skips sodas, juices, beer and sugary mixed drinks. Even though straight hard liquor like vodka or bourbon may not have net carbs, keep in mind that alcohol lowers the inhibitions—including at the buffet. Commercial wine may have added sugars, so drink moderately, and make sparkling water your main choice.”

Do “after dinner” differently.

“It’s pretty safe to say that staying keto at the holiday means skipping the dessert table, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an ‘after dinner’ course,” he says. “Enjoy a coffee with unsweetened cream. Choose an herbal tea. Or take a handful of nuts and a few berries or a slice of pear.”

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