Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Low-Carb Guide To Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving Day everyone! This is the one day of the year when the word "diet" is thrown completely out the window and people tend to enjoy all the gluttony that comes from seeing mounds and mounds of food to share with their family. It's a daunting sight for anyone who is livin' la vida low-carb, but I'm here to tell you everything is going to be okay.

As long as you follow my low-carb guide to Thanksgiving, you should be able to stick with your low-carb program, keep your weight under control, and not have to worry about "blowing" your low-carb lifestyle.

Here are just a few helpful tips to get you through the temptations of Thanksgiving:

1. Eat the turkey, not the dressing and other stuff.

Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? Turkey has ZERO carbs and is so good especially on Thankgiving (I like it dipped in mayonnaise -- weird, I know, but it's good!). And eating as much of it as you want by itself is perfectly fine. Avoid the desire to gorge yourself on the dressing, though, because that is 100% pure unadulterated carbohydrates that you body doesn't need. You will live without it, I promise.

And you might also avoid the cranberry sauce, gravy, potato salad, and other no-no carb-loaded dishes that will be placed in front of you. Just because they are there doesn't mean you have to eat them. Remember, your family may be watching you to see if you are gonna mess up. Some of them want you to, but you're gonna have to prove them wrong, aren't you?

2. Eat up the deviled eggs, green beans and macaroni & cheese (there's a catch!).

Deviled eggs have hardly any carbs even if they are made with sweet pickles. Get the sugar-free sweet pickles and that problem is solved.

Green beans, of course, are low in carbs and should be doctored up with some real butter and a dash of seasoning to make them taste marvelous. DON'T EAT THE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE, though! Those fried onion pieces and the cream of mushroom soup will pile on the carbs and make it prohibitively too high for you to consume, especially if you are still in the weight loss phase.

As for the mac & cheese, I told you there was a catch. You need to use Dreamfields brand pasta of the penne rigate noodles and cook with your favorite cheese (be careful about using Velveeta cheese because it is a little higher in carbs because of the sugar they add to it) for a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving side dish -- without all the extra carbohydrates!

3. Drink water or diet soda, skip the sweet tea.

In the South it is almost sacreligious to NOT drink sweet tea when you gather together for a meal. But when you are livin' la vida low-carb, you try to avoid sugar entirely because it will get your weight loss plan off track.

Instead, try some delicious filtered or bottled water to drink with your meal. Or perhaps you could enjoy a diet soda or, if you must have tea, sweeten it with some Splenda! Mmmmmm. You'll never miss all those empty carbs you would have had with that sweet tea (rat poison!).

4. Don't worry about the fat, calories, or portion size, just watch your carbs.

Remember, watching your fat, calories or portion sizes is unnecessary when you are on low-carb. Not once during my 180-pound weight loss did I ever monitor any of these. I just counted my carbs which made it easy. Just keep the carbs down and the weight will melt away. It's hard for some people to believe this, but it is true.

In fact, today my very own sister-in-law, who is trying to lose weight, said she is afraid to eat low-carb because it'll "clog my arteries." The daily struggle to overcome the misinformed stereotypes never ends, does it?! LOL! But I'm working on educating her about the low-carb lifestyle now to help her. Interestingly, she has a lot of the same thoughts as this reader once did. We're trying to change the thought processes of people -- one person at a time.

5. Stay away from pies, sweet potatoes and other sugary foods.

I know, I know. Thanksgiving isn't complete until you have some sweet potatoes with nuts and juice flowing all through them and marshmellows baked on top. Or how about that big slice of pumpkin or pecan pie? Surely you're not telling me to skip these essential Thanksgiving Day foods, are you Jimmy?

Yep, I sure am. Do you wanna know why? Because the momentary pleasure of eating these foods will set you back for several days. Even for just one meal (unless it is your planned splurge -- and no, you can't just say TODAY that this will be your planned splurge!), you really ought to say no to these items. You will THANK me later on this week when the scale keeps moving down rather than stalling.

We rationalize to ourselves that it is "just this one time" when we eat something we know we shouldn't have. "Just this one time"-thinking is exactly what led me to become the 410-pound behemouth I once was. Never again!

So there's my low-carb guide to Thanksgiving. While it is not an exhaustive list of things you can do to avoid putting your low-carb lifestyle in jeopardy, it will keep you on track to do the right thing. Now enjoy your family, fellowship and football on this special day and keep on livin' la vida low-carb!


Blogger Beauty and the Brain said...

Yum! That's a mighty fine lookin' bird you got there! Hope your Thanksgiving was happy.

Thanks for the great tips!

11/24/2005 8:28 PM  

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