By Nina Nethery
How will you survive this year’s Thanksgiving feast and stick to your low carb diet? Start by reminding yourself how much better you feel now that you have your sugar-levels under control and the pounds have been dropping away. You may have already experimented with cheating just a little, so you may already know that it can take up to 5 days for the resulting mood swings and hunger pangs to subside again. So, have a talk to yourself about how you really don’t want to go off your diet on Thanksgiving Day.
You’ll need a strategy for approaching the big meal. Be sure to have a small low carb meal and one or two high protein snacks earlier in the day. If you try to skip meals before supper, your plummeting sugar levels will sabotage you for sure. Drink plenty of water. Water will help you feel full, and it will also help to wash away toxins in your body.
Focus on the yummy foods you can eat! Help yourself to the turkey and ham, fresh vegetables and salad. Nibble on nuts and cheeses. Avoid the stuffing and rolls, the potatoes, the casseroles made with flour-based cream sauces, and of course anything sweet.But don’t deny yourself completely! If you just have to have a taste of Uncle Albert’s Carrot Rhubarb Surprise, have a small spoonful and savor it very slowly.
If you are asked to bring a contribution for the buffet, you can impress everyone with a yummy cauliflower or squash dish, or a dessert made with berries and heavy cream. Take some time to surf the Internet for low carb holiday recipes; just type “Low Carb Thanksgiving” into your favorite search engine. How do these ideas sound? Shrimp-Stuffed Eggs, Cranberry Walnut Relish, Pumpkin-Nut Bake, Spinach Cheese Bake, Eggnog made with sucralose, a Pumpkin Casserole that tastes like scalloped potatoes, Sausage Stuffing made with low carb bread, or a Pecan Pie made with pecans, butter and sugar-free maple syrup!
If you do find yourself nibbling on the “no-nos,” remember that a tidbit of this and a smidgeon of that can add up very quickly to too many carbs. Let’s look at the math. A ½ cup serving of candied sweet potatoes has 25 grams of net effective carbs (that is, after the fiber grams have been subtracted out.) How many teaspoons in a half-cup? 24. So, each teaspoon of Aunt Edna’s famous Sweet Potato Casserole would be about 1 carb.
A ½ cup of cornbread stuffing is 18g. net carbs. 2 tablespoons of turkey gravy is 1.5g net carbs.One brown ‘n serve dinner roll is 13g. net carbs.
A piece of pumpkin pie (1/8 of a 9” pie) is 36g net carbs. Can you visualize getting 12 bites out of one sliver of pie? If so, one of these tiny bites would be 3g!
There are other things to do at a Thanksgiving party besides gorging yourself! Remember to enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones. Remember to give thanks for your recovering good health and energy. With any luck, there’ll be a few folks who haven’t seen you in a while, who will comment on how great you look and ask you to tell them your dieting secrets!
Note: Much of the information for this article came from the Atkins Center website, www.Atkins.com. Please visit this site for more information. LoCarbDiner.com is a certified Atkins Retail store.