How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving

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Sticking to your low-carb and keto diet can be hard during the holidays, especially on Thanksgiving, when everything is based on food. However, it doesn’t have to be.

This post will give you tips and tricks to stay keto this Thanksgiving.

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Prepare yourself for what foods will be at the gathering by getting in contact with the host. This will give you a better idea of what will be there as a temptation.

After you know what will be at dinner, you can start planning what you will eat. Start planning how much of each dish you want to eat or try.

If you know you can handle one bite of something that you love that’s not keto, plan to do that.

However, if you know you won’t be able to take just one bite or want to stick to a sticker keto diet, stay away from those dishes.

Heck, if you go with someone, they could even make a plate of food for you, so you don’t have to be in front of those dishes as much.

If one of your favorite non-keto dishes is there, you could make a small dish of this for yourself.

Or ask the host if you could bring the same dish but a low-carb version. Therefore, others who may want fewer carbs could also enjoy it.

Check out this blog post I created that provides smaller servings of keto Thanksgiving dishes.

2. Ask to Bring a Dessert

small pumpkin pie - How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving
My pumpkin pie recipe.

One way to stay away from those extra carbs and sugar is to make and bring your own Thanksgiving dessert to the event.

If you know desserts are a big weakness for you, this will help you stay on track.

You could make your own single dessert or make enough to share with others.

I have a pumpkin pie recipe that serves 2 people. There are also pumpkin cookies that taste like pumpkin pie, that could be shared. The links here will take you to these recipes.

Here is a list of other Keto Thanksgiving desserts to check out by Fit to Serve Group.

3. Bring your Favorite Ketofied Dish

If you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish that is not low carb or even keto, make this dish and bring it to dinner. It can be enough for everyone or just yourself.

Or you could even bring a keto and low-carb dessert for everyone to try. Most of the time I’ve seen more than one dessert that others can choose from.

Wholesome Yum compiled all of her Thanksgiving recipes in one place. Check it out for some ideas.

I also linked the typical side dishes in tip #15 for keto recipes people enjoy on Thanksgiving.

4. Learn to Say No Nicely

Some people have a hard time saying no especially when a friend or relative really wants to share their dish with them.

However, it is okay to say no nicely to them. Let them know that you are eating a certain way to heal your body, or whatever you want to tell them.

There is no need to say okay to someone to be polite. You can stick to keto and still be a nice friend or relative.

This post from Very Well Fit helps you through the steps and tips to say no to food pushers.

5. Don’t Go Hungry

This is the same rule about going to the grocery, to avoid overspending money. When you go hungry to an event with delicious food, it’s even harder to say no to yourself.

You know that a certain food is full of carbs, but because you went hungry your motivation is not as strong as it could be.

6. Get Enough Sleep

cat sleeping - How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving

When you don’t get a full night’s rest, your hunger singles are a lot higher (source). You will want to eat more food, and potentially more carbs, if you don’t get enough sleep.

7. Stay Hydrated

drink more water post its - How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving

Sometimes it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger. If you know that you gave yourself enough to eat, keep a glass or bottle of water by your side.

We know that water is the ideal thing to drink.

However, it can be pretty boring to only drink water, especially during a holiday event.

Feel free to have the drinks listed in the next heading.

8. Enjoy These Drinks

brand old fashioned - How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving
Brandy Old Fashioned Drink.

These beverages are keto friendly and can be enjoyed during your Thanksgiving event.

9. Load up on Turkey

Turkey is okay on the keto diet and is a great choice to load up on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Often times I have added butter to my slice of turkey.

10. Enjoy Low Carb Vegetables

Roasted Brussels sprouts are a great side dish you can load up on during Thanksgiving. However, please ask the maker of this side dish what they all used on the sprouts.

Some people may add sugar, honey, or even cranberries. If they didn’t have any sweeteners, they should be safe to enjoy.

For a 1/2 cup of the traditional green bean casserole, there are 6 grams of carbs (source). So this dish could be enjoyed while staying keto.

Another popular side dish of roasted cherry tomatoes provides 6 grams of carbs for 3/4 cup (source).

Often times people will bring in a tray of uncooked vegetables. Feel free to have some broccoli, cauliflower, and celery on these trays.

11. Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Appetizers

veggie tray - How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving

Stick to eating keto-friendly snacks before the big meal. Below are a few common ones you may see. You could even bring some of these.

12. Believe in Yourself

believe on a piece of paper - How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving

Your attitude makes all the difference. When you go to the meal with confidence that you will make the right choices, you will more likely stick to your diet. Your mind is very powerful.

If you think you can, you can. If think you can’t, then you already failed.

Henry Ford

13. Visualize How the Meal Will Go

Thinking about what will happen when you arrive at the event will help you plan for harder times.

Think back to past Thanksgivings and see if you can think of anything that will be difficult to stay keto. Then, think of a way to help you through this situation.

If you know someone will try to make you try a dish, think of what you will say before it happens. Check out tip #4 for tips on this.

14. Load Up on These Thanksgiving Foods that You Can Eat on Keto:

cooked turkey - How to Stay Keto on Thanksgiving
  • Turkey
  • Various appetizers that can be found in tip #11.
  • Green Beans
  • Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon or asparagus
  • Creamed kale or spinach made without milk
  • Salads can be good to have but watch what kind of dressing is used as they can be filled with sugar.

15. Make an Entire Keto Thanksgiving Meal

Offer to host the meal at your house and make all keto dishes and surprise them with how good it can be. Or you can make a meal just for yourself and bring it.

Below is a list of keto recipes people commonly enjoy at Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a holiday where families come together to enjoy delicious food, but it can be challenging to stay on a ketogenic (keto) diet. As a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, people can find it difficult to cut down on carbs, especially on a day when family and friends are around tempting them with high-carb dishes. But, with a bit of planning and some help, it’s possible to stay on the keto diet even during the holiday season.

First, before the big day arrives, plan ahead. Make a list of dishes that can be keto-friendly and take note of any ingredients that should be avoided. Many traditional favorites like turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing can be made keto-friendly by swapping out some of the carbs for low-carb options. Many recipes are available online for dishes like zucchini noodles with pesto and almond flour bread stuffing.

On the day of the feast, start off with low-carb snacks to curb the urge to grab a carb-filled holiday dish. Keto-friendly options like keto crackers, nuts, and vegetable sticks are popular pre-dinner snacks or appetizers that you can munch on while visiting with family.

At the dinner table, focus on the keto-friendly foods that you have pre-prepared like vegetable dishes and meats. Drinks are an area to be aware of because a glass of wine or beer may contain more carbs than you realize. Instead, choose sparkling or plain water.

Finally, remember that while it’s important to be cognizant of your diet, it’s also important to enjoy the holiday with family. One way to do this is to fill a plate with keto-friendly selections and them enjoy just a small portion of the carbs. There’s no need to feel guilty about indulging in a small slice of pie, as long as it’s within the recommended portion size for your diet.

Be prepared, snack smartly, and enjoy the holiday! With careful planning and a few adjustments, you can stay on the keto diet even on Thanksgiving.

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