How to Stay Keto or Low Carb When Others Around You Are Not; Tips and Recipes for family meals at home, small or large social gatherings and eating out.
As long as I am home on my own turf and able to shop, plan and cook for myself, I am good. When I get an invitation to go out though, the stress goes up!
It doesn’t have to be that way though. I have learned a few tricks. Here is How to Stay Keto Low Carb or Any Diet When Others Around You are Not.
These tips are assuming you are alone in your journey and your family, coworkers, friends, etc. are not eating the same as you are. That is my case.
I need to do this for my health. I must do this. I cannot let what everyone else is doing distract me from doing what I know I need to do for me.
You may be the only one in your family, workplace or group of friends eating this way but you are NOT alone.
At Home with Family
Talk to your family; tell them they are part of the reason you want to be healthy! They can learn how to be supportive and helpful!
Remind them when needed. Be patient with them and with yourself.
Have your own drawer and/or shelf in the refrigerator and your own cabinet in the kitchen and keep them well stocked with good food for you. Make sure your family knows that those places are off limits to them.
It is so discouraging to think you have prepared food set aside to stay on track and find someone else ate it! (And remember that their shelves and spaces are off limits to you too for you to succeed.)
Make the main dish of protein and vegetable for everyone and add a side of rice, potatoes, whatever for the family. They can eat their carbs and yours will be separate from it.
There is no reason to cook an entire meal for them and one for you too. Once they taste all of the delicious low carb options and still get their starchy sides, they will be fine and you will be great!
Most of the time, if I don’t point it out, the family will not even think they are eating low carb food items. I can eat with them and we are all happy.
(Click on the colored words to go to a delicious recipe.)
Serve spaghetti sauce and meatballs with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for you.
Tacos; eat yours as a salad or in a cheese shell.
Fajitas; like tacos, they are delicious as a salad or in a cheese shell.
Hamburgers; eat yours in a lettuce “bun”.
Pizza; there are lots of ways to do pizza low carb. Here are 39 Pizza recipes.
Philly Cheesesteak Casserole; this totally does not need the bread for me but they can have it if they want.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole–a family favorite–make theirs into enchiladas and yours easily into a smaller dish on the side with the same ingredients.
Many recipes can be done this way!
A small gathering; family or friend’s for dinner
If it is close friends or family, you can usually explain your food needs and they will adapt the menu or not mind if you don’t eat some of the items and/or bring your own dish(es) to share.
Most hostesses (really, probably all!) want their guests to enjoy their meal and be able to eat it. They don’t want to prepare something you can’t eat or that will cause you stress or sickness.
Always ask what you can bring and take something that you know you can eat. Wow them with a great Keto side dish! Here are 79 ideas!
Take some of the meat and vegetables that are being served and enjoy your meal.
Don’t worry about tiny details tonight.
Sometimes the hostess may not close enough that you can talk to them about your needs and you must just go with it.
In that case, take tiny servings of a few things and eat as little as possible while being social and polite.
If it is something like lasagna, eat around the noodles as much as possible.
There are so many people with dietary needs, it is certainly not strange to say that something (bread, pasta, sugar, whatever) doesn’t make you feel well if you are questioned or offered something you just cannot eat.
Potluck, picnics, parties, large gatherings
Always take at least one low carb option with you! Unlike going to someone’s home for a small gathering for a dinner, if you are unsure of what will be offered (or maybe you are very sure it will be all bad choices!), this is a time when it is a great idea to simply eat before you go.
During the event, keep your hands busy with a glass of water or small plate of something if available. Concentrate more on the people and visiting than the food.
Prepare a delicious Keto meal or treat to have when you get home to look forward to so you don’t dwell on what you can’t have at the party.
Some of these I have taken to a family holiday or group potluck and they are raved over and they want the recipe. Haha, score!
Low carb does not mean boring and it does not mean deprivation!
There are plenty of crowd pleasing, delicious low carb dishes. Ideas include:
Creamed Mushrooms (amazing with hamburgers!)
Cream Cheese Ball (We dip vegetables or spread on pork rinds, take crackers too for them)
Buffalo Chicken Dip by Taste of Home (We dip celery or pork rinds, they can dip chips or crackers)
Most restaurants, even fast food, have menus online.
Always look at it ahead of time and decide what you will have. Do not change your mind when you get there.
I always also have a second option in mind just in case the first is not available for some reason.
You are almost always safe with salads with Ranch dressing or oil and vinegar (hold the croutons and sweet dressings of course), meats without breading or sauces and side vegetables like broccoli or asparagus.
Grilled and broiled are your best choices and butter is fine.
Ask for extra butter!
Things to say when offered bad choices:
No, Thank you
Thank you but that doesn’t make me feel well.
Don’t say, “I can’t eat that”. Say, “I don’t eat that” or “I choose not to eat that”.
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