Sadly we can’t help with the bank balance, but we can give you some tips for sticking to the lifestyle. First of all, always remember that Banting is not a fad diet, but a lifestyle you have chosen because of the health benefits. Diving into the Christmas pudding or drinking a whole bottle of wine is not going to make you feel good.
Leading up to Christmas, eating out or even staying in hotels can sabotage your best efforts to stay on track if you are not prepared. You can still stick to Banting it’s all about what you choose to eat and drink.
Alcohol is a grey area, if you are trying to lose weight you would do better to avoid it completely. But, since this is a lifestyle and not a death sentence you may feel the need to indulge over the festive season. If this is the case stick to whisky, or dry red or white wine. Having a white wine spritzer is a good option, this dilutes the alcohol and can be very refreshing. If you are drinking make sure you stay hydrated and drink water in-between drinks. Sparkling water or soda water with slices of lemon or infused with fruit are very refreshing and are an ideal drink.
When you order meals look for the best banting option on the menu, protein is often easy, steak, lamb chops, fish, prawns, calamari, or chicken – grilled or fried in butter rather than crumbed. Meat or chicken stuffed with cheese and bacon, or topped with avocado, and of course lemon and garlic butter with seafood (just check it is real butter) even herb butter on steak is delicious. For sides give chips a skip, opt for salad or roast vegetables. Some restaurants even offer cauli rice or mash. Then ask for olive oil and use liberally. You can even choose a salad as a main, ask that they hold the dressing and bring you olive oil and wedges of lemon to dress your salad. If you have starters opt for creamy chicken livers, fried haloumi, carpaccio, steak strips, salad, calamari or one of the other low carb options. Don’t touch the bread, it’s not worth the stomach ache and headaches that you may experience from eating grains.
Many restaurants now have low carb desserts, if not rather just have a coffee and pouring cream – just make sure it is real dairy cream and not the boxed version made from inflammatory seed oils. If you use a Banting-friendly sweetener it is a good idea to always carry some with you, to ensure that you can sweeten your coffee.
While out and about shopping or sightseeing, you might be stopping for refreshments, a cappuccino usually contains 12g of carbohydrates, so rather opt for an Americano with pouring cream, this will come in at just on 1g of carbs. A few coffees a day and you can see how this could sabotage your best efforts to stay on track.
Visiting with friends comes with its own set of challenges. Offering to take a dish so that you can replace your biggest temptation would be a good idea. If you feel you will miss the dessert the most than make a delicious low carb dessert that can be enjoyed by everyone, I promise even the non-Banters will tuck in.
Whatever you do this festive season, enjoy yourselves, focus on having fun and spending time with those you love. Don’t feel guilty if you do end up eating something that you feel you shouldn’t, but get striaght back into the lifestyle at the very next meal.
Article written by Banting Buddies coach, Merle Westcott.
Merle can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org