Surviving Christmas Season On Vegan Keto: Tips, Recipes & More

I know how hard it is to do Keto and be vegan at the same time, now add to that the Holidays temptations that are always pulling you the other way, and you have a big puzzle to solve.

The good news is that it shouldn’t be this hard. There are specific things you can do to make your body less likely to ask for these foods that ruin your diet, how you can enjoy the season and all it offers without going off Keto, in addition to how you can avoid uncomfortable family situations where you don’t feel comfortable talking about your diet.

Let’s divide this discussion into these three parts, beginning with 1- how to stick to the diet in the middle of all the temptations, 2-how to deal with social pressures, and 3- how to enjoy the season without getting off track, including ideas for what you can prepare this season as a treat.

Each part is going to consist of tips to help you get there, starting with part one:

Sticking to the Diet Despite the Christmas Temptations

1- Don’t Drink Your Calories

The idea I want to get across here is how easy it can be to consume so many calories via drinkable beverages without even realizing it or appreciating the moment. I want you to appreciate it even if that means that one day you go slightly over your caloric limit. However, if you’re not enjoying cheating, what does it matter?

Adding avocados to smoothies, overeating nut butter, or consuming too many protein shakes for example, when these are not the things you’re actually craving is not going to leave room (calorie-wise) for you to eat the things you want to enjoy.

So this Holiday Season, and for this short season only, rethink your caloric decisions!

2- Prioritize Fibre-Rich Foods

If you’re going to shortly include some foods that weren’t a part of your diet earlier, there has to be something to counterpart that effect. Vegetables are normally a should, but in this case, they are an absolute must.

Going off course to eat some of the things you weren’t used to before can cause some digestional issues. Fiber-rich vegetables can provide a solution to that in addition to providing you with the vitamins and minerals you tend to always skip on days like these.

3- Get Your 8 Hours of Sleep

Sleep is one of those things that I really invite you to compare in your own life the difference between the days you’re sleeping enough and the days you’re not.

I guarantee you, once you’ve touched that contrast you will decide to prioritize it above almost everything else.

Moreover, when we are not committing 100% to other parts of the diet, it’s very wise to try at the very least to get the sleep part right.

When we’re not sleeping enough, we tend to become hungrier throughout the day and ask for sugary foods more than any other thing.

Plus, these cold days make sleeping one of the best chores we can commit to.

4- Remember Why You Started

This is very powerful and very much needed on such days. By remembering why you started, how far you have come, and where you intend to go, you’ll be able to responsibly enjoy the Holidays.

This is especially true if you have played around with the diet before. You’ll know then what your limit is and when you should stop.

5- Exercise Outside Your House

I want to emphasize both the “exercise” part and the “outside” one.

Exercising is one of the most important tools we can use to counterpart the things we do wrong in our diet.

Remember I said it counterparts it, not erases it.

You can’t expect to eat a whole pizza and some chocolate mousse and go for a 30-minute run and then it’s like you haven’t eaten anything.

It helps stack the deck in our favor so that when it’s combined with the other healthy choices we’re making, it can lead to a noticeable difference.

The “outside” is huge in this period in specific. You should be getting your fair share of green landscape and sunlight (when available). This will improve your mood and make you less susceptible to emotional eating throughout the day just because you’re bored or have a low mood.

6- Go Big With Protein

Protein is one of the most satiating macros of the three. Making sure we’re getting enough is a smart way to make our bodies ask for less food.

So that when we’re eating something Christmassy, it’s not because we need to and must eat the whole plate, but rather because we want to and we’re enjoying every bite.

7- Intermittent Fasting is Your Best Friend

This is another smart way of stacking the deck in our favor. Only by going for a 16-hour fast (feel free to fast more for better results), your body can start to reregulate the hormones that might have been left a little messed up after a cheat meal.

Intermittent fasting also helps decrease your hunger so you’re not dreaming about food day and night.

8- Go Back To Bulletproof Coffee

This might contradict the first tip, but here’s the thing, I’m not talking to one individual. You, dear readers, might be (and probably are) going through different scenarios.

Your goal this season might be to not eat a bite of anything other than your usual keto diet. For others, you might want to enjoy the season responsibly with the least amount of damage being done. So take from this article what feels like was meant to be directed at you.

Bulletproof coffee, similar to protein shakes, will stimulate the fullness feeling and help us think less about food. It’s a heavenly drink for such a season, being hot, thick, and smooth (it can also be healthily sweet 😉 .)

Drinking a cup at the end of your fasting window (or during, if you were hungry) will help you prolong your fasting window, and when you do break your fast, you won’t be so hungry that you eat anything in sight, but rather the planned meal.

9- Get Armed With Your Vegan-Keto-Friendly Treats (That Can Be More Delicious Than You Think)

Coconut oil, MCT oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon, almond/coconut flour and milk, and vegan cheeses are some of the basic ingredients that you should be grateful you can use while on a vegan Keto diet. With the help of your favorite sweetener, these alone can help create DELICIOUS Keto-friendly desserts that will keep you in ketosis without having to risk a cheat day and will put that heavenly Christmas taste in your mouth.

Look out for more recipe ideas in the last section.

Dealing With Social Pressures During The Holidays

1- Bring Two Vegan-Keto-Friendly Dishes To The Party

Yes, I said two. You can bring one, but you’ll have a hard time eating more than one bite from it if it’s the only thing you brought to the table. This is especially bad if the table turns out to be nothing like you hoped for.

Bringing two will give you at least 2 choices to eat from. But come on, which party doesn’t include some side vegetables, hummus, and some nuts?

But you know the saying, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

2- The Power of “No Thanks.”

Although there won’t be anybody there who will force open your mouth and throw food inside, you might feel like they might. We all know similar people.

In fact, in a poll I ran, 66.1% of people said that simply saying “No thanks” just doesn’t fly at home parties.

So, you must know by knowing them if this magical word works with them, and they just want you to be comfortable, or if they need another nuanced method, which is next:

3- The Power Of The Right Excuse

They might be a tough uncle/aunt or a dysfunctional, loving friend who sees that matter as:

1- The more you eat at their table, the more you’re comfortable in their house/the more you love them, or 2- You’re denying yourself from enjoying food during such a special time, and their message is for you to take things easy and live the moment.

You might also just not want to speak about dieting. We all have been at parties where we can see that other people there need a diet a lot more than we do. Despite that, they’re eating left and right.

You don’t have to mention the diet, but instead, come up with any other excuse that fit your situation:

You can’t overeat because you’re traveling the following day, or you’ve been having some digestional issues lately, or you have been sick and have just come out of it, and you don’t want to be eating more than you should.

Sometimes innocent lies can be our best friend.

4- Stack On Salads & Hummus

As I mentioned, there probably are these basic dishes, like salads and hummus, that fit the diet. Eat more of them, especially once the host(s) start looking at you. You know, they always wanna see you eating.

I have actually run a poll, and 72% voted that this is something they have faced at a home party.

It can also help you to eat more slowly so that your plate is never empty.

5- Bring A Vegan, Keto Dessert

Dessert can be the hardest part of the party. You can get away with eating more fat or protein, but overeating sweets can get you kicked out of ketosis.

That’s why it helps to bring a dish with you.

But I want you to chill a bit. Especially if it’s a Thanksgiving or a Christmas party. A bite here and there won’t be the end of the world. Just do it mindfully. And the next two tips will get you ready for the aftermath.

6- Make Sure You Snack Before You Come (& Plan To Fast The Following Day)

Coming in after a snack is an easy way to not leave the party feeling hungry and frustrated that there weren’t so many proper options for you. But if you overdo it, and then there were so many good dishes, you’ll also either hate yourself or will overeat.

Now, especially if you left the party after too much gravy/dessert, you need to start a fast then and there, if possible. We’ll talk more about that next.

7- Assess The Damage & Take The Required Actions

Like I just said, intermittent fasting can be a treat way to counterpart some of the damage done.

Going for a run or a long walk the following morning can also be extremely beneficial.

Trying fat fasting can also be a good idea if you consumed more sugar than you’d like.

Enjoying the Season (responsibly) To The Max + Dessert Ideas

1- Adjust Your Numbers Mindfully

You might have been going for a drastic calorie deficit, or cutting your carbs way too much. You might decide now that you want to go to your limit for this week and enjoy food, without getting kicked out of ketosis.

You’re in a really special place, as you can enjoy yourself more and feel like you’re eating everything you want. But it’s also because you have been paying the price early on.

2- Learn The Limits Of Your Diet

The limits of the diet are the limits of your creativity. There are so many things you can come up with using the simple ingredients in your hands.

You have to know that EVERYTHING you might crave, can be made in a Keto-friendly way. It might be a challenge for you to also have it be vegan, but it is doable in most cases.

Ginger cookies, pies, puddings, peppermint brownies, lemon cake, cheesecake, heck even Bûche de Noël is still on the table.

The key here is to replace the ingredients with others allowed on your diet. For example, sugar with stevia/erythritol, flour with almond/coconut flour, regular cheese with vegan cheese, and so on.

What’s better is to Google the recipe you’re looking for followed by the word “vegan”, and then you can make the swaps to Keto-friendly ingredients.

You just have to do your research and googling about what you’re currently craving, and be patient with the process.

3- Decide How To You Want To Approach This

There are basically two ways to do it, either go full Keto, and only consume things that are Keto-friendly and fit in your macros, or you decide that a couple-days break from the diet is the way to go for you.

Although I don’t recommend the second approach, 38.9% of Keto dieters I have polled said that this is the way they prefer to go for and then get back on the Keto train.

4- Avoid Binge Eating, & Lean Toward Mindful Eating

Whatever scenario you picked from the last tip, please don’t adopt the mindset of “It’s the Holidays, diet who?”.

Whatever way you wanna go, I just want you to be mindful about it. To be enjoying the things you’re eating. Not just eating beyond your consciousness because you have unleashed yourself and you’re off the diet now.

5- Make Sure The Eggnog Is Sugar-Free

Alcohol and sugar are bad for you, no matter which diet you’re doing.

However, if you decide to have it once in a small amount this season, make sure the alcohol and the cream are sugar-free.

Of course, the safest way to make sure of that is to prepare it yourself.

6- Don’t Leave The Season Deprived

No matter which way you decide to go, make sure when the new year rolls around, you are content with the way you spent the Holidays. If were too strict, you might not have the determination in the new year.

This little break and that second wind are best taken, responsibly, at the end of the year, because as the new year rings its bells, the motivation and determination train will pick you right where you left off.

So catch your breath, just don’t go off the track. 😉

Nabeel Kallas

I'm a medical doctor with a lot of passion for Keto & Intermittent Fasting. They have completely changed my life and I am beyond honored to help you experience that same change. I'm ready when you are. Read more here.

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