With Thanksgiving around the corner, many people are starting to plan their menus and recipes for the holidays. But for anyone following the ketogenic diet, navigating the carb-rich spread of mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie can be tricky.
Fortunately, you don't have to let one day derail your diet plans. Instead, you can use these tips and tricks to plan a Thanksgiving menu that has keto-friendly options. Here's what to know.
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb style of eating. Those on a keto diet typically consume around 75 percent of their calories from fat, 20 percent of their calories from protein and 5 percent of their calories from carbohydrates.
When the body is deprived of carbs, it starts to break down fat molecules, and rely on ketones to help fuel bodily functions. This is referred to as a state of "ketosis," hence the name "keto." The research on this style of eating is relatively limited but growing and a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that obese men following a short-term keto diet lost weight and felt less hungry compared to other dietary interventions.
How to Approach Thanksgiving on a Keto Diet
Approaching the Thanksgiving table is a bit different when you're following a high-fat and low-carb diet. At first glance, it seems like everything is off-limits. But with a few swaps here and there, you can have a tasty and enjoyable meal without knocking your body out of ketosis.
Below are some effective ways to tackle the turkey day meal:
3 Simple Keto Thanksgiving Recipes
Not sure where to start with your keto Thanksgiving menu? These three crowd-pleasing recipes for the holidays are incredibly simple and tasty:
1. Cauliflower mash: Chop and steam a head of cauliflower and transfer it to a food processor with 2+ tablespoons butter, 1 clove garlic and 1 tablespoon chopped chives. Process until smooth.
2. No-sugar cranberry sauce: Combine a 12-ounce bag of cranberries, ½ cup erythritol sweetener,1 tablespoon orange zest and ¾ cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Parmesan-crusted green beans: Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a bowl, toss 1-pound green beans with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and 2+ tablespoons olive oil. Spread the green beans on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
With a little planning and creativity, it's possible to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving meal while following the ketogenic diet. Give these strategies (and recipes) a try to see what works best for you.
Focus on Hydration for Recovery to Perform Like an Elite Athlete
From day to day, elite athletes' workouts change to emphasize a variety of different strengths and skills and prevent over-training of specific muscles or joints. Over time, intense athletic training improves performance by breaking down the body's muscles, depleting them of their energy stores, and then recovering and repairing them to allow optimal strength and performance. If athletes don't recover properly from their strenuous training regimen, they can't perform at the elite level, and that's where proper nutrition and hydration come into play.