Right now, it seems like everyone is on the Keto diet (myself included!) which involves limited carbs and consuming a moderate amount of protein with most calories coming from fat. It sounds counterintuitive but many people have lost weight following this eating plan.

Unfortunately, the holiday season can be a little tricky on a keto diet. Dinner parties and gatherings will be filled with tables topped with taboo items and unwelcomed temptations. Is it hopeless? Absolutely not! Here are some suggestions for staying low carb during this time of year.

Stick to the Meats

While it’s best to steer clear of sugar-laden fare such as honey glazed ham, the other meat offerings should keep you relatively safe. Even if you have to remove some puff pastry, most gatherings will have something you can nibble on (and, just in case, always carry some jerky and/or nuts with you!)

If you’re really looking to keep things high fat and low carb, choose darker cuts such as turkey legs or thighs, as well as hot dogs and sausages (if you’re in charge of meal prep, wrap everything in bacon before cooking). Your meat-filled plate might earn you a few sideways glances but let them stare—you’re feeling pretty great these days.

Flavorful Sides

‘Tis the season for starchy vegetables but instead of loading up on mashed potatoes or candied yams, stick to sides that won’t leave you feeling bloated. Salads, green bean fries,  broccoli, cauliflower (try it steamed or mashed!) and peppers will bring freshness and vibrant colors to your plate.

If you’re craving dinner rolls, a little pre-planning can go a long way. You’ll have to do a little baking but there are easy recipes for keto bread or low carb rolls (my favorite) that will leave you feeling satisfied. Don’t forget the gravy.

Low Carb Desserts

You’ve made it through dinner without going over your carb allowance but now it’s time for dessert. While everyone loads up on cakes, pies, and cookies, you won’t want to sit there feeling deprived—but you also don’t want to eat something you will regret.

Why not bring your own show-stopping dessert? By now, the people around you have probably been asking all about the keto diet and this is a fantastic opportunity to show them that you there’s still room for something indulgent. Here are some links to some keto-friendly desserts you can try:

Don’t feel like doing your own baking? Try Fat Snax cookies. They come in Chocolate Chip, Lemony Lemon, and Peanut Butter flavors and are made from almond flour, coconut flour, butter, and natural sweeteners. I always keep one around for on the go.

Festive Drinks

It’s not enough that the holiday season is filled with so many snacks and foods but it’s also traditional to enjoy festive drinks, even if it’s just coffee or tea to go with dessert. If you’re following the keto diet plan, you might be wondering about your options.

Coffee and tea with nothing in it should be just fine. Many people also enjoy adding heavy cream, unsweetened almond milk, butter or coconut oil (here’s a great recipe for “bulletproof” keto coffee).

Additionally, many people enjoy alcoholic cocktails, punch, and eggnog. While you can consume alcohol on the keto diet, you should avoid sugary mixes, beers, and wine coolers. Instead, stick to champagne, dry wines, pure spirits, and dry martinis. If you’re feeling adventurous, try this recipe for keto eggnog.

While you will want to watch what you eat if you’re sticking to the keto diet during the holidays, you don’t have to leave the dinner table feeling deprived. You can still feel indulgent while making responsible choices.

Of course, if there’s something you really want, give yourself permission to splurge a little. You want to make changes that you can embrace for the rest of your life which means that, once in a while, you might eat a piece of cake today. Just get back on track tomorrow.