mindset tools nutrition Jun 29, 2020

It can be tough to be social when we have decided to start eating in a way that is different from the mainstream.   It can cause anxiety before the event even begins. 

I created this guide to gain confidence around any social gathering you attend, in four easy steps.  And, guess what, it spells "PLAN' so you won't forget them! 



1. PROVIDE an option or options for yourself. 

Whether you are aware of what food is going to be available to you or not, it’s always good to bring something that you know you can eat. 

If you are bringing a dish that people generally see as healthy (like a veggie tray or salad) it may be a good idea – whenever possible – to let the host or hostess know ahead time.  This sets a standard that you may be looking to eat healthy, which might help you avoid any questions later on. 

Some ideas:


Keto-friendly deviled eggs or egg salad 

Bacon-wrapped chicken bites

Veggie trays or salads

Guac and pork rinds or veggies to dip


A keto-friendly dessert

Or “bring a plate” which means, bring your own meat for grilling – if that is what is going down at the gathering



2. LEARN what is going to be at the gathering ahead of time.  Those of us who have embarked on any new whole food lifestyle, know that there is planning involved in staying true to it.  This is because our world is full of processed foods loaded with junk that aren’t even real ingredients.  These are “convenience” foods that rare their ugly heads at every function under the sun.

So whenever possible, it is helpful to know what you’re about to walk into.  Will there be alcohol, do you plan on drinking said alcohol?   What about the food?  How do you feel about your pre-determined choices?  Really ask yourself those questions and then come up with a PLAN.    

The good news about summer gatherings is that they often revolve around grilled meats.  Be a little bit cautious about whether or not they contain barbeque sauce or high sugar marinades.  Burgers sans bun are often one of the best options. 



3. ALWAYS decide ahead of time what you are going to do about food and/or alcohol at the party.  And, make sure to PLAN it all.   If you’ve decided on a bun less cheeseburger with a side of veggies – great, stick to that.  If you decided you will allow yourself two glasses of wine, that’s just fine, stick with that. 

If you decide that you are going to allow yourself 1 piece of cake, then do that.  But, regardless of whether or not you stay on plan or you are going to have an “off day,” make sure that you are planning it down to the amount and stick to it.

Now – of course there are likely going to be consequences to having that piece of cake.  You are probably going to feel gross and you may even see a five-pound gain on the scale (water weight).  Or maybe, you feel fine. 

For the first scenario – please hear me say – you are not allowed to beat yourself up about it.  You made that choice consciously, so now it’s time to be curious and have a little grace with yourself.  Okay, when I eat cake, my body gets angry at me and I don’t feel good the next day.  Maybe, I don’t want the cake next time?   Or maybe, it’s worth it?

If you feel fine – still be curious with yourself – and please do not take it to mean that you can eat cake every day.  Your body will still be going through adjustments because that cake will kick you out of ketosis.  So – again, you are not allowed to berate yourself, but you are an adult allowed to decide when and if you will eat something that is not part of your new lifestyle.

Now – if you planned on staying strict with your keto – good for you.  Make sure to stick to it, which may or may not mean that you need to plan to eat ENOUGH food.

We all know that we can fast for days and it’s fine, but if you are at a gathering that you know you’ll be at from noon until 10 p.m. it’s probably not realistic to think you are just not going to eat anything.  Or that you are only going to eat one plain hot dog and a celery stick.




4. NEVER go hungry.  If you are not sure that you will be able to eat anything at the party or gathering and you are also not confident in your own ability to say “no,” make sure that you eat a substantial meal before you go to the event.  Focus on protein and fat, because they are satiating and keep you feeling full longer.

That way you will be telling the truth when you decline the food offerings “because you are not hungry, right now.”

You never have to actually tell the other guests that you are eating a ketogenic diet, that is entirely up to you, you do not owe any explanation beyond “no, thanks, I’m not hungry.” 

If someone persists, just simply say, “I will gladly have some in a little while, when I feel hungry.”  They likely will not continue to keep tabs on you – to make sure that you’ve eaten. 



Now – the most important thing you have left to focus on is just having fun!  It takes a lot of practice, but by planning and staying true to your plan, you will build a trusting relationship with yourself.

You will be sending a message to yourself that you take care of you, you plan for obstacles and you plan enough food to make you feel satisfied.   In doing all of this, you will be building a stronger ability to be able to attend events with confidence and focus on the social aspects of the gathering over the food and food anxiety. 


Wondering if alcohol is actually keto-friendly or not? Click here to read the article on what alcohol actually does in our bodies.




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