Labor Day weekend is coming around and you know what that means: picnics and barbecues to mark the end of summer. The holiday might be centered around food and fun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stick to your keto diet. It simply might take a bit more creativity and planning to ensure that your party has keto-friendly foods.
If you don’t want to be left out of the festivities this holiday weekend, here are a few helpful tips to help you keep keto on Labor Day weekend.
1. Prepare for the Appetizers
Most parties start off with a little bit of snacking, but there may not be much on the table for you to eat that is low in carbs and high in fat and protein. Fortunately, making sure there’s an appetizer you can have doesn’t have to be overly complex. It can be as simple as packing a make-ahead veggie tray loaded up with celery, tomatoes, and even mushrooms served with a full-fat ranch dressing.
Make homemade guacamole if you need to work in more healthy fats. You can eat it straight from the bowl or serve it with chips for your non-keto friends and family. If you don’t mind a little extra prep work, you can make these multi-seed keto crackers for dipping–they only have 1g of net carbs!
If you’re attending a party that’s heavy on the hors d’oeuvres, you’ll want to get a few snacks lined up to help you stay keto on Labor Day. Pack your own homemade Cheez-Its, bruschetta with basil oil, or pinwheels. All of these snacks are hearty and will satisfy cravings for those foods that aren’t as keto-friendly. Remember that you can also pack low-carb fruits like berries for snacks.
2. Stick to the Meats to Stay Keto on Labor Day
The good news is that most barbecues have meat as their main course, making it easy to stick to keto on Labor Day. Make sure that your meat isn’t covered in sugar-filled sauces that have too many carbs for you to consume. If you aren’t the one in charge of the meat, request that they leave the marinade off your meal or supply your own sugar-free marinade that fits into your macros.
Don’t forget to leave the buns at home though. Instead, try bringing large butter lettuce leaves to wrap your burgers or other meats.
3. Get Great Sides
While the main course may be enough to fill you up, most cookouts aren’t complete without a few side dishes to accompany the meat. A common staple that accompanies burgers is French fries, but you can make a keto-friendly option with baked green bean fries instead.
Put some fresh brussels sprouts in the air fryer for a tasty and healthy side dish. Toss in some crunchy bacon for added flavor that makes these seem less like the brussels sprouts you grew up eating.
If you want to add a little color to your plate and pack in the maximum flavor, consider trying this Egyptian salad complete with cucumber, tomato, and red onion.
4. Don’t Forget Dessert
Is any holiday meal truly complete without a little something sweet to curb those cravings? Many party hosts will serve some variation on ice cream and berries for the Labor Day weekend, but you can certainly get more creative than that. You could purchase keto-friendly ice cream from the store for yourself, or you could try some of these tasty recipes perfect for picnics:
Remember that even if you don’t have time to make a dessert to bring to your picnic, a small serving of berries (add unsweetened whipped cream, if it’s available) is also a great keto snack or dessert option.
5. Sticking to Keto with Alcohol
Part of the joy of the Labor Day weekend is imbibing a little and letting loose. Unfortunately, many of the most common alcoholic drinks for a party are too high in sugar content to keep you in ketosis. Instead, you’ll want to steer clear of the margaritas and pina coladas. Anything that is pre-mixed likely has too many carbs for those on keto diets.
Favor liquor such as rum, vodka, tequila, or gin in one-ounce servings. If you aren’t a fan of drinking it straight, you can mix it with a diet soda or flavored seltzer water.
Another option would be a small glass of wine if you have the macros to include this as part of your festivities. Otherwise, light beer will also do the trick with just five or fewer grams of carbs.
There you have it: five easy tips to help you stay in keto on Labor Day weekend. What recipes will you try to get your friends and family to see just how tasty it is to stay keto?
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