10 Ways to Ease Your Family’s Transition to Low-Carb Eating
Transitioning your family to low-carb eating can be a challenge. Even if you’ve fed your family a decently healthy variety of foods prior to switching to low-carb, there’s bound to be some upset when you remove breads and pastas. I know that when I transitioned to low-carb, knowing that I would be eliminating delicious french bread was disheartening at first. When you’re making such a huge change in your life, getting it wrong in the beginning is a sure recipe for failure. However, the transition doesn’t have to be too rough. Here are ten tips to ease your family’s transition to low-carb eating.
Explain to your family why you are embracing this new way of eating. If you’re trying to lose weight, tell them. If you’re using the diet as a way to improve your overall health, let them know the benefits that they will experience, even if they are already pretty fit. Make sure that you let your family know about the dreaded ‘Low-Carb Flu’ so they will know to have plenty of electrolytes available.
Don’t Jump In All at Once
Some nutritionists and doctors will tell you that you should come home and throw away all of the now-forbidden foods when you start a new way of eating. While that may work for many adults, it’s just not always the best solution. I personally think it’s a waste of money and I couldn’t do that. Use up what you have but don’t repurchase any of the foods that don’t fit a low-carb lifestyle.
Let the Family Help Plan
As you probably know, the key to low-carb success is planning. Extensive meal planning is necessary. If you plan meals together, they are going to be more invested in the lifestyle change. When you’re replacing the granola bars, rice and Cheeze-Its, plan three or four low-carb snack options to choose from. Letting them make the choice gives them a sense of control. Let them plan a meal or two per week or let them handle planning the side dishes while you plan the entrée. This gives your family a say in what they are eating.
Offer Alternatives…for Awhile
When you first start transitioning to a low-carb lifestyle, letting your family have some carb-heavy choices will give them a smoother transition. As you switch to cauliflower and cheese instead of macaroni and cheese, add riced cauliflower to your macaroni and cheese; your family will be more used to the taste and less likely to argue. Adding a salad to each meal helps you to get in your vegetables and fills hungry tummies who are used to eating starchy foods.
Make Lunches Low-Carb Feasts
Pinterest is full of suggestions for low-carb lunches. Pack little bits of lots of foods to give your family choices and let them experience all of the low-carb goodness. You can also check out these 20 yummy chicken and fish keto recipes for meal inspiration!
When I was first starting keto, I made a list of the easiest foods for me to eat so that I knew what to reach for when I wanted breakfast, lunch or a snack. I usually take a slice of cheddar cheese and wrap it around a few pieces of sandwich meat to make a keto roll up. Or I eat some mixed nuts including macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds and pecans. I eat a lot of Gorilla Food nuts because they’re so good!
Follow my Keto Recipes board on Pinterest!
Encourage Water Consumption
It seems like no matter what we do, we never drink enough water. Once you go low-carb, you’ve probably taken most of the juice boxes and sugary drinks out of your family’s diet, which means they may get dehydrated. Honestly, I had to work up to drinking enough water. To help with that, I quit soda (but you may not need to do that!). I bought a Sodastream because I love carbonation. I make carbonated water with the Sodastream and I drink that. However, you can add sugar-free water flavoring options such as Mio so that you can transition to drinking more water. Powerade Zero is another good drink option because it contains electrolytes you might need. I also buy La Croix and keep that on stock so that I always have something with carbonation on hand.
Plan and Plant a Garden
Planning and planting a garden not only provides you with the best-tasting veggies you’ve ever had, but it’s another way to get your family invested. Growing and eating their own food brings a sense of pride. My mother-in-law has an indoor AeroGarden and she uses it to grow things like tomatoes, basil, hot peppers and cilantro.
Don’t Penalize Your Family for Mistakes
We’re only human. There are bound to be mistakes on the journey to getting healthier. Events like birthday parties and holidays will be trying times for several months to come. If your family finds that it has slipped off the low-carb wagon, you can start eating the right way again with your next meal.
Remember that You’re Eating ‘Low-Carb’ not ‘No-Carb’
Depending on the type of low-carb lifestyle you follow, your carbs may be between 25 and 150 per day. Experiment within those boundaries. Learn to make cloud bread, fat bombs and other low carb alternatives to some of your family’s favorite foods. Use berries to treat a sweet tooth. Make smoothies with yogurt and sugar free flavorings and freeze them to eat on a warm summer evening. I also love things like Breyer’s Carb Smart Chocolate Ice Cream, which tastes like a Wendy’s Frosty to me.
Also, I want to point out that for me, I’m approaching this as a keto lifestyle, aka a low-carb lifestyle. That means that overall, I’m making choices for low-carb foods, but I might ‘cheat’ on occasion. Last week I cheated and had a Red Robin Salted Caramel Shake. Zero regrets. I’m just not gonna make a daily habit of it.
Focus on Quality Food
One very important thing about switching to a keto lifestyle is that you need to focus on quality food. If you’re eating dairy or meat, look for hormone free, grass fed foods. Grass fed meat, as well as butter and cheese, has more Omega 3s in it. You can also pick up high quality vegetables at a local farmer’s market near you, usually for a fraction of what you’d pay at the grocery store. (see my 9 Easy Tips to Lower Your Grocery Budget Without Coupons)
All-in-all, the transition to low-carb does not have to be stressful for your family. It may take several months before everyone is fully immersed in your new way of eating, but before long, they will be willing participants!