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Have a Keto Thanksgiving Dinner – Meal Plan Included!

Thanksgiving might as well be called the day of nonstop eating, and unfortunately, it’s also a day where many diets go out the window.

But, it doesn’t have to be! Just because traditional Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts are loaded with carbs and sugar, doesn’t mean you have to go hungry on turkey day.

Here are some tips that may help:

If you’re not the one hosting:

Keto Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey

Bring Your Keto Dishes With You

You can convert almost, if not all, of your Thanksgiving favorite dishes into keto-friendly ones. Turkey is already keto, and bringing your own side dishes helps you ensure you’ll still have a keto Thanksgiving dinner. 

Remember What You Can Eat and What to Avoid

It’s not always easy to bring a bunch of keto-friendly options with you everywhere you go. 

I get it! 

That said, here are some things you can eat:

  • Salad (provided it doesn’t already have a carb and sugar laden dressing on it)
    • If it’s not dressed, just opt for oil and vinegar, or bring some keto-friendly dressing with you. People have all kinds of food allergies these days, so there’s no harm in meeting your own dietary restrictions!
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Deviled eggs (again, as long as there are no hidden carbs and/or sugars – ask your hostess what’s in it before indulging)
  • Veggies that have no added breading/carb ridden sauces
  • Turkey – skip the gravy!

Foods to avoid for your keto Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Sugary sodas, beer, and most other beverages
    • Bring a bottle of red wine for yourself, and then stick with water (still or sparkling) the rest of the evening
  • Most desserts – unless you brought the dessert and know it’s keto friendly
  • Rolls
  • Stuffing
  • Sauces with added sugars, especially cranberry sauce
  • Gravy – I mention this again because it often contains flour, and that can kick you out of ketosis faster than you can say Black Friday!
Keto Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey On Table

Talk to the Host Before the Big Day

You may feel odd about this, but again, remember that so many people have different dietary restrictions. You’re allowed to be the keto girl or guy!

Just ask what the host is serving. If you’re really worried about this, use this excuse:

“I want to bring a side dish, but don’t want to double up. What’s everyone else bringing?”

This is an innocent way to find out what will be on the menu without feeling like you’re imposing.

Eat Something Light Before Going

If you don’t trust yourself to avoid mindless grazing, it is a good idea to grab a light snack before leaving the house. When you’re not starving, you’ll be less likely to make a poor choice.

And, if things get really bad, have some nuts or a keto-friendly snack in the car or in your purse. Odds are there will be enough people around that no one will notice if you slip away to munch on something for a moment.

Walk Around With A Drink

This one might surprise you, but having a drink in hand is a great way to avoid munching on things you shouldn’t because your hands will be full and “busy.”

That’s not to say you have to drink the entire time you’re out, or that it has to be an alcoholic beverage.

Just keep something in your cup to keep your hand full.

Also – it’s been proven that if you drink an entire glass of water you will feel less hungry. This is because many people mistake thirst for hunger.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

It may sound a bit old-fashioned, but believe me, it works well.

All you have to do is visualize yourself sticking to your ketogenic diet and being successful before heading out the door.

Imagine yourself not feeling overly stuffed but satisfied.

Picture yourself still full of energy and avoiding the traditional food hangover because you stuck with your goal of having a keto Thanksgiving dinner.

Eat Mindfully

While you eat, take your time!

Mindlessly shoveling food into your mouth could cause you to overindulge and make a poor choice.

Instead, slow down, and savor every bite. Use the time to talk to people and catch up instead of eating without thinking.

If you are the one hosting:

This makes things significantly easier. However, you may find yourself compelled to offer both non keto and keto Thanksgiving dinner options.

In the event you have a bunch of people coming that are not on the keto diet, you can always ask folks to bring their own side dishes.

For everyone who’s open to experimenting, however, you can have a full keto Thanksgiving dinner with all the comfort food trimmings!

For Thanksgiving 2020, I hosted a 100% Keto Thanksgiving Dinner for my friends and family….and most of them were not even keto! They all LOVED the food. Here are a couple of food pictures from that day.

Keto Thanksgiving Dinner plate
Keto Thanksgiving Dinner
Keto Thanksgiving Dinner dessert
Keto Thanksgiving Dessert

Meal Plan for your Keto Thanksgiving Dinner

Pre-dinner bites:

Keto Thanksgiving Dinner Spinach Artichoke Dip

Main dish: 

Turkey – Again, turkey is already keto! (Provided you don’t eat the stuffing inside the bird 😉)

Side dishes:

Keto Thanksgiving Dinner Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese
Keto Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese

Desserts:

I’m betting no one will leave hungry with all these delicious food options!

What do you think of my keto Thanksgiving dinner meal plan? Leave me a comment below and tell me about it.

I know it can be difficult passing up tempting dishes during the holidays, but remember why you started your keto diet journey.

Who knows? Maybe you will win your family over on the keto diet too!