If you’re trying to stay Keto, Halloween may be your worst nightmare. Everywhere you look, there’s more sugar. Candy! Caramel apples! Pumpkin spice lattes! Popcorn balls!
With all these treats lurking around every corner, it can make it really tough to stick to your low-carb, high-fat diet — even if you know just how great Keto is for your health.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to stick to Keto over Halloween these days. There are more premade Keto candies and treats than ever before, and if you’re feeling adventurous, there are tons of Keto Halloween recipes you can whip up for your fright night festivities.
Read on to discover our top tips for staying Keto throughout Halloween and the holiday season, along with some of our favorite terrifying treats from the Carb Manager recipe catalog.
Is It Possible to Stay Keto Over the Holidays?
The holiday season, from Halloween to New Year, tends to be one of the most challenging times to stick to Keto or any other diet. There are homemade treats, holiday specialties, family get-togethers, and parties galore. Navigating all these food-centric events without messing up your Keto diet can be a serious challenge.
However, it is possible if you’re prepared, and enter each holiday party with a plan already in place.
Benefits of Sticking With Keto
Here are some of the reasons you may want to try to stick to Keto over Halloween and other holidays:
- No post-carb blah’s. After adjusting to Keto, many people feel terrible if they then overdo it on sugar and carbs. Common complaints include heartburn, gas, and fatigue. If you’re not sure you can stick to small portions of carbs, it may be better to skip them altogether to ensure you feel your best.
- You stay in ketosis. Ketosis is the metabolic state where your body burns fat (either from dietary fat or stored body fat) as its major fuel source rather than carbs. You get into ketosis by sticking to a strict Keto diet or intermittent fasting. And if you don’t leave ketosis, you don’t have to worry about trying to get back into ketosis. This is one major reason to stick to Keto through the holidays, especially if you’ve got some good momentum going towards your health goals.
- Your self-discipline becomes stronger. Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it becomes. If you can dodge the caramel apples, Halloween candy, and sugary party punch, it will be easier to stick to your Keto diet during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and beyond.
What If You Fall Off the Keto Wagon?
That’s OK. Halloween is one day out of 365 in a year, and if you add in all the other major eating holidays, it’s still less than 2 weeks out of the entire year. If you choose to not eat Keto these days, you will not derail your progress in a significant way.
But, many people do struggle to get right back on the wagon after eating carbs — and their off day can quickly extend into an “off week” and then an “off month.” If you know you fall in this camp, it’s a good idea to try to stick to Keto through the holidays.
Can You Get Away with a Few Non-Keto Treats?
Of course! With careful planning, you may even be able to indulge a bit while staying in ketosis.
The key is to stick to the right portion size. A Fun Size piece of candy or two may not derail you, but grabbing one every time you pass the candy bowl will pile on the carbs pretty quickly.
If you’re planning on a higher-carb day, a vigorous workout on Halloween can also help to burn up some of those excess carbs.
Check out some of our other tips below on ways to stay Keto on the spookiest (and most sugary) night of the year.
Top 5 Tips to Stay Keto Over Halloween
These tips can help you survive the high-carb horrors of Halloween night:
- Plan ahead. Having a plan is essential for navigating all those Halloween treats without tricking yourself right out of ketosis. Think about what Halloween will look like for you. Will there be candies and sweets at work? Will you be accompanying your kids to Halloween parties or taking them trick or treating? Are you going to a party where there will be carb-rich snacks and alcohol? Mentally map out your day and what you plan to eat, when, and where.
- Make or buy Keto treats. So you don’t feel left out of the fun, have some Keto-friendly treats on hand. You can make these (scroll down for some of our favorite recipes) or buy them. Check out our favorite Keto snacks and sweets here.
- Fast through the day. Intermittent fasting may be a good way to add some wiggle room prior to a holiday celebration where you plan to eat a little more. Check out our guide to intermittent fasting to learn more.
- Do an intense workout after. If you’re going to eat more carbs than usual, a workout after indulging can help burn off those excess sugars and keep you in ketosis. Check out our article on the Cyclical Keto Diet for the theory behind "carb cycling" and how you can use this holiday to your advantage!
- Keep the non-Keto treats out of sight and out of mind. If at all possible, keep the carb-rich foods out of sight so you aren’t constantly tempted. Have someone else pass out candy to trick or treaters if it’s too much of a temptation for you, or offer to host the Halloween festivities at your place so you have more control over what food is served.
Most important — don’t stress! You can have a perfectly happy Halloween while eating only Keto foods, or you can choose to enjoy some carbs on this once-a-year occasion and then get right back to Keto on November 1st. Both choices are A-OK.
Our Favorite Keto Halloween Recipes
If you are planning on keeping it Keto on Halloween, here are some of our favorite Keto Halloween treats made with no sugar (but plenty of spice and everything nice).
Net carbs per serving: 2 net carbs per cookie
All eyes are on this cookie — literally! Made with sugar-free and Keto ingredients, these spooky eyeball-studded cookies can fit easily into your Keto diet.
Net carbs per serving: 4.5 net carbs per cup
Satisfy your sweet tooth with terrifyingly delicious Graveyard Cups — complete with chocolate headstone and white chocolate bones.
Net carbs per serving: 1 net carb per ball
Sweets are great, but we love a good salty party snack. This simple spooky cheese-and-olives appetizer is great for your grown-up Halloween shindig, and you can serve it alongside crackers for non-Keto eaters.
Net carbs per serving: 4 net carbs per slider
With carbs off the menu, you may be wondering what frightening food you can serve the fam to fuel up for trick-or-treating. These sliders are handheld, easy to assemble, loaded with protein, and perfectly festive.
Net carbs per serving: 2 net carbs per 8.8 ounce (250 gram) glass
No party is complete without punch — and this blood-red, sugar-free blackberry punch is adult, kid, and vampire-approved.
Net carbs per serving: 4 net carbs per 7.6 ounce (215 gram) glass
Having a Potter-themed party? Don’t forget the Polyjuice Potion. This tart, sweet mocktail will be the perfect complement to your party spread — no shape-shifting required.
Net carbs per serving: 2 net carbs per cupcake
Want a sweet Halloween treat that won’t haunt you? These adorable ghost cupcakes are rich and chocolatey, with lots of frosting, for just 2 grams of net carbs.
Net carbs per serving: 4 net carbs per 1.9 ounce (54 gram) slice
Want an autumn dessert that people rave about? Make this Burton-esque low-carb apple pie. The secret is diced zucchini, which keeps the carbs low and the filling moist while allowing the taste of the apple to shine through.
Net carbs per serving: 3 net carbs per 1.7 ounce (48 gram) shot
These crimson-red Jello shots are perfect for a blood-thirsty crowd. For adult parties, you can sub out some of the water for the alcohol of your choice.
Net carbs per serving: 3 net carbs per 1.4 ounce (39 gram) serving
Sick of all the sweet food? Cut the sweet with these chewy biscuit bones and mari ”nightmare” dipping sauce that will haunt your dreams (in a good way).
We hope these recipes inspire you to give Keto Halloween a try! Wishing you a happy Halloween with all the sugar-free treats (and no tricks), from everyone at Carb Manager.