Dietitian Tips to Avoiding Christmas Weight Gain

Healthy Christmas

For months in the lead up to Christmas we can start to gain access to those decadent mince pies and plum puddings.

The main concern is not so much the additional food or alcohol you may consume on Christmas Day, it is the ‘festive season’ which for some can take up to 1-3 months of the year. With Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Years and all the pre-Christmas work functions closely followed by Australia Day celebrations.

You can see how it is terribly easy to overindulge at this time of year. The good news, it is avoidable if you set yourself some ground rules and strategies to coping for all the functions and social occasions to come.

Give these healthy tips a try:

1. Saying ‘no' to the second serving of dessert you just don't need. Christmas really shouldn't be an exception.


2. Have a sensible brekkie. Don't skip breakfast just because you've got a big lunch planned. Stick to your routine and have a normal breakfast. Then when it comes to lunch or dinner you won't be as tempted to gorge yourself on high fat, high sugar, Christmas treats.


3. Don't forget about your exercise routine. At this time of year, it may help to see exercise as a compromise for the additional food and drinks you may consume. Trust me you'll feel far better about having that slice of Aunt Mary's Christmas cake if you've been on your regular run, walk, cycle or swim.


4. Think about your alcohol consumption. You don't have to abstain from drinking over Christmas, it is a special occasion after all, but do try and limit your alcohol consumption. Keep in mind that the recommendation for men and women is to consume no more than two standard drinks per day.


5. Before you just jump into the delicious spread of food, pause and assess your options. Do a round to see what’s available, assess your hunger levels and go in with a controlled mindset. Eating according to your hunger and satiety cues.


6. Try and load at least half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Most festive feasts have a varied spread. Pick the things that you know you won't regret eating later.


7. Drink lots of water. Keep hydrated, the weather is often hot and it is particularly important when you are drinking alcohol. Set yourself a rule to always stick to water over other soft drink or sugary drink options. Did you know that a small can of soft drink has the equivalent of 8+ sugar cubes? That's a lot of sugar that's easily avoided.


8. Homemade iced tea and infused waters with mint, orange, strawberries and lemon are a great alternative to sugary drinks.