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Christmas Diet Help - How to avoid putting weight on at Christmas

Christmas crackers

christmas party tips

Stick to that diet and you'll soon have something to celebrate...

hollyThe Christmas and New Year feasting season is here again. Opportunities to overeat and drink too much abound, and the temptation is to reach for another mince pie or choccie with the thought "Oh well, it is Christmas...'

It seems easiest to put your calorie controlled diet on hold until the New Year. After all who wants to starve over the party season when everyone else is eating and drinking as much as they like? If you allow yourself to relax for the all important Christmas day, then the damage to your figure shouldn't be too difficult to put right over the following days. However, the countdown to Christmas starts in November, as the Christmas goodies arrive in the shops, and there seems to be a hundred and one excuses for a party in the weeks up until the 25th December.

If you consume extra calories for all these weeks leading up to Christmas, then you are likely to put on weight before the actual Christmas dinner. But don't despair we have lots of tricks and tips that will help you to still enjoy the Christmas parties, but avoid piling on the extra pounds.

You can still enjoy the party and cut calories if you follow our Christmas diet tips:

Top Christmas Party Tips

Make the right choices - rather than feeling hard done by at parties by cutting back, aim to make the best choices available to you. See our Christmas Calories for delicious low-calorie party food and drink options.

Eat something before going to the party - you'll be less likely to eat too many high calorie nibbles if you eat something filling, like scrambled egg or a jacket potato, before partying. It'll soak up the alcohol too.

WineDon't be first to the buffet - try and let the queue subside before you go and get your meal - you will be less likely to have time to return for seconds. Keep more than an arm's length from the buffet!

Quality beats quantity every time - choose champers and smoked salmon if possible, not lager and a kebab!

Seafood and fish is always a lower calorie option than processed meat, and it contains lots of brain-boosting fish oils. If you can't choose champagne then opt for a spirit, such as gin or vodka, teemed with a diet mixer - this is going to be less calories than downing glasses of lager, cider or wine.

Water can be a refreshing drink too - you can still party but save calories (and your liver) and avoid the hangover next day, by alternating water or a low calorie soft drink with your usual alcoholic tipple. Chilled fizzy water with lots of ice and lemon can feel (and look to others) more like a proper drink than tepid still water.

Eating out - don't be shy, it's perfectly acceptable to ask for a child's/small portion, or to order one meal between two, or ask for a doggy bag rather than feeling you have to clear your plate. Only eat when you are hungry, not automatically because there is food in front of you. Try to ask yourself when eating if you really need anymore, or is your tum feeling full? It's ok to leave food, especially if you are following a weight-loss programme.

Dance the night away - it's Christmas and dancing is great exercise, not to mention great fun! Remember to stay hydrated by drinking water, rather than alcohol to quench your thirst.

Drink water before your meal - it'll fill you up and it's zero calories and it'll help you avoid a hangover.

Wait for it - don't decide on a dessert until at least 20 minutes after the main course. Often you find you don't need anything after all.

Christmas Calorie Saving Tips

Painless ways to cut calories from your Christmas dinner

  • Cook your turkey in a pan with a grill type rack, that way the juices run out and your meat doesn't sit absorbing the fat. You can then strain the fat off the juices (it sits on the top), and make a delicious gravy with what's left. Home-made gravy contains a lot less calories and salt than gravy mixes.

  • Turkey is a good low fat and nutritious meat, but you can drop calories if you leave the skin which contains a lot of fat.

  • Try and resist sausagemeat stuffing and instead opt for a breadcrumb based stuffing mix. A portion of sausagemeat stuffing is around 280 calories compared to only 58 calories for a portion of sage and onion stuffing mix. If you add chestnuts, fruit and herbs you won't miss the higher calorie pork version.

  • Cook some delicious baby new potaoes as well as the roast potatoes, and have a mix of the two with your dinner - you'll cut down your calories without even noticing.

  • Choose a homemade cranberry sauce to accompany your Christmas turkey, that way you can control the amount of sugar in it. The calories are half the amount contained in bread sauce and you gain lots of lovely vitamin C!

    Low Calorie Cranberry Sauce (50 calories per serving)

    A punnet of fresh cranberries
    Juice and zest of 2 oranges
    1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
    1 tbsp water
    Brown sugar to taste
  • Place ingredients in a pan and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring. Allow to cool.

  • Avoid Christmas pudding and custard (550 calories) and instead enjoy a trifle, fresh fruit salad, a fresh fruit filled pavlova or a sponge pudding. If you just can't resist the xmas pud stay away from brandy butter (556 calories per 100g) and opt for brandy sauce or low-fat custard.

  • Each chocolate assorted sweet from those big tins we all treat ourselves to at Christmas have around 40 calories each, so it is very easy to munch on half your daily calorie allowance in minutes - so be warned! Marshmallows and salted popcorn are good alternatives.

Diet Tips

hollyRemember that eating and drinking too much at Christmas is entirely optional. If you're serious about losing weight in the New Year, you can get a head start by not over-indulging in December. Just think how much better you'll feel in January if you haven't put on lots of weight.

Christmas crackers



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Before trying a new diet you should always consult your doctor to discuss whether you are healthy enough to restrict your calorie intake.



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