How To Avoid Overeating During The Festive Season

The office Christmas party, your partner's office Christmas party, Christmas drinks with friends, Christmas day with family. And doing it all again on Boxing Day. The silly season is an unavoidable time of overindulgence.

It can be hard to keep your healthy eating in check when you're surrounded by temptation. Whilst no one likes to be a stickler sticking to the carrot sticks, there are some ways you can avoid the annual ‘stuff your face feast’.

How to Avoid Overeating

The following 10 strategies will help you dodge Christmas remorse:

1. Use A Smaller Plate

If you want to eat less, use a smaller plate. I just came across this well known study and the evidence stacks up. Use a smaller plate and you'll obviously eat less, but you're body won't feel any less satisfied. 

2. Heavy On The H2O

Stay hydrated. It will help your skin look fuller. And it will do the same thing for your stomach. If you drink a whole glass of water before the mayhem, you simply won't eat as much.

3. Start With Salad

green press salad recipe

When you're loading up for the big dance, start your plate off with salad. Give yourself less room for the ham/ turkey / seafood / potatoes / bread rolls. Every time you make a plate over the festive season, shoot for 50% salad. 

4. Give Yourself A Cut-Off Time

If your Christmas dinner starts at 5, be sure to stop eating by 7. Chances are you won’t need food (otherwise known as energy) that late in the day anyway. Just don't approach the two hour window like your a 13 year old at Pizza Hut.

5. Skip The Extras

Instead of heavy salads dressing, gravy, cranberry or seafood sauce, try stay clean. Nothing wrong with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Or some balsamic. You may even want to pack your own small bottle of dressing to bring with you. Strange? Probably. But you're hanging around friends and family who need something to have a laugh about. 

6. Don't Bring The Tim Tams

Try not to be the one who brings the sweets. Now I'm not suggesting you come empty handed but if you're gifting out boutique chocolates to every man and his dogs, said chocolates will be open. And you'll be digging in.

7. Go Easy On The Booze

Not only are these beverages full of empty calories but they can also cause you to feel hungry when you’re really not. I'll be having a few red wines or a martini over the coming season but I don't go deep. 1 or 2 drinks is plenty. 

8. Socialize

The more talking you do, the less eating you’ll do. It also helps to walk around with a slightly full plate so that you can give a polite “no thanks, I’m still working on this” to whomever insists that you need to eat more. Back off Grandma!

9. Eliminate Emotional Eating

If you’re going to a Christmas gathering that might be stressful for you in some way (like you’re meeting your partner's family for the first time, an ex will be there etc.) be sure to deal with those emotions before you arrive. Otherwise, you might find yourself buried in a plate of biscuits. Suggestions include a hard exercise workout before the party to get out stress, a quick meditation session in the car before going in, or even taking a few deep breaths during the party.

10. Hardcore Henry

One sure fire way to minimise the damage is to do a strict trend diet. Go Paleo or Sugar Free or Gluten Free for the week. We rarely recommend that path but it's a great way to prevent a blowout.


There's plenty of techniques that can keep things in check. I won't be abstaining from the festivaties completely, I'm just hoping to be more mindful. Dessert is great. I'll just make sure that it's one serve on a modest plate. Good luck and happy Festivus.

About Heather

Heather is a believer in the healing power of food. She resides in the United States with her husband and their daughter, where she has...

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