Mindful Eating at Christmas

Mindful Eating at Christmas

Winter is a time for celebration and certainly indulging in a variety of  food and drink . High fat nibbles and party food can be tempting, easy to pick at and often make up the equivalent of a full meal in calories (for example sausage rolls, cheesy bites, or cold cut meats).

Studies show that people tend to consume far more calories during this festive time leading to  weight gain that is often hard to shift. In addition, the greater the choice of food offered, the more calories we tend to consume. It is best to stick to a few healthier choices first, and then you will be less likely to pile on other higher calorie alternatives.Try replacing alcohol with low calorie soft drinks or water when possible.

If you are going to a party straight after work, have a mini snack (e.g. bowl of cereal or a yogurt) before you go, so you do not arrive at the party hungry. Make sure you have lots of healthy treats like fruit, unsalted nuts, vegetable sticks with low fat dips and low fat yogurt.


Many people drink more than alcohol than recommended during the festive period. Apart from the negative effects on health, alcohol also contains calories (7 kcals per gram) and contributes to the common seasonal weight gain many of us experience.

Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or glasses of water to limit alcohol intake and to help prevent dehydration. Try diluting your drink, for example, white wine with soda or have a shandy instead of a lager.

Choose smaller measures – swap pints for half pints and opt for smaller glasses of wine.

Watch out for cocktails as they can contain more alcohol than you think.

Try not to drink on an empty stomach; this will stop you getting drunk too quickly. If you start to feel drunk, take a break and switch to water or soft drinks.

The UK Department of Health recommends no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. If you do drink as much as 14 units of alcohol per week, it is best to spread this evenly over 3 or more days rather than having one or two heavy drinking sessions.

Remember to drink plenty of water before you go to bed to rehydrate during the night, this helps reduce the effects of a hangover.

Don’t forget your exercise!!

Whilst it is nice to have the festive period off to relax, try to ensure you maintain physical activity as part of your daily routine. For example, walk up the stairs rather than taking the lift or get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of your journey. And, in place of some TV time, get all the family up together for a brisk walk, some family sport or activities.