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Surviving Christmas – how not to overindulge – reviewed 2022

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Surviving Christmas

Surviving Christmas

Do you overindulge at Christmas?

Christmas comes but once a year and it’s during this time of the year that we like to be merry, indulge a little, enjoy a big family get together and of course eat pretty much all day.  We’ll look at what can be done to make sure you don’t end up overindulging this Christmas.

Surviving Christmas – Getting the balance right

Well it doesn’t help with the fact that when its dark and cold we like to wrap up and stay indoors and are bombarded with adverts for Christmas foods making us want to buy more for the festive season. So to stay on track here are some wise tips:

Habits, Routine & Exercise

Try and maintain your normal habits but don’t be too strict on yourself. After indulging on your Christmas parties and family roasts go for a winter walk with your family and friends to digest your food.

It’s fine if your routine breaks and you don’t go to the gym over the festive period but don’t break the habits and routine for too long.

Keep busy in the kitchen, get your children involved in preparing the Christmas meal and keep them active with house chores, decorating the house and take a walk to see the Christmas markets and lights.

Find ways to keep active for all ages on our Be Active page.


Making your Christmas meal from scratch and a bit of baking gets you in the festive spirit. Cooking foods can often be healthier as you know what ingredients are going in compared to buying ready meals and pre packed foods. The centrepiece of the Christmas meal is the roast turkey and roasting is actually a healthy cooking method that can help you cut back on your saturated fat intake. However, watch how much oil you use to marinate or coat your vegetables, potatoes and meats. Tip – drizzle or use a measuring spoon!

Reduce the sugar and butter content if you are making a pudding/dessert and add fresh/tinned/frozen/dried fruit for some natural sweetness. Use healthier oils such as rapeseed a good monounsaturated fat to marinate your roast potatoes and vegetables. Steam those Brussel sprouts. Make your own gravy using the juices from your roast meat as shop brought ones can be high in sugar and salt.

The extra nibbles of course make a difference but opt for healthier alternatives instead of endless chocolates – coat plain nuts with cinnamon or honey or paprika and roast them in the oven. Cheese and crackers – watch out for too much cheese. Healthy snacks include raw vegetable sticks with homemade dips such as hummus and guacamole, fresh tomato salsa and some fruit cocktail sticks.


We can’t avoid parties and social gatherings and we all like to be merry this time of the year. However, make sure you top your own glass of wine so you can keep a track of how much you are drinking. If you are having one too many make sure you drink lots of water to hydrate yourself. Sip your drink. Using small glasses and diluting your drink with tonic water can reduce the amount of alcohol.

Make your own mulled wine with fresh fruits – you don’t necessarily need to use alcohol. Herbal teas can also help if you are feeling full post meal – try mint or ginger tea to aid your digestion.

Find out about units and calories in alcohol on our Drink Less page

Surviving Christmas – Don’t feel guilty

This time of year is about being merry, sociable and festive. It’s about getting the balance right, don’t go excessive and don’t beat yourself up if you have over indulged. It’s important to continue having regular meals and a couple of snacks; don’t skip your breakfast just because you will be diving into a large Christmas meal, you will end up eating more.

Don’t let the weather stop you from going out for a walk and get playing some fun games that involve movement and keep your body moving. If you sit on the couch all day and eat non-stop you will definitely feel like not getting up and may feel like an inflated balloon.

Remember, everything in moderation!

For general information an eating healthily visit our Eat Well page.

If you would like support towards a healthier YOU contact One You Merton by e-mailing oneyou.merton@nhs.net or call us on 020 8973 3545.

Here are some links around not overindulging over the Christmas period:

Healthy Christmas holiday recipes

Healthy Christmas recipes

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the One You Merton team!

Blog by Gopika Papiah

Children’s Healthy Weight Advisor