Strategy 1: Keep up with routine

Most of you have a routine when it comes to eating. You may eat at about the same times throughout the day or eat a similar morning snack each day. During the holidays, it can be tempting to skip breakfast when you have brunch at 11:00 or to skip lunch when a big dinner is coming. However, this usually backfires, making you overly hungry and unable to tune into your hunger and fullness. The end result? Eating to the point of discomfort and feeling you shouldn’t eat for the rest of the day.

Instead, consider which parts of your daily routine make you feel good, and try to stick with these through the holidays. Eat something when you wake up (even if it’s small), eat every three to four hours and fill your fridge with regular groceries so that you have options for when you crave something fresh.

Strategy 2: Make room for your favourites

Your typical day likely doesn’t include gingerbread lattes, mince tarts or Aunt Helen’s stuffing. But this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for them. The key is to identify those foods you really like at Christmas and those foods you can take or leave. Recognize that you don’t have to eat traditional Christmas foods just because it’s Christmas. For me, my mom’s almond pastry has Christmas written all over it! On the other hand, turkey isn’t really the highlight, and I likely wouldn’t have seconds.

Routine is great, but it doesn’t mean you have to be rigid with your diet. Make room for those foods you really enjoy and fit them into your normal day. Maybe you’re usually hungry for a snack in the afternoon – plan on getting that eggnog latte you really want. Savour it, and then move on with the day. Still make a normal supper that evening and have a satisfying breakfast the next morning.

Strategy 3: Buy a turkey in July

At Christmas, we often eat extra turkey or sweet potatoes or meat pie because we know next Christmas is a long way off! Well, there’s nothing stopping us from buying a turkey, whipping up a batch of sugar cookies or stashing away some gingerbread latte syrup for July or any other time of the year.

 Remind yourself that pumpkin pie exists in March and molasses doesn’t disappear until the snow flies. You may be surprised at how Christmas foods lose some of their power when they become options throughout the year.

Did someone mention weight gain?

 At this point you may be thinking that these strategies sound great but don’t address the problem of Christmas weight gain. Consider that Christmas alone isn’t going to ruin your diet. Your approach to Christmas is likely how you approach other holidays, celebrations, vacations and food in general. If your weight changes over Christmas (and doesn’t return to normal after) or is on a steady incline, you may want to take a look at your overall relationship with food.

In light of this, my challenge to you this holiday season is to set aside the holiday survival guides and embrace the true joy of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Share this post

Kristina Isaac, RD.

Registered Dietitian

Kristina (BSc, RD) is a registered dietitian and blogger for Nourish Move Thrive. She enjoys finding creative, fun and simple ways to communicate the science of nutrition.

Sign up to receive Nourish Move Thrive updates twice a month!