Christmas eating strategies

Christmas eating strategies

It's summer which means access to beautiful, healthy produce & long warm days perfect for getting out & moving.

Celebrate smarter


When we say we wish you a Merry Christmas, we mean it! We want you to have a happy time over the holidays – not feel guilty or upset with yourself for the choices you might make. Program & Nutrition Manager, Nour Nazha gives you a few realistic options for doing the program your way over the festive period.


Strategy 1 -Continue to lose weight


What it means

If you pick this strategy, you’re keen to continue with your current rate of weight-loss or maintenance plan, with little change in your total daily kilojoule balance. You’ll likely enjoy a few more of your favourite foods here and there, but will make up for it with lighter-eating days and more activity to compensate.


It’s right for you if...’re happy to have a quieter silly season or have strong self-discipline. You’re also likely to be well into a pattern of cooking WW-friendly meals, tracking and have your SmartPoints values down pat.


How to do it!

•Party plan
Socialise with loved ones by being the host so you can plan a menu with plenty of healthy summer salads. Skip the Christmas shortbreads and chocolates and finish with a huge plate of watermelon, frozen grapes or sorbet and fruit kebabs for the kids. Good old pavlova with meringue, 99% fat-free plain yoghurt switched from cream and loads of fresh passionfruit and berries is a perfect choice, too.

• Go for a mocktail
At a party, dance the night far away from the canapés and stick to 0 SmartPoints value drinks such as diet tonic with fresh lemon. If you want to enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, beer or cider make sure you accurately track and don’t get caught out with bigger serve sizes or waiters that keep topping up your glass before you finish.

• Switch a dish
A couple of times a week have a fruit salad with high-water-content watermelon or fresh berries at breakfast, or a salad for dinner with a white fish fillet, such as barramundi.

• Up your activity
Slip in more incidental and planned activity and make the most of longer days with early power walks and sunset swims. Schedule an extra workout at the gym or head to the local pool to clock up some extra laps and a little dose of vitamin D.

• Summer escape
If you’re really wanting to change your routine this year, why not book an active holiday hiking or surfing? You could plan your trip the week leading up to Christmas (rather than in January) far away from the holiday hype.


Strategy 2 - Loosen up a little


What it means

You’re more than happy to accept a slower rate of weight loss over the Christmas period in order to enjoy a few extra holiday treats and festivities. You still want to lose weight but a smaller loss than your typical average is fine with you. Remember you've made a conscious effort to choose this approach so celebrate the small results and don’t catch yourself out feeling disappointed.


It’s right for you if…’ve already had a successful time and you’re satisfied with your progress. You know you can achieve your long-term goals and you can easily charge forward in the new year.


How to do it!

• Beware the buffet
Remember every bite, lick and sip counts. If you’re confronted by a buffet, use a small plate and only fill it once. Aim to cover at least half the plate with salad or vegies. Watch out for potato or coleslaw salads tha thave creamy dressings. Choose the lean proteins and watch your portion size if you choose a dessert.

• Track your treats
Look up the SmartPoints of your favourite holiday goodies. A fruit mince pie (28g) is 5 SmartPoints value, as is 1/2 cup low-fat brandy custard. Track ahead each week to anticipate your little extras.

• Design your wish list
Make sure you’re clear about your new healthy lifestyle and politely ask friends, clients and family to not give chocolates. A fruit basket or a voucher for your favourite active wear is an ideal substitute.

•Be light & bubbly
Look out for the increasing range of lower-kilojoule alcohol, many with around 30 per cent less kilojoules per serve. Invest in tall, thin, champagne flutes that give the illusion of a larger serve and sip slowly to enjoy.


Strategy 3 - Forget about it! (Well, almost)


What it means

You’re happy to relax your tracking and decide it’ll be ok if you don’t lose additional weight over Christmas. Rather, you’re likely to maintain or plateau at your current weight. It doesn’t mean over-indulging at every opportunity!


It’s right for you if…’re nearly at Goal or maintaining already, or if you just love Christmas! If you can’t wait to deck the halls and bake cookies, you have to be reasonable about your expectations at this time of year. Being kind to yourself and accepting a plateau can be a very smart strategy.


How to do it!

•Bake it off
Switch your classic foodie gifts for healthier options like homemade chutneys, pickles, biscuits or nut mixes.

•Stick to easy healthy habits
Aim to keep to some of your usual routines – like eating the same healthy breakfast each morning, unless you’re out for brunch of course! Or try setting yourself a monthly challenge to only snack on fresh fruit or vegetables for the whole of December.

•Pick quality over quantity
Dial up your inner foodie and be a discerning shopper looking for beautiful seafood like prawns and shucked oysters over the full mixed BBQ grill. Or take time to make a summer pudding with sweet in-season raspberries instead of a chocolate cake loaded with cream.

•Eat before you party
Some people justify overeating because they’ve eaten virtually nothing during the day, but this is counterproductive. If you arrive at a function absolutely starving, your hunger signals are likely to get the better of your smart decision making. It can result in overeating and doubling the SmartPoints you skipped all day. Eat something like a hearty salad or a rice paper roll to curb your appetite before you enjoy the finger food and a cranberry cocktail.


Party time? Use this cheat sheet to help you celebrate smartly


  • Wine (red, white or sparkling): 4 SmartPoints value for 150ml
  • Wine (reduced-alcohol red or white): 2 SmartPoints value for 150ml
  • Beer (full-strength lager): 5 SmartPoints value for 375ml
  • Beer (reduced-alcohol): 3 SmartPoints value for 375ml
  • Sweet cider: 10 SmartPoints value for 375ml
  • Gin & tonic: 7 SmartPoints value for 30ml gin and 250ml tonic
  • Margarita: 14 SmartPoints value for 130ml