Christmas eating strategies

It's summer which means access to beautiful, healthy produce & long warm days perfect for getting out & moving.
Published 7 December, 2022

3 strategies to choose from...

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 stressed with yourself for the choices you might make.

Strategy 1 - Continue to lose or maintain 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 balance that with lighter-eating days and more activity.

It’s right for you if...’re well into a pattern of cooking WW-friendly meals, tracking and have your Points 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. Opt for WW-friendly desserts and finish with a plate of summer fruits 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.
  • If you want to enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, beer or cider plan ahead and set aside your Points before the event. Be aware of bigger serve sizes or waiters that keep topping up your glass before you finish. Alternatively, you could go for a mocktail. At a party, dance the night away and stick to 0 Points value drinks such as diet tonic with fresh lemon.
  • Switch a dish. A couple of times a week have a fruit salad with 99% fat-free plain yoghurt and 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 focus on healthy habits or accept a slower rate of weight loss over the Christmas period. 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…’re satisfied with your progress whether it’s weight–related or not. You know you can reach your long-term goals and will continue to make progress in the new year.

How to do it

Eat mindfully. Sometimes at parties we can be distracted when socialising and not realise how much we’ve eaten until after the fact. Try to eat more slowly which gives your body more time to signal to the brain that it’s full.

Keep tracking. Look up the Points of your favourite holiday foods. For example, a plain shortbread biscuit is 3 Points.

Design your wish list. Make sure you’re clear about your healthier lifestyle and politely ask friends, clients and family to not give chocolates (if you don’t want them!). A fruit basket or a voucher for your favourite shop is an ideal substitute.

Try light & bubbly options. 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 - Relax and enjoy!

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, be realistic with 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 Christmas foods 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 goal to 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 can be 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 Points you skipped all day. Choose ZeroPoint foods to curb your appetite before you enjoy the finger food and drinks.

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

  • Wine (red, white or sparkling): 4 Points value for 150ml
  • Wine (reduced-alcohol red or white): 2 Points value for 150ml
  • Beer (full-strength lager): 5 Points value for 375ml
  • Beer (reduced-alcohol): 3 Points value for 375ml
  • Sweet cider: 10 Points value for 375ml
  • Gin & diet tonic: 2 Points value
  • Margarita: 13 Points value for 130ml