2 Dec 2014

Christmas party season has arrived...

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Here's how to stay good on the festive circuit! 

The festive party season is upon us, and it can be hard to keep the excess pounds at bay in the run up to Christmas, with office parties, nights out and family get-togethers stacking up!

So how do you watch your weight when temptations are everywhere?! We asked our Nutritionist, Fiona Williamson, for her top tips...and here's what she had to say.

Party buffets

Most of us have been guilty of "eating with our eyes" at one time or another, stacking our plates with a mountain of food, or picking at the buffet long after we're full. If willpower isn't one of your strengths, try the below:

  • Go for a smaller plate to create the illusion you are getting a really full plate of food!
  • Be mindful of how your plate is portioned - where possible, try to aim for the eatwell plate, adding lots of vegetables, and cutting down on sugar, fat and salt when you can.  
  • Drink water beforehand and during the meal, and eat slowly so you feel when you are full. 
  • Try having some healthy snacks beforehand – that way, you won't be starving and can enjoy the buffet / meal without overdoing it. 
  • Use cutlery – finger foods generally make you eat more and faster!

Alcohol and mixers

Alcohol is full of sugar, and contains lots of chemical compounds (dark alcohol is generally worse), that can disrupt the body's ability to reabsorb vitamins. Alcohol is also a nutrient absorbing inhibitor, and can make you dehydrated. 

If you are on a diet, or trying to watch your weight, it's always better to avoid alcohol altogether...however, if that's not an option, make sure you bear the following in mind.

  • Stick to spirits and low sugar mixers, as much as possible. 
  • Tonic and soda water are lower in calories than sugary, fizzy drinks. 
  • Spirits and a diet or low sugar mixer have fewer calories than wine, ciders, beers and lagers. 
  • Choose red wine over white wine, as red wine contains antioxidants and is generally a bit better for you.
  • Stick to spritzers if you're having white wine - and ask for sparkling water in your spritzer, rather than lemonade!
  • Drink lots of water - try mixing in a few low calorie, non-alcoholic drinks during the party, and drink water in-between as well!  


Of course, you really should try not to overindulge in alcohol, but we do appreciate that this can be easier said than done on a night out. If you do wake up the next day with a raging hangover, here are some things to consider. 

  • Rehydrate - we've said it before and we'll say it again; make sure you drink lots of water!
  • Stock up on milk thistle – nature's own detox, which is both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. 
  • Get your potassium levels back up – eat avocados, bananas and orange juice, or make a nice morning after smoothie.
  • Have eggs for breakfast (or lunch) - eggs contain cysteine, which will help your poor liver cope! 
  • Eat nutrient dense foods (food that's low in calories but high in nutrients), like fruits, vegetables, fish and eggs.
  • Avoid junk food - contrary to popular belief, "stodge" doesn't help if you are hungover, so don’t abuse your body further by pigging out on cheap, nasty foods! 

Last but not least - have fun! 

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