How To Enjoy Christmas Without Putting On Weight

lighted christmas tree
James Graham


Dec 21, 2020

The temptation for indulgence, which Christmas time undoubtedly brings about, does not complement our health and fitness goals, especially when talking weight.

However, just because the festive season is upon us doesn’t mean we are unable to enjoy all that Christmas has to offer and still achieve our goals, says Aussie nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin, below.

Zoe, who has released a fabulous self-published cookbook Falling in Love with Food, is adamant that the two can co-exist.

Here are her tips on how:


Aim to prioritise movement over the holidays. This doesn’t mean foregoing family catch-ups to hit the gym, it simply means scheduling in daily movement. This may be in the form of a long morning walk, sport in the backyard with friends or trying a new yoga/pilates class. Incidental exercise counts more than you think, so instead of lounging about after a big meal, help clean up, go for a stroll or follow the lead of the youngest family members by getting outdoors and playing!

exercise female fitness foot
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com


It’s perfectly okay to overindulge once or twice over the festive season guilt-free. For most of the time, if you can practice eating until satisfied and not overly full, I can assure you will feel better for it. Don’t feel like you need to finish everything on your plate, learn to love leftovers and know food will not go to waste. Leftovers will instead take the pressure off planning tomorrows meals, what more could you ask for?


Keep a loose structure to your meals over the holidays such as aiming for ½ plate vegetables, ¼ protein, ¼ complex carbohydrates and ½ tbsp. fat at each meal. This will help you continue to eat in a balanced way, reduce excessive hunger and help you ease back into routine in the New Year.

Be Mindful

It’s very easy to lose track of what has been eaten and also true hunger when mingling at events. Nibbles and canapés may only be bite sized but can be mindlessly filled up on pre meal. Select a few canapés which you really want and allow yourself to enjoy those. To avoid excessive hunger pre party eat a protein rich snack such as yoghurt with nuts/seeds, ricotta and seed crackers or a boiled egg.

relaxed female tourist contemplating nature from hammock on terrace
Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com


Amongst all of the Christmas chaos we can forget to relax and actually enjoy ourselves. Stress wreaks havoc on blood sugar and appetite and can lead to emotional eating. To avoid falling into this trap, take care of yourself over Christmas by not sweating the small stuff, going with the flow and making sure to schedule in ample down time.

  • In Falling In Love With Food ($34.95) Zoe shares her recipes and stories born from a lifelong celebration of food. Featuring 80 recipes, you will find dishes for effortless entertaining, clever healthy twists on indulgences, child-friendly options to delight fussy little eaters and much more. Each chapter closes with two meal plans and loving tips to help you on your journey to fall in love with food all over again.


By James Graham


With over 20 years as a journalist and TV producer, James Graham has a wealth of experience covering the full media spectrum. James has a formidable reputation as a talented media veteran and worked as a reporter, script writer and as the producer of the TV documentary The Road To Athens. He has worked across newspapers, radio and the biggest flagship magazine brands in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, James was the News Director at Woman's Day and New Idea. Whether filing celebrity exclusives, or some of the biggest real-life splashes of recent years, James’ career has always been at the frontline of mainstream media. When not writing, you’ll find him at Royal Randwick, his beloved Long Reef Golf Club on the Northern Beaches – or visiting his mum in his native New Zealand.


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