Navigating Festive Feasts: Smart Strategies for Watching Calories This Holiday Season

Published on: 17/12/2023

Yo-ho! The holidays are upon us! Explore ways to monitor your intake and maintain your health this holiday season. With our tips, you'll enjoy your break wisely and healthily!

'Tis the season to be jolly, but that doesn't mean our health goals should be put on hold! As we indulge in the joyous festivities of Christmas, it's essential to find a balance that allows us to savor the celebrations without overindulging. In this article, we'll explore practical tips for watching your calories, avoiding overeating, and staying mindful of your choices during this merry season. Watch out! This may help you keep a pound or two off your new-year weight-loss goal.

Mindful Eating at Holiday Gatherings

Festive gatherings are often centered around delectable spreads, and it's easy to get carried away. Begin by practicing mindful eating—paying attention to the flavors, textures, and satisfaction of each bite. Take your time and engage in conversations between bites, allowing your body to signal when it's comfortably full.

Tip: Use a smaller plate to control portion sizes, and savor the company as much as the food.

Choose Wisely: Navigating the Buffet

Buffet tables can be a calorie minefield, but with a bit of strategy, you can make healthier choices. Start by surveying the options before loading up your plate. Opt for lean proteins, colorful veggies, and whole grains. Limit high-calorie treats to small portions, allowing yourself to enjoy the flavors without going overboard.

Tip: Fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter with protein, and the remaining quarter with starches or grains. This follows rough per-meal macromolecule breakdown recommendations. In the Philippines, we call this "Pinggang Pinoy!"

Smart Swaps for Traditional Treats

Christmas treats are a delightful part of the season, and you don't have to skip them entirely. Instead, make smart swaps to reduce calorie intake. Choose roasted nuts over candied ones, opt for dark chocolate, and consider healthier alternatives for baking, such as using applesauce instead of oil.

Tip: Experiment with ingredient substitutions in your favorite recipes to create healthier versions without sacrificing taste.

Hydration and Alcohol Awareness

While celebrating with a drink or two is part of the festive spirit, it's crucial to be mindful of alcohol calories. Alternate alcoholic beverages with water to stay hydrated and reduce overall calorie intake. Choose lighter options, like wine or spirits with calorie-free mixers, and be aware of portion sizes.

Tip: Set a limit on alcoholic beverages and savor each sip slowly to fully enjoy the experience.

Staying Active During the Holidays

Amidst the festivities, don't forget the importance of staying active. Encourage family walks, organize friendly sports activities, or engage in active games. This not only burns extra calories but also fosters a sense of togetherness.

Tip: Plan active outings, like ice skating or a winter hike, to make exercise enjoyable for everyone.


This Christmas, savor the season while keeping your health goals in mind. By practicing mindful eating, making smart choices at buffets, opting for healthier treats, and being aware of your alcohol consumption, you can enjoy the festivities guilt-free. Remember, it's not about deprivation but finding a balance that allows you to relish the joy of the season without compromising your well-being. Cheers to a healthy and happy holiday season. Enjoy your break wisely and healthily!