How can you balance your healthier eating and still enjoy Christmas and New Year celebrations? Learn how to eat healthier this festive session and stay in shape for the coming year.
In your weight management efforts to achieve/maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), you may think that indulging in food and drinks during the Christmas and New Year season may not seem like such a big deal as they only come once a year.
However, to keep up with efforts of making healthier eating a habit, you should try to practise the principles of healthier eating consistently to reduce the risk of unwanted weight gain, but this does not mean you should give up on your favourite festive foods!
Here are some healthier eating tips to help you stay in shape during this festive season.
Fill up beforehand
Avoid going to a party on an empty stomach. Before leaving the house, eat a high-fibre snack such as a fruit or a few pieces of wholewheat crackers to help curb your appetite, and prevent overeating.
The brain takes about 20 minutes to register fullness. Therefore, enjoy your meals slowly by savouring the flavour of each bite.
Remember your 2 + 2
Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in fat and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Start your meals with a generous helping of fresh salad dressed with lemon juice and a little drizzle of olive oil instead of creamy dressings. Opt for fresh fruit for dessert.
Go easy on fat
Limit consumption of deep-fried food (e.g. breaded food and fritters), bakery products (e.g. pastries, cookies and cakes) that are higher in fat content, and cream-based foods (e.g. cream-based pasta and salad dressing). Also, do remove visible fat on meats whenever possible, to help you cut back on excessive fat intake and extra calories.
Focus on the quality and not the quantity of food consumed. You need not deprive yourself of your favourite foods, just eat smaller amounts of it and avoid going for seconds. If you think this is not an option, then go easy on your desserts or other mains. You can also try using smaller serving plates to eat so that the food looks abundant. And in the festive spirit of giving, you can share your favourite foods with friends and family instead of having them yourself!
Limit your alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverage intake
Many people do not realise that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or sugar-sweetened beverages would lead to weight gain. Therefore, you may want to limit your intake of such beverages. Here are some tips to help you do that.
Whether you are cooking a Christmas feast or an end-of-year party for your loved ones or cooking a dish for the pot-luck party, you can choose to prepare a healthier meal/dish as a gift. You can use the following cooking tips as a guide.
Use healthier ingredients
Skip the drippings
Choose healthier cooking methods
Make healthier desserts
Play your part by contributing a healthier dish at a pot-luck. By encouraging everyone to do the same, you will end up with an array of delicious healthier dishes at the party!
Chicken and Leek Pie
This pie combines chicken, leek, peas and carrots, in a creamy herb sauce. Lower in fat and packed with protein and fibre, this heart-warming dish will surely be a popular crowd pleaser!
Ingredients for Pie Filling
Ingredients for Mashed Potato
Chocolate Almond Pudding (Serves 4)
Lower in saturated fat and easy to make, this recipe's blend of rich chocolate and almonds complement each other perfectly.
* Go for healthier choice options
Christmas and New Year gifts do not need to be confined to champagnes and chocolates. Buy your loved one and friends a gift of health to kick start the new year ahead!
For the sport enthusiast
For the health-conscious cooking enthusiast
Gifts for the mind and body
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This article was last reviewed on
06 Dec 2023
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