Tackling The Healthy Christmas Minefield

6 ways to stick to your healthy eating habits over Christmas (without being  a bore!) - May Simpkin
PTX Fitness Healthy Eating at Christmas

The PTX Fitness Guides For Christmas 2020


As we head towards Christmas, at what has been a very unusual and difficult year. We got to thinking about how everyone can avoid going on a strict diet over the festive period. Enjoy more than you thought you might be able to (or should do), but have a few ‘tricks’ up your sleeve to help you in tackling the healthy Christmas minefield!

This subject makes for quite a quandary. The way we see it, you have 3 options.

1 Adopt a “sod it” approach – enjoy all the social events, festive meals, and drinks… and knuckle down in January to get back to your pre-Christmas physique.

2 Have a set of rules including avoiding most special foods at this time of year, very tough for most people, the temptations are everywhere!

Or number 3. Bear in mind this is the approach most people acknowledge but don’t actually commit to. Why? I guess it takes a little thought, some planning, and a bit of awareness. But it avoids the misery of options 1 and 2. Ready to hear it?

3 Put some sensible plans in place that will allow you to enjoy quality time with friends and family, without wiping out your healthy living progress you have made over the previous 11 months.

Ground breaking, right? This approach can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. Here’s how we advise our clients to approach to tackling the healthy Christmas minefield!

Check out the healthy living Christmas guide from nutrition.org Nutrition.org Healthy Christmas 

7 Steps To Keep Your Weight Loss Goals Over Christmas And New Year

Step 1 Assess Your Goals

What do you want to achieve over this period? Do you want to maintain your current weight, with the focus being not gaining anything? Or do you want to lose weight? If so, how much? Or perhaps it’s less about weight and more about maintaining your healthy habits. Decide what you want to achieve.

Step 2 What You Can – And Can’t – Control

This is a useful exercise at any time of year, not just Christmas. Draw a big circle on a piece of paper. Inside the circle, write down everything that is under your control. This could be “walking every day”, “alcohol”, “second helpings” – or whatever you feel able to say yes or no to. Outside the circle, write everything that won’t be within your control over the festive period. At least then you can focus your energy on the right battles.

Step 3 Simple Wins

Set yourself a list of simple daily or weekly wins. These might be a step count, water intake, protein with meals, vegetables, getting outside every day, going for a run…. Whatever it is, write it down and then tick it off as you achieve it. This will give you a sense of control and ownership over the festive period. And good habits build on themselves.

Step 4 Calorie Strategies

If you want to control your weight over Christmas, you can use some tried and tested strategies. Skipping breakfast is one that works for many. Is breakfast a big deal in your household over Christmas? If not, just go without and start eating at lunchtime. Another strategy could be not eating after dinner. Or only drinking alcohol on certain days or occasions. Mini fasting is a great strategy for controlling calorie intake. Try using an 8-hour eating window on quieter days or travel days.

PTX Fitness Healthy Eating at Christmas

Step 5 Mindful Eating

None of us have to eat everything on offer over the festive period. Most of us don’t actually even like all of it! We know people who don’t like mince pies, or fruit cake, or sausage rolls, or mulled wine…but still accept them (or even make them!) This year, take a minute to think “…do I really want this?” This simple pause-and-think strategy will help you avoid unnecessary calorie intake. Enjoy the things you actually like!

Step 6 Activity Is Key

NEAT – non exercise activity thermogenesis – is all the calories you burn from moving around during the day. This type of calorie burn is much more significant for weight management than workouts. So keep that activity high. Walk, do manual chores, take the dog out, offer to get things out of the loft, make up the spare beds… whatever keeps your body moving. Any kind of activity really does count for calorie burn.

Step 7 Get Back On Track

We don’t like to think about “failing”, but it’s good to be realistic. If your plans go awry, if you eat and drink more than you wanted to… don’t panic. Just get back on track as soon as you can. Don’t let one day turn into two, or one week turn into a fortnight. Remember your keystone habits, get back to them, and start a simple healthy plan again as soon as life settles down.

Want some help with this – or your January fitness goals? Get in touch with PTX Fitness by email team@ptx.fitness or give us a call 01738 646740

If you have enjoyed the PTX Fitness guide to tackling the healthy Christmas minefield, please check out some of our other posts that you might find interesting or helpful…

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