How to Manage Christmas Day Lunch

At the beginning of December each year, many people ask me about how to manage their Christmas Day lunch.

A lot of us worry about how much we will eat or drink at this time of year, we want to avoid putting on weight, we want to keep trim and be healthy and yet with so much food everywhere on Christmas Day and on the days and various events leading up to Christmas Day and generally over the holiday period through to the New Year, it can be very challenging.

So you can have it all, enjoy your festive meals and still keep yourself in check so that you feel better in yourself.

Use this as a guideline, and you may find that you naturally maintain a better and healthier you over the Christmas period and feel so much better for it at the start of the New Year.


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    Drink water at the start of each day, and another glass, even a small one before each and every meal. You decided the amount you want to drink; bear in mind, if you can manage two or even three glasses that will help you to feel more full before you start eating, this will naturally cause you to eat less, even if it's only a little bit less than usual that will a difference. Each of us is different in terms of what we can manage so even only one glass of water is good, do what feels right for you.
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    When drinking alcohol, you have the option to help yourself restrict your calories intake and overall the amount you’re having, by drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink. In addition, you can either make sure you always pour for yourself or always request a small glass of wine or a small bottle of beer. That way you'll find that if you do have more, you are having more without having quite as much as you would have done if every glass or every bottle was large to start with.
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    Partake of pre-meal nibbles. Have nibbles, and manage the way you do it so that you only take a small amount in the palm of your hand and then make sure you move away from the bowl of nuts, crisps, chocolates, etc. Enjoy the sensation of feeling them in your hand, knowing you are eating a bit of everything that you do want, and seeing them, this will appeal to both your kinaesthetic (touchy, feely) and your visual senses; all of this will help you feel more satisfied about having the nibbles. Remember to also eat them slowly, take one item (nut or crisp) at a time, rather than throwing a palm-full into your mouth. In this way you are having and enjoying the same foods as everyone else, just naturally and easily eating less of everything that is available and in front of you.
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    At the Christmas lunch itself, do make sure you have a bit of everything you like; the key here is to only take a small amount of everything - the smaller the better, especially if you do want a second helping of anything you'll know you've only had a small bit to begin with; it's a good idea to only take those foods you truly and really want, rather than everything! And keep those second helpings small too!! Remember these tips around eating well, what's also referred to as "eating consciously": eat slowly, really chew and taste your food each time you put some in your mouth, always put your cutlery down between each mouthful, this gives you more time to work through your food; in this way it will also last longer on your plate, and you will feel more satisfied without needing large quantities and overall you will enjoy it more and enjoy how you feel more.
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    Enjoy your moderation. Or any other dessert that there may be at the table - do have it, and again, remember to have a smaller portion than usual. As before, having smaller portions allows you to enjoy the taste of and eat everything that you want, and it also means that if you do want a second helping, you can have some and again, simply by keeping your portion size small, and by eating consciously – instead of scoffing it down, savour every mouthful, and put your spoon down in between each mouthful and eating slowly, you get to have everything you want, and still feel good about yourself.
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    Don't pig out after dinner. often there's still more to come after the main meal, such as coffee and chocolates; do have some chocolate if that’s what you really want - do check with yourself it you do really want it rather than just eating it because it's there. Be very aware and conscious of what you're doing, take one and walk away from the plate of chocolates, have just a small bit, so that you get to enjoy the flavour and the taste without over-loading yourself.


  • Drink water - fills you up without the calories
  • Eat consciously, slowly chew and savour every bite
  • Enjoy yourself, have what you want, just less of it so you feel great!
  • Take nibbles and walk away from the overflowing bowls
  • Eat small amounts of everything you want
  • Drink alcohol in smaller amounts


  • This wikiHow article is for people who are able to eat and drink without restrictions for health reasons
  • If you are on any medication, always check with your Doctor, or GP what you can / cannot eat or drink
  • Be sensible and careful when eating or drinking in any way that is different to your own normal way.
  • If you have any medical condition where you have specific guidelines re eating or drinking, follow your guidelines as required

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Categories: Christmas | Eating Techniques