Dr. Heather McKee's Evidence Based Insights

Healthy Christmas habits 2

“Lets just have another mince pie now and I’ll worry about it in January”

As January creeps closer you’ll soon start to feel the pressure even more. Research has shown that even thinking you are going to be going on a diet can cause you to overcompensate and eat more in anticipation of the deprivation.


There are more than two choices (all or nothing) this time of year.

There are ways to take a more balanced approach. Enjoying what the season brings, whilst not feeling like you’ve completely blown your healthy habits.

To help in finding ways to restore the balance I have summarised this weeks healthy Christmas habit posts below. Choose one that resonates with you most and try it out today, you’ll thank yourself for it in January.

Healthy Christmas habits 8:

Pick your top two. Try serving yourself no more than two foods at a time. This means that you are avoiding deprivation, and yet not overeating. An alternate option is to fill half your plate with veggies first then add your two favourites. When you sit down, eat the vegetables first then dig into your top 2. This will help fill you up and stabilise your blood sugars to help you have more sustainable energy and make it less likely you will be craving dessert.

Healthy Christmas habits 9:

Try not to feel guilty, instead move on. Research has shown that feeling guilty after overindulging can lead to more weight gain than those who felt less guilt. How do you do this? Read this post on how to stay on track with your healthy habits to find out more.

Healthy Christmas habits 10:

Try a red plate: Random fact, researchers have shown that we tend to interpret red as a subtle stop signal which may support us in reducing our intake! Why not give it a go?! 

Healthy Christmas habits 11:

Pre plate your food, don’t put serving dishes on the table. By pre plating your food and then moving away from the buffet table rather than having a buffet style meal where you have the serving dishes on the table, you’ll eat on  average 19% less per meal.

Healthy Christmas habits 12:

Hydrate to help reduce cravings. Research has shown that we can misinterpret thirst for hunger. By having a glass or two of water first thing, and remaining hydrated throughout the day you can reduce the likelihood that you will give in to temptation. You can read more about the importance of morning hydration on the blog here.

Healthy Christmas habits 13:

Take healthy snacks Christmas shopping. Having a healthy snack can help us avoid that situation when we are hungry and willing to forgo our healthy eating goals in order to grab whatever is available. Research has shown that we should avoid choice when we are hungry as we tend to choose unhealthy, higher calorie foods and snacks. Having some healthy snacks at hand can prevent us falling into these traps.

Healthy Christmas habits 14:

Try mindful eating. Not only has it been shown to help you eat less, it helps increase the enjoyment you get from food. How to get started – try one of these top 5 mindful eating tips today.

Want more? For real time healthy Christmas habits follow us now on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

We will be back next week with the final part of healthy Christmas habits. If you’d like to take part in any of our coaching programmes for 2018 our timetable is now out and you can sign up for a free 20 minute session to see if the programme is right for you. Find out more here.

Published on 15th Dec 2017 at 10:10 by Dr. Heather McKee

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This work is in no way meant to replace any medical advice. Dr. McKee is Non-HCPC-registered. Photography by Dylan Madden.

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