During the holidays, treat yourself while being reasonable, tips for managing well before and after

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Spending the end of year celebrations, without gaining weight without indigestion and above all while having fun, it’s possible!

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

Festive meals are coming closer: now is the time to take care of your health and yourself!

A few little reminders to be and stay healthy!

Eating well, balanced and varied: it’s all year round! There is no point in restricting yourself or going on a diet before the holidays, this would be counterproductive and would reinforce your frustrations and the breakdowns may be difficult to control afterwards!

To get to the menu:

  • varied diet: preferably with quality nutrients (seasonal and as fresh as possible!), in quantities adapted to your needs;
  • season with a little physical activity for 30 minutes every day;
  • quality sleep: 7-9 hours per night depending on your needs, go to bed as soon as you feel signs of fatigue;
  • for the holidays gourmet menus but without excess, but while making you happy!

In terms of nutrition, you need, every day to be in good shape:

  • eat 3 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner;
  • eat everything, in quantities suited to your hunger and needs;
  • avoid snacking, instead, take an organized break : a snack with a fruit, a dairy product, a small handful of oilseeds, a slice of bread + 1 tile of chocolate… This helps to avoid snacking which is not your figure’s friend;
  • take the time to eat: at least 20 minutes per meal: this is the time needed for our calorie counter to start;
  • exercise: at least 30 minutes of walking every day to increase your metabolism and clear your head;
  • Meal time should be a pleasant and friendly time, so take advantage of this moment.

Qualitatively, choose:

  • seasonal vegetables, as much as you want, rather cooked if you are tired or have had a rather heavy meal, this will make digestion easier!
  • a portion of protein, approximately 100-120g per day to be adjusted according to your needs and satiety: fish, meat, eggs, dried vegetables (lentils, white beans, etc.), natural dairy products;
  • a portion of cheese (around 30 g), rather hard, per day and plain dairy products with other meals: calcium intake is important because it allows other nutrients to be better used and thus reduces storage.
  • 3 portions of fruit per day: 1 apple, 1 pear, 2-3 clementines, 1/2 grapefruit…
  • drink at least 1 liter of water (herbal tea, tea, etc.) per day minimum;
  • a little fat: a little raw butter (on your toast, etc.) and a tablespoon of vegetable oil per meal (in vinaigrette, for cooking or on vegetables);
  • limit your consumption of sweet products (a little jam on morning toast, 1 square of chocolate with coffee or as a snack).

A few days before the holidays and just after, we lighten up little by little and we stay tuned, prepare your digestive tract for the excesses to come!!!

Christmas cake

Be a little more vigilant during the 2 or 3 days before and after

  • Eat fairly cooked vegetables and fruits (soups, etc.) and compotes in particular and green salad at all meals;
  • Favor lean proteins (white meats, fish, natural dairy products, etc.);
  • Moderate your consumption of fats (vegetable oil and a little raw butter);
  • Reduce your portions of starchy foods a little (legs, rice, potatoes, etc.) and increase the portion of foods rich in fiber (vegetables, fruits, wholemeal bread, etc.);
  • Avoid dishes with sauces, cheese and cold meats;
  • Avoid temptation and put chocolates and other sweets in the cupboard!
  • Plan to have a snack about 1 hour before the start of the meal: this avoids arriving on an empty stomach and craving the appetizers! Eat a crunchy piece of fruit or vegetables with a drink.

After the festive meal

  • Opt for a digestive walk rather than the sofa after lunch!
  • Only eat again when you are hungry. Don’t force yourself and choose light foods: cooked vegetables, plain dairy products, fruits.

When it comes to holiday meal time, be reasonable!

If you are planning holiday meals at home, what matters is that you come together, that it is a pleasant and convivial moment and there is no need to leave the meal bloated as it would spoil the moment a little!

You are not going to deprive yourself but just eat your fill and above all ENJOY YOURSELF! Enjoy every bite, take your time chewing!

Certain food combinations consumed during holiday meals have a greater impact on our figure. Some tips for spending these moments lightly:

This is the case for the alcohol-fat mixture. Be aware, however, that during digestion, fats and alcohol are engaged in a real duel. The body does not know how to digest alcohol and therefore stores half of it in sugars and fats (often on the stomach): so drink with consumption!
For the drink, prefer a good wine or champagne rather than strong alcohol. And if possible limit your consumption to two glasses per meal, four at most.

New Year’s Eve meals are often rich in fat, and as such more difficult to digest. You can plan small portions by using glasses, appetizers and other portion spoons. Whatever happens, use small quantities and prefer to refill if necessary.

As a starter, opt for a seafood or fish starter and as a main course: poultry, roasted game, shellfish.

To help your body, consider adding a little salad, vegetables, etc. to your dishes.

Use good quality fats: vegetable oil, duck and goose fat to sauté your potatoes, for example!

For New Year’s Eve dessert, think of seasonal fruit baskets, exotic fruits, oilseeds (walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.) and an iced log. The log and its butter cream will be easier to digest at lunchtime with a little walk afterwards!

christmas cookies

Helping foods to help you digest and eliminate more easily

  • Sodium bicarbonate (a pinch in a glass of water) to prevent heartburn, bloating and facilitate digestion. We find it St Yorre type water;
  • The lemon helps the work of digestion and cleansing the liver, you can take a glass of water with 1/2 lemon juice when you get up but also put some in your water bottle (1 liter) every day from now on!
  • Green tea helps eliminate, increases metabolism and slows the absorption of fats;
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits : full of vitamins, they are light, rich in fiber (therefore facilitating transit) and low in calories!

Some tips for pregnant women:

First of all, the “zero alcohol” principle is non-negotiable!
Cooked seafood is allowed, no problem: lobster, lobster, scallops, don’t hesitate.
On the other hand, raw products, salmon in carpaccio or tartare, oysters, are prohibited! Also be careful with raw milk cheese.

For the rest, treat yourself, paying attention to the quantities consumed!

Festive meals are moments of sharing and indulgence but are not synonymous with excess.

It’s up to you to be creative in your menus. Have a wonderful holiday season!