End of year celebrations: managing without guilt

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

The anxiety of the arrival of the holidays, the stress of “breaking all the efforts”, the guilt of eating, the fear of spending hours at the table, fear of not daring to say no, of overindulging without listening to oneself …That’s it, we’re coming to the end of year celebrations!

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.

A period as magical as it was disastrous for many.

As a Dietitian Nutritionist I will give you my advice for good organize yourself and live this period without stress or guilt.

Before the holidays: we’re planning!

  • Organize your schedule to include a few pre-party sports sessions: minimum 20 minutes/session: gym, swimming pool, step, gym at home… or a brisk walk in the fresh air of at least 30 minutes. Go out and get some fresh air after your day at work, on the weekend, in short, spend some time.

The benefit of sport = increasing your energy metabolism in order to better feel your food sensations such as hunger and satiety (the state of non-hunger).

  • Appetite forecast = the idea is to plan to be hungry at festive meals so as not to eat more than you need. Consider having a light meal before each festive meal (December 24 at noon and December 30 at noon for example).

The benefit of eating sensations = eating while hungry, while eating mindfully as much as possible, will allow you to stop eating when hunger disappears. So you will not abuse, you will respect your body and its desires, its needs.

Examples of pre-party menus:

  • 1 baked chicken thigh
  • 1 portion of vegetables (in soup, fried, baked, etc.) + small portion of starchy foods if hungry
  • 1 fresh fruit or 1 yogurt


  • 1 bowl of vegetable soup
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread with a little fresh cheese (such as Saint Moret, Mme Loik, Garlic & fine herbs, etc.)
  • 1 fruit


  • 1 white fish (cooking of your choice)
  • 1 small bowl of rice with olive oil and Provence herbs
  • Some vegetables
  • 1 fresh fruit

The idea is to eat light foods with low calorie density to arrive at the festive meal with a good feeling of hunger (the one where you will say “bon appetit” wholeheartedly)

Christmas meal

During the holidays we enjoy and listen to each other!

The party aperitif: Don’t go for the aperitif! When you are hungry, this is the trap to avoid! Take the time to taste everything you put in your mouth: look at the food, smell it, chew, chew and take the time to swallow before taking something else to eat.

The festive meal: remember not to eat too much bread during the meal so that it is not too filling. Take the time to chat with your loved ones, savor this moment of sharing. Eating is also a time of conviviality, take advantage of it.

Don’t use too large quantities, stick to your habits because your body needs it! Yes, it’s a party, but you’ll enjoy it even better if you’re not bloated.

You can also put down your cutlery between each bite to slow down the pace! Take your time.

The festive dessert: Don’t force yourself to eat dessert if you’re not hungry! Listen to yourself, respect your body and its needs! Without hunger the taste of food is blander anyway. You can also offer a break between the meal and dessert to take a breather.

If the temptation is too great (mmmhh the beautiful gourmet log with chestnut cream), take a small slice, the idea being to taste it, breathe deeply in order to fully taste it then savor it.

Alcohol and party drinks: the glass for toasting is of course welcome if you enjoy drinking it: champagne, wine, aperitif, sweet drinks, etc.

I invite you to limit your quantity of alcohol and alternate with water. Alcohol tends to disinhibit and could make you forget your food sensations and disconnect.

Remember that alcohol and sugary drinks are considered food. They have a caloric content and can fill you up as much as if you were eating. Find out about the rest of the meal in order to maintain an appetite for the rest of the festivities.

After the holidays we regulate the excesses, without stress or guilt!

Whatever happens during these festivities, don’t be discouraged! It is possible that for a few days you are no longer really connected to your body and its needs, this is normal, breaks are also sometimes necessary. However, try to think about your hunger, what to eat and your satiety as often as possible because after the Christmas festivities, the New Year is just around the corner! I advise you not to weigh yourself from 12/24 to 01/2 at least…

Take advantage of the break between Christmas and New Year to do some physical activity. Do physical activity for pleasure, relax, clear your mind and wait for the return of a good feeling of hunger to make each of your meals. You can also eat light as often as possible to give your digestive system some rest!

There is no point in blaming yourself. Your journey cannot be a linear curve, having ups and downs is completely normal, be kind to yourself.

Think of yourself as you would think of your best friend, with kindness, gentleness and patience.

What is important is to do your best, the holiday season is always a challenge when you are working on your eating behavior.

Up to you ! You will get there!