Are you as excited for this wonderful season as I am? We’ve already been baking and gift wrapping up a storm, which has me thinking ahead to delicious traditional meals. Not to wreck it for you, but did you know that on average, people increase their meal sizes by up to 40% during special occasions? It’s not uncommon to eat over 3,000 calories during an average holiday meal. (That’s a lot!)

The solution certainly isn’t to ‘diet’ from now until January. That would be sad and completely unrealistic. Instead, here are some tips to avoid looking like a cookie-eating Santa:

  1. Do NOT create a list of ‘naughty’ foods. Restricting yourself from your favourites will lead to food cravings, and possibly binging. Instead, allow yourself to have a taste. Portion control is key. Rate foods from 1 to 10, only putting top choices into your mouth.
  2. Steal one of the kiddie plates. You don’t have to sit at the kids table, but opting to use a smaller dish will make it difficult to overload, and your Insta photo will still look indulgent, no one will be the wiser.
  3. Eat the cake (and the chocolate)! If you know me, you know I eat the dessert. Or at least I always WANT to! Over the holidays, the odds are 100% that I enjoy a piece of my Mom’s traditional English trifle. Pace yourself. A little something sweet that’s only offered once a year won’t ruin you.
  4. Be social during dinner. Think ahead of some interesting stories you want to share with your family, and take advantage of everyone’s chewing to gab! Slowing down how quickly you eat each meal by chatting and drinking water will give your stomach a chance to catch up and realize you are full.
  5. Keep the toasts to a minimum. A glass of wine is only about 125 calories, and it enables some to relax and better take in the holiday spirit, but too much alcohol leads to excessive food consumption and affects your body’s ability to burn calories effectively.

Cheers to your having a healthier relationship with food this holiday season and ringing in the New Year with genuine enthusiasm that 2023 will be one for the books!

Coach Julie Germaine Coram is a Certified Nutrition Coach, Registered Personal Trainer, 2x International Pro Fitness Champion, Miss Fitness Manitoba, and just a regular fit Manitoban mom! She has helped tens of thousands of men and women improve their health since 2005. Check out her services at or book a FREE diet and fitness consultation directly with her by visiting this link: