Last updated by at .

Lighter Christmas

A Lighter Christmas with Why Weight Ireland

As some of you may be aware, I have been unwell recently. I am currently being treated for Lyme Disease (caused by a tick bite I got whilst out trail running back in May), which has really set me back with every day life over the last few months but hopefully now having started treatment almost 2 weeks ago I will soon be on the road to recovery. Fingers crossed. With the year coming to a close this will be my final blog post of the year. It’s really been lovely writing the posts each week and receiving all your lovely comments; they really mean a lot. I will of course be back in the New Year and back to helping you on your journey. You can continue to email me if you have any questions or need any help, I’m always here for you and you also can read through the hundred and something blog posts if you get bored lol. So here goes my final blog post for 2013 🙂

We all get excited over the Christmas festivities, but also know in the back of our minds that it can be the time of year when food, drink and waistlines spiral out of control – often with the acceptance of “I’ll start again in the New Year”! Are you worried about surviving Christmas? Have you ever had a light Christmas? Are you worried that you won’t be able to control your weight or even enjoy yourself?

Now, I’m not going to tell you to not drink, eat great food etc., but answer this, “Is the Christmas period a couple of days, a couple of weeks or a full month?” This really could make a big difference to not just your health and waistline, but how much work you may have to do come January 1st…and the following weeks/months! Plan a goal or target for the New Year NOW so you can keep your mind on this goal during the Christmas Holiday.

It’s coming up to that time of year again where you will be visiting family and friends and taking part in the traditional aspects of Christmas such as work parties, Christmas dinners etc. where you are almost expected to eat lots and drink excessively. This can be an absolute nightmare if you’re trying to lose weight. It is especially bad if you’ve been trying so hard over the past few months and now you don’t want to go backwards after all that hard work you’ve put in. But at the same time you don’t want to come across as being a party pooper by avoiding parties just because you might give into temptation! You can still enjoy yourself while still having a lighter Christmas.

These Top 10 Tips will help you get through the Christmas period without putting on too much or maybe even continue to lose weight. By following these tips I’m sure that when you jump on that scale you will continue to have a successful weight loss journey. I have also included My Christmas Dinner which shows two different meal options, a big Christmas dinner and also a reduced calorie dinner and the corresponding calories so you can see for yourself how you can save on your meal. NOW GO & GET PLANNING

My Top 10 Tips for a Lighter Christmas

1. Let the people know that you want a lighter Christmas

If you are spending Christmas with family and friends, let them know that you are trying to lose weight and that you are serious about it. This might make them less inclined to open unnecessary food whilst you’re around and you’ll be less likely to give in to temptation. It is especially important to let the person cooking the main meal know that you’re on a diet and tell them any preferences you have before the day. This might allow them to use healthier alternatives or alternative cooking methods such as steaming food rather than cooking it in fats and oils. There is no reason to be embarrassed about saying you are trying to lose weight and eat healthy.

2. Don’t start drinking too early in the day

Everyone likes a drink at Christmas and sometimes we end up starting way too early in the day. The problem with this is that it can boost your appetite, making you eat and snack more until the main meal comes. It is best to avoid drinking until you can have a drink alongside your main meal.

3. Eat slowly during your meals

Whilst eating your Christmas dinner make sure that you eat slowly. By not eating too quickly it gives your belly time to send the messages to your brain that you are full up. There is about a 20 minute delay in this message and by eating slowly you’ll stand a much better chance of not eating too much before that message arrives.

4. Eat normal sized portions

When going up to the buffet or dishing up food, eat the same as what you would at any normal meal. Don’t overfill your plate just because it is Christmas, this will make you feel obliged to eat it all. But also don’t under-fill your plate as that makes it more likely that you’ll go back for a second helping. Try to stick to your main goal and you will have a lighter Christmas.

5. Talk rather than eat

Bars and night clubs know that when they play the music way too loud that it stops you from talking too much and makes you drink more. So reverse this to your own benefit at Christmas parties and family meet-ups by becoming a social butterfly. By talking, dancing and having fun rather than keeping visiting the food area you’ll eat less as if you’re talking then it’s harder to eat and remember all those calories your burning when dancing around 🙂

6. Stick to the smarter foods rather than deserts

Fill yourself up with the smarter foods such as the vegetables in the main meal and avoid the high carbohydrate foods such as bread rolls and potato. This will make it less likely that you will feel like an overly sweet dessert or Christmas snacks after the main meal. Basically decide which foods are the better, smarter foods for you and stick to them if possible and fill yourself up.

7. Keep exercising

Stick to any exercise routine you had before the holidays and plan it around your Christmas schedule. This will help to remove any excess calories that you’ve taken on if you overeat. If you are with family then why not go for a walk together or if you are lucky and have access to a game console which have the fitness games or sports challenge games why not get up and get the whole family involved instead of just leaving it for the kids! Get moving for fun rather than just sitting there watching the usual Christmas films that get put on every year! And since many of you will no longer be having to work a 9 – 5 job on those days where we are more likely to over indulge – scheduling in just 1 hour to go for a brisk walk shouldn’t be too much of a hardship and could make the difference between maintaining and gaining over the festive season.

8. Freeze leftover food

There is a natural urge to extend the Christmas fun for as long as possible and sometimes that means that we end up over-eating on not just one day but for a few or even several days afterwards. So if you have leftover food, why not freeze it so that it is not lying around and causing you to get tempted to overeat.

9. Avoid presents of food

If you can let your family know that you’re wanting a lighter Christmas and trying to lose weight before Christmas you’ll be less likely to receive any presents that are food or drink based which don’t fit well with your weight loss program. If you do end up getting given presents which are food, don’t open them straight away as you will more than likely start nibbling on them!

10. Become The Designated Driver

Being a designated driver will be a very easy way to avoid drinking alcoholic drinks with excess calories and give you an easy excuse to use. Plus you’ll be doing a favour to anyone who is currently not dieting and wants to drink. If you can’t drive or can’t have this as your excuse then why not change some or all drinks for alternatives, low calorie drinks. Make sure to check your Why Weight Ireland food diary for your alcoholic calories.

By using these tips I hope that it helps and allows you to have a great Christmas while at the same time continuing to lose weight and meeting your weight loss goals. If you manage to still put on a couple of pounds then DON’T WORRY and don’t suddenly quit your weight loss journey completely, just be glad that it wasn’t too excessive like it could’ve been had you eaten more!

Remember I’m always available to members so please drop me an email if you are thinking that you are struggling and I will try and help you as much as I can – I can’t help if you don’t let me know you need it 🙂


Christmas is a fantastic period full of magic and joy but do remember that it does pass very quickly. Try not to let a few weeks destroy your hard work over the past few months. Continue to enter everything into your food diary. You can still enjoy all that Christmas brings and trying to stay planning ahead will make things so much easier for you. Don’t let excuses get in the way!

Things to avoid:

  • Opening tins of sweets/biscuits – Easier said than done, I know but you will help yourself until they are gone!
  • Opening a bottle of wine just for yourself – you know it will all get drank in one evening!
  • Not Exercising – Keep to your fitness plans.  If it’s wintery outside continue with the videos on the site or your own workout DVDs.  Let the kids join in too 🙂
  • Forgetting the BIG picture.  Remember why you started your journey and stick to it.

Things to do:

  • Stock up on fruit & Veg – If you find you need to nibble or you have friends over then make some fruit or veg plateaus
  • Plan your meals over Christmas
  • Go easy on the alcohol
  • Add EVERYTHING into your diary

My Christmas Dinner

If you are having Christmas at home this year and you are in charge of the cooking then have a look at my Christmas dinner and the corresponding calories. You can really take advantage and take control of your Christmas meal and still get it in your calorie allowance while also enjoying your typical Christmas dinner 🙂

Roast Turkey (light meat)

Large portion 140g = 214cals (2.8g fat)

Med portion 90g = 137 cals (1.8g fat)

Small portion 70g = 107 cals (1.4g fat)

Roast Turkey (Dark Meat)

Large Portion 140g = 247 cals (9.7g fat)

Med portion 90g = 159 cals (5.9g fat)

Small Portion 70g = 123cals (4.6 fat)

Straight away you can see that the easiest way to cut down is to avoid the dark meat and stick to the Turkey breast/light meat. The dark meat is not that much higher in calories, but as you can see a small portion of dark meat has almost DOUBLE the amount of fat of a LARGE portion of white meat!


Small portion 70g – 104cals (5.5g fat)

Med portion 90g – 133cals (7g fat)

Large portion 120g – 178cals (9.4g fat)


Roast potato – 1 small potato 50g (size of a new potato) = 74 cals (2.2g fat)

1 portion 200g Roast potatoes = 298 cals (9g fat)

Boiled potato – 1 small potato 50g = 38 calories (0.1g of fat)

1 portion 200g Boiled potatoes = 150 cals (0.6g fat)

As you can see again, you are doubling the number of calories and adding almost 9g of fat per portion by choosing roast potatoes over boiled potatoes. Now I really do love roast potatoes, so I would have 1 or 2 roasties and then a few boiled ones too – the best of both without going too overboard!

Veggies (All medium portion 70g – lowest calories to highest)

Red Cabbage – 11 calories (0.2g fat)

Green Beans – 15 calories (0.3g fat)

Carrots – 15 calories (0.2g fat)

Leeks – 15cals (0.5g fat)

Sweetcorn – 17cals (0.3g fat)

Brussel sprouts (70g = 7 sprouts) – 25cals (0.9gfat)

Peas – 55cals (1.1g fat)

The best tactic to get that absolutely stuffed Christmas dinner feeling is to load up the plate with lots of veggies! Eat some of the veggies first and re-fill the plate with more veggies if necessary. The rest of your meal (with smaller portions of the high calorie stuff) will satisfy you much more when you already have a little in your tummy to start with and you will definitely feel full to the brim, without actually consuming too many calories!


Gravy 50ml serving = 15 calories (0.6g fat)

Parsley Sauce 50ml serving = 41 calories (2.4g fat)

Cheese Sauce 50ml (made with skimmed milk) = 39 calories (1.1g fat)

Cheese Sauce 50ml (made with whole milk) = 99 calories (7.3g fat)

Big Christmas Dinner

Turkey breast 100g – 153 calories (2g fat)

Ham 100g – 148 calories (7.8g fat)

Gravy 100ml – 30 calories (1.2g fat)

Red Cabbage 140g – 22 calories (0.4g fat)

Brussels (7) – 25 calories (0.9g fat)

Green Beans 70g – 15 calories (0.3g fat)

Carrots 140g – 30calories (0.4g fat)

Peas 70g – 55calories (1.1g fat)

2 x small Roast potatoes (100g) – 148 calories (4.4g fat)

3 x boiled potatoes (150g) – 114 calories (0.3g fat)

TOTAL: 740 calories (18.8g fat)

Reduced Calorie Christmas Dinner

Turkey Breast 70g – 107calories (1.4g fat)

Ham 70g – 104calories (5.5 fat)

Gravy 50ml – 15 calories (0.6 fat)

Red Cabbage 140g – 22 calories (0.4g fat)

Brussels (7) – 25 calories (0.9g fat)

Green Beans 70g – 15 calories (0.3g fat)

Carrots 140g – 30calories (0.4g fat)

Peas 1 tablespoon – 23calories (0.5g fat)

1 x small Roast potatoes (100g) – 74 calories (2.2g fat)

3 x boiled potatoes (150g) – 114 calories (0.3g fat)

Total: 529 calories (12.5g fat)

A few small changes on the higher calorie and higher fat options gives a much lower intake, without changing how the dinner will look on your plate too much! You will still get a nice large plateful! Using a slightly smaller plate will also trick your brain into feeling like you are getting an extra large portion even with a slightly smaller portion!

Most of all you can STILL enjoy a lovely Christmas meal with everyone else without going completely crazy! To make it easier to stick within your allowance you can also adjust your diary settings to make Christmas day a “treat day” and add a little extra activity in the days leading up to Christmas!

Make surviving Christmas your next GOAL



Total Body Tone – OUT NOW

The Why Weight Ireland Total Body Tone DVD is NOW ON SALE – Purchase your copy today by clicking the ‘Buy Now’ button.

LAST DAY FOR GUARANTEED DELIVERY (In Rep. of Ireland) is DECEMBER 20th (before 12pm)

Total Body Tone

Some of the fantastic comments made about the Total Body Tone DVD:

  • Much better than my Jillian Michael’s DVD
  • Can’t believe how many calories I burnt
  • Best workout I’ve ever done
  • Amazing that I can do a full class workout from home
  • Much longer than any of my other workout DVDS
  • I attended some of Hannah’s classes when they first began and I loved them but unfortunately due to shift work I just wasn’t able to fit them in. I was so happy when I could purchase the DVD and wow it is like being in Hannah’s classes all over again! I do a half hr work out a day and I suffer from the same complaints I did when in her classes i.e. sweating, sore joints the following day!:) I can really see how this DVD will benefit me already!


Take a 2 Day Free Trial today – Click the activate button below for your 2 days trial of our online food & exercise diary. Once your trial is complete you can visit our Prices & Signup page on our website and select one of our memberships to continue and receive the benefits of being a full member. You are under no obligation to signup and there is no prepayment required. Start Your 2 Day Free Trial Today You can click the following link to subscribe to our Why Weight Ireland Newsletter for monthly news, tips & advice. You can also join our Facebook Community Page where members & non-members can chat and support each other in a private closed group and encourage each other to succeed. And finally, thank you for reading and if you enjoyed it, don’t forget to like, share and leave your lovely comments below 🙂

Writer of the Year 2013To end the year on a high, I was honoured to WIN the Best Writer Award at the Awards on Sunday 1st December 2013 🙂

Thanks again & Merry Christmas

Hannah x

Click here for membership options

error: All content is copyrighted & prohibited from being copied