Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast

6 Ways to beat the festive binge

6 Ways to beat the festive binge

With all the delicious food available during the holidays, it's easy to overindulge. Here's how to enjoy the holiday season and avoid the festive binge

Finish when you’re full

When it comes to eating during the festive season, always ask yourself the question, “Will eating this bring me joy?” That will help you put festive feasting into perspective. With that in mind, don’t feel you have to overeat. Ask yourself that crucial question before you reach for a second or third helping. 

Skip the foods you like less

Treat yourself to the foods you love, but pass on the ho-hum holiday indulgences. If Christmas cake or your mum’s trifle is an integral part of the happiness of the season, by all means help yourself to a portion. But don’t feel obliged to scoff Christmas pudding or parsnips or panettone just because they’re there. And, if you’re faced with a groaning buffet, reach for one small plate, fill it with the foods that look most delicious, and leave it at that. 

Christmas panettone

Say no nicely

At a party, don’t feel under pressure to overindulge when you’re offered food or drink. A straightforward “No, thank you” is all that’s needed. Don’t feel you have to make excuses or apologise. 

Share your edible gifts

Dreading those gift-wrapped chocolates that come your way at this time of year? No problem. Accept them graciously and then share them equally graciously. 

Ice skating at Christmas

Start food-free traditions

The season of goodwill isn’t all about eating, as we well know. So think about ways you can celebrate with the whole family that don’t involve cramming your face with yet more food. Make a trip to a Christmas market or outdoor skating rink a new tradition. Actually go for that brisk winter walk rather than just talking about it and then settling down in front of the telly instead! 

Ditch the guilt

Food shaming yourself will only make you feel worse. If you’re eating a bit more than usual, then simply remind yourself that it’s in the spirit of family, friends and celebration and make it a joyful experience, rather than a blame game. This will help you develop a year-round healthy attitude towards food. 

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit