Diet & Nutrition

Guide to a Healthy Christmas

Maintaining health over Christmas

Christmas can be a magical time for some, but it can also be a challenging time for patients struggling with weight or type 2 diabetes. If you celebrate Christmas, social events often centre around food and drink. Whilst it is important to be mindful of the choices we make that affect our health, it’s also important to enjoy the festivities and find a balance you’re happy with.

Here are some tips from the Roczen clinical team to enjoy a healthier Christmas:

  • Planning: If you have an event you want to attend, go and enjoy it, but perhaps plan for a slight longer fast the next day
  • Portion size: Aim for the same portion size that you would have normally
  • Choices: Try to choose options that fit in best with your Roczen nutritional plan, think a little more turkey, broccoli and brussels and dial back on those roast potatoes and chocolates.
  • Alcohol: If you fancy an alcoholic drink, that’s ok, but try stick to one glass of wine - and savour it! See more on drinks below.
  • Exercise: Go for a brisk walk or bike ride with the family
  • Advocate for your health: Don’t be afraid to set boundaries, and if necessary, plan a way of saying “that’s perfect for me” or “no more, thank you
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water
  • Share a healthy recipe: Make your own dishes where possible, share the love!
  • Prioritise the good stuff: Do your best to eat foods rich in protein and fibre, such as turkey, nut roast, chicken, as well as vegetables, berries and unsweetened nuts
  • Get creative with leftovers: Try to create new low carbohydrates meals like stuffed peppers, soups or serve with salad or cauliflower rice.
  • Reach out: The Roczen clinical team is here to help at every stage of the festivities. Please reach out to your clinician or mentor if you have any questions or are struggling with something.
  • Have fun: Most of all, use the natural break in the work calendar to do what makes you happy!


Choices: Be mindful of the food and drink choices you make

Hydrate: Remember to drink at least 2L of water a day

Relax: Take time out for yourself-self care is important

Inspire: others with your story on your journey towards better metabolic health

Sleep: Practice sleep hygiene, a quiet space to sleep and aim for 8 hours a night

Time your fast: Try to maintain or extend your fasts whenever possible

Manage your plate: Try to ensure that your plate is not overloaded

Accept it can be a challenging time: Talk to others about how you’re feeling before getting overwhelmed

Spend time with family or loved ones: Make memories if you can

Let’s talk drinks

If you’re making a toast or raising a glass to the year gone by, choose cocktails with care, perhaps opting for an alcohol free option. If you want to drink alcohol, opt for a dry white or red wine as these contain less sugars and sweeteners. Perhaps enjoy a glass of bubbly - in general you drink less as it's served in smaller glasses.

Keeping it moving

If you have a plan for weekly exercise, try to keep to your routine as much as you can. If that’s not possible, instigate a walk with family and friends. Sedentary activities, such as watching films, are common Christmas traditions for many families but inactivity may contribute to weight gain, especially if accompanied by overeating. If you’re a keen exerciser, there are often festive park runs and local events so why not get out there and revel in the Christmas spirit whilst keeping it moving.

Festive snacks 

A lot of festive foods are high in carbohydrates and fat. Consider carrying a small pot of nuts, berries or dark chocolate on you so that you can snack with others rather than feeling left out when others are indulging in mince pieces and shortbread. Alternatively, enjoy the Christmas snack in moderation!

Keeping an eye on blood sugars

For those with type 2 diabetes, it can be tough to keep blood sugar under control when eating out at events. You may consider investing in a continuous glucose monitor over the festive period, these can be purchased online or in pharmacies and allow you to monitor your sugars every minute of every day for 2 weeks. If you do not want to use a continuous glucose monitor and your medication requires you to check your blood sugar, please check finger prick readings more often. Remember, you can always ask your clinician for your own daily blood sugar record which will help you record and monitor yourself more easily. 

Review your goals

As always, set realistic goals and remember your time may be spread over many activities. Above all, keep them simple and meaningful to you.

Finally, and most importantly, Merry Christmas from all of us in the Roczen Clinical team!

August 31, 2023
Written by
Reviewed by

This link is accessed via the Roczen app