Wondering what to eat over Christmas to see results? Here are the best and worst Christmas foods for women over 40.

Christmas is a time that can often feel like an absolute minefield when it comes to dieting. There’s Christmas parties, the shops are packed full of festive food, and there’s pressure from the family to put on a good spread.

It can be pretty overwhelming, and in our experience it can often lead to people giving up and mindlessly eating and drinking through the entire month of December. Things then finally calm down a few days after Christmas, when all the presents and parties are over. Then the intensity of having to start from scratch with a diet begins.

That can be so demoralising for many women over forty. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

The majority of our clients actually maintain their weight over Christmas period, or only gain a pound or two which is easily lost in the first week of January.

So in today’s blog, we share exactly how our clients are able to do that by revealing the best and worst Christmas foods. This way, you know what to avoid to miss that festive weight gain and feel proud of your choices over this challenging period.

Begin with the mindset

Before we get into the foods themselves, let’s talk about mindset.

Most people see December as like a month-long supermarket sweep! They start buying Christmas food weeks early, and tell themselves it’s for certain people coming over or for a party. However, it’s common to over-buy and end up eating mince pies, chocolate and snacks every day.

Additionally, people begin eating to excess pretty much every day thinking: “Sod it, it’s Christmas!” They end up spending the first 3-6 months of the new year on a diet just to undo all the mindless eating and drinking in December.

Instead, adjust your mindset. Do a “normal shop” – literally and metaphorically. Save the Christmas food until Christmas – as you’ll get plenty outside your home. If you have a party, buy just enough and give excess away to guests or food banks. Equally, rather than having a mince pie or chocolate daily, eat normally as much as you can.

This way, you’ll really enjoy Christmas when it happens without being filled with any regret!

We do always recommend our clients take Christmas day and Boxing Day off their diets completely, so you can still look forward to enjoying those two days completely guilt-free.

However, it can still be helpful to know how to navigate the inevitable spread of Christmas food at this time of year.

Foods to avoid at Christmas

With this in mind, here’s a list of the worst foods to avoid during the Christmas period.

Pigs in blankets

  • Sausages and bacon are very calorie dense
  • They do contain some protein though, and they’re very small
  • Instead, limit it to 1 or 2

Yorkshire puddings (if you have them!)

  • Made of flour, which is one of the 4 WADS foods we cut out during our Diet Makeover process
  • They have no protein, no fibre, and pretty much no goodness!
  • Limit it to 1

Roast potatoes cooked in goose fat/lots of oil

  • Oil is pure fat
  • These are basically deep-fried
  • Limit to a few

Bread sauce

  • Full of milk, butter and bread
  • Pretty low in quality nutrition, low in protein and very calorie-dense
  • 1 serving is about the same calories as a small chocolate bar!

Christmas pudding

  • It is calorie dense – sugar, flour, eggs, butter and dried fruit (all calorie-dense)
  • Quite rich so can’t actually eat too much
  • Try to just have a small sliver
  • The portion size makes a huge difference, and you’re likely already full anyway, so have what you want, just a bit less!

Milk chocolate or biscuits

  • In our experience, it’s not actually Christmas dinner that’s the problem, as it’s quite a balanced meal
  • It’s the extras that add up
  • Biscuits, chocolate and snacks are generally pure fat and sugar, which is the worst combination
  • Ask for other presents instead, such as nice toiletries, clothing, and candles 

Foods which are neither good or bad

Lamb or beef

  • Generally this is quite fatty, so it’s quite high in calories
  • However, it’s also high in protein and fat – and protein is pretty filling, so it’s better to have this than more potatoes, bread sauce or choc

Cranberry jelly

  • Quite high in sugar
  • Low in fat which helps keep calories down
  • Unlikely to over-eat, so enjoy this one – it’s probably the best sauce option!


  • Gravy is made with flour and butter like bread sauce, but less carby as it’s quite watered down and no bread
  • Unlikely to over-eat again, so enjoy this one!

The best foods to enjoy over Christmas

Turkey or chicken

  • The best meat choice as it’s lean and highest in protein
  • Very filling and you will avoid feeling tempted to pick more
  • Have as much as you want

Boiled/steamed vegetables

  • If you have this, it’s very high in fibre and very low in calories
  • Knock yourself out and have as much as you want!

Fruit, obviously!

  • We always have satsumas in our stockings!
  • Goes well with chocolate coins
  • Have fruit some days for pudding, and it’ll make a huge difference


When it comes to Christmas, It’s not about being perfect, as you never will be. But instead of seeing December as just switching off your diet, think about how you’d like to feel going into the New Year.

See it as turning the dial down but not to zero, like a dimmer switch. Make a few better choices every day, and they really add up.

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