Health and Wellbeing

How to avoid the excess of the dinner party

How to avoid the excess of the dinner party


The holiday season is fast approaching, and it seems like just yesterday we were thinking about how to get in shape after the summer vacations. It won't be big dinners and lunches for everyone, but still, to celebrate, even the most moderate will surely prepare or buy more food than usual.

Fair enough, Christmas is a nice occasion for everyone to be together, and sharing a meal is the best way to go about it. But what can you do to ensure it does not affect you? First of all, it depends on the state of your health, so start by asking yourself: are you going to hurt yourself if you give in to excessive eating, or can you manage it occasionally?


In any case, the advice we feel like giving is that in case of overeating we have a fairly effective weapon at our disposal if used well and that is intermittent fasting i.e., skipping a dinner (and not a breakfast or lunch) if we have overindulged in lunch or in the previous dinner.

Fasting is not a new practice – it originated with life on Earth, when primates and later humans did not eat for long periods because of the lack of food available to them. Later, it became a choice as part of religious traditions, such as the Christian lent or the month of Ramadan for Muslims.


Over time it became noticeable that if practiced correctly, fasting can have significant effects on your body – and so it became a subject of scientific research, resulting in clinical trials that have earned numerous awards and even a Nobel Prize.

The positive implications for your health are numerous, especially in terms of preventing degenerative diseases related to aging. This is due to the fact that fasting allows your body to eliminate cellular waste accumulated over time, which can only be disposed of by giving your digestive system the necessary respite – i.e. not consuming additional food for a few hours. For instance, you can aim for 16 consecutive hours from your afternoon meal until breakfast the next day, obviously hydrating yourself adequately with water or unsweetened herbal teas.

So if during the upcoming holidays you happen to overindulge in food or alcohol, try skipping some dinners. You will not only feel lighter, but also enjoy a much better night’s rest.  

This recommendation does not, of course, apply to people with serious illnesses, the very elderly, children and pregnant women.


When it comes to holiday season indulgence, it’s not only about eating more. You also eat richer and more elaborate food than usual and drink more alcohol than normal; you add on aperitifs and sweets on a regular basis. And all these little extras can lead to weight gain that is difficult to get rid of.

Christmas is the most difficult time of year to start a diet or to maintain our fitness goals. This period can be busy and very stressful, which means you can easily regain weight or fall out of shape. So what can you do to avoid that while enjoying the festive season delicacies?

Firstly, give yourself permission to eat anything. When something is forbidden, you only want to eat it more because you feel deprived of it ( and when you do eat it, you feel guilty).

Giving yourself permission, however, does not mean eating everything and in unlimited quantities. It means having the power and choice in your own hands. Perhaps start with a small portion of food that you would normally have avoided, thus enabling you to feel empowered and strong.

Choose to be present while you eat - avoiding distractions (book, TV, mobile phone) and immersing yourself in the experience of truly tasting and enjoying your food. Mindful eating is a particular way of consuming food while paying attention to the present moment. Not only can it help avoid binge eating even during holiday meals, it can actually help you lose weight when following 5 simple steps:

#1 Identify your body's hunger signals

A good way is to ask yourself:

"What are the hunger signals my body is sending me?"

"What are the differences between feeling peckish and feeling hungry?

#2 Listen to your body's satiety signals

Try to answer the following questions:

 "What are my body signals of satiety?"

"How does feeling full differ from feeling very full?

#3 Eat slowly

Slow down to fully appreciate the flavours of the food you are eating, even chewing more before swallowing and noting the texture and taste of each mouthful.

#4 Avoid arriving at the table feeling hungry

When you are hungry, it is very difficult to eat mindfully. Having a meal at regular times enables you to eat when you have an appetite and to stop when you are full.

#5 Eat using our 5 senses

Before you start eating, appreciate the food with your eyes. Notice the colour, the shape, how the light reflects on its surface. Then smell the aroma it gives off. Then place the food in your mouth, on your tongue, without chewing. Focus on the sensations - what does it taste like? Swirl the food around a bit in your mouth and finally start chewing slowly.

Pay attention to the texture as your teeth sink into the food, listen to the sound it makes and taste it as it spreads across your tongue. In other words, enjoy it fully.

And of course, to complement your nutrition, make time to keep active – whether by coming to the club to swim and exercise, running or simply walking the dog in the park - to indulge in some healthy rest and fun, and to practice mindfulness meditation.