The nutritionists guide to a Christmas party

Whether you love spending extra time with your work colleagues or not there’s always an end of the year Christmas party. Or you might have a few social gatherings around the festive period that isn’t always work related.

Even so, how can you go about making this party a healthy one? What can you do before, during and after to keep on track with your fitness regime? Well you’re in luck!

Here are my top tips on what you can do during those days in December…

Eat Beforehand

Unfortunately, at times you might not even have this option, because if your party involves having a meal and you’d rather not hear the words ‘bah humbug’ in your ear, then you’ll just have to be smarter with your meal options.

Soups usually a solid starter choice, typically lower in calories than most first courses, just avoid that bread on the side.

For your main course, fill up on your meats and veggies using as little gravy as possible. Ask for extra vegetables and ask to pour the gravy yourself!

Lastly, pudding, just say no thank you, I’m too full!

On the other hand, if your Christmas do is more of a dance party occasion and the food that’s being provided is party food, just eat beforehand. By doing this you won’t feel absolutely starving when you arrive and so you limit the chance of yourself actually giving into the buffet being provided.

dan gives us the low down and what he'd order if he were shopping at greggs

Go Easy On The Drinks (assuming you’re not driving that is!)

If you’ve already decided that you are in fact going to have a cheeky couple, then that’s fine. Just ensure you pick smarter alcohol choices so that you limit the amount of sugar and calories you are taking on board.

Choose a vodka and diet over that pint, a gin and tonic over that glass of red, or even a glass of Prosecco (averages 80 calories) over that large glass of white wine (averages 200+ calories).

I’m not saying the first choices are healthy, they are just wiser choices of drink when aiming to limit the damage on sugar and calories!

Be The Taxi Service

Of course, you could stand up and take control of the car keys! You can perhaps already see my point with this tip…

By being the designated driver, you have already agreed that you won’t be drinking tonight. That’s just saved you hundreds possibly even thousands of empty calories on alcohol.

When you arrive at the venue, drink plenty of water to keep on top of hydration, or if you’d rather a drink with more flavour, have a couple of sugar free drinks. A few artificial sweeteners now and then won’t kill you.

dan gives us the low down and what he'd order if he were shopping at greggs

Snack Wisely

A Christmas Party buffet will be typically packed with sugars, saturated fats, salts, all leading to some big calorie numbers. However, there’s usually a little gem hidden in there somewhere.

The healthier options that no one ever touches, except you tonight. Let’s list a few potentials…

  • Vegetables and dipVegetables will be high in fibre and provide you with important vitamins and minerals. Go easy on the dip or potentially avoid altogether, you never know what’s hiding in that dips nutritional information!
  • Shrimp and crabsticksSometimes these make an appearance at a Christmas Party. Both options will provide you with a decent protein hit and are also low-fat choices. Again, be wary on any dip that’s sitting alongside.
  • Chicken Kebab SticksYour typical chicken stick would involve pieces of chicken breast, peppers, onions and mushrooms. A perfect party snack if you’re looking to stay on track with your eating habits. Protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Low fat, carbs and sugar. Spot on.
  • Mixed NutsChoosing a handful of peanuts or mixed nuts over those cheesy Wotsits would not only be the healthier option, but it will also provide your body will a slow release of energy as well as helping you get on board some healthy fats.

dan gives us the low down and what he'd order if he were shopping at greggs

Keep Talking

The more you’re talking then the less you’ll be eating. You can’t really do both at once unless you won’t to come across rude by speaking with your mouth full!

Talk to your mates or make new friends. Anything to help take your mind away from the buffet being presented behind you!

Dance The Night Away

Ok, so you might have given in and had a couple of pizza slices, or that extra bottle of cider, or maybe you just didn’t manage to fit in your cardio for the day.

Well now’s your chance.

Burn a few extra calories by putting on your dancing shoes, get the heart rate slightly pumping and if you dance like me, you’ll provide a giggle or too.

After all, laughing is healthy for the mind and body!

dan gives us the low down and what he'd order if he were shopping at greggs

Get Back On The Fitness Regime

The day after, get straight back to work! Start prepping your meals, pick healthy options and get down the gym.

Even if you didn’t do any of my tips above and went slightly overboard last night, don’t panic, forget about it and get straight back into your fitness regime!

One bad evening won’t make you fat, just like one good evening…. Yeah, you know the rest.

A Final Partying Note

Dan Rayner

Of course, there are ways to stay healthy at a party. You could even eat before, go the party and just drink water all night, not eating again until you get home. If you have the sheer will power for that then that’s brilliant!

However, if you want to go to the party and not be called Mr. Boring, then follow the few
simple tips that I’ve given you above.
Remember it’s also Christmas, so enjoy your evening, it only happens once a year.

From myself and Muscle Food, have a fantastic Christmas!

Dan Rayner is the Pure Elite Beach Body Pro World Champion, International Male Model Pro World Champion, part time model and fitness blogger, who is based in Herne Bay, Kent.

He can be contacted on [email protected] for one on one personal training and online coaching. With his website being

You can also connect with Dan via social media, by searching Dan Rayner Fitness on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.



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