‘Tis the season to treat sweets and cakes as full meals, all in the name of Christmas - and what a special holiday it is.

With cold nights and festive gatherings taking their toll during the Christmas period, how can we hope to avoid overindulging? Dietitian Louise Reynolds sat down with Sean O’Rourke to tell listeners how to stem the turkey tide.

Before you clutch your puds to you in fear, Louise isn’t here to ruin everyone’s fun. She’s merely suggesting that maybe it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

"I get it. Christmas is about food. It’s for all of us. We all love the nice Christmas foods and the things we only have once a year. The Christmas cake and puddings. But there is an issue now where Christmas has really stretched out."

One example she points to is how Christmas selection boxes appear in shops immediately after the Halloween decorations come down, meaning that the season of indulging stretches from October right into the New Year.

Louise points to some of her clients, who have worked towards a weight loss goal throughout the year, who can "undo it" over the Christmas period. That’s not to say every day should be strict, according to Louise.

"We don’t want any calorie-counting on Christmas Day."

Being mindful about what we eat is key, Louise told Sean. Enjoy those mince pies. But be aware of what you are consuming.

"A mince pie is 350 calories."

Surely a nice Christmas Day walk will help with that? To Sean’s devastation, not as much as you would think.

"You’d need to walk for a good brisk hour and a half to work off the same calories as one mince pie."

One simple thing you can do is move sweet tins and selection boxes to the kitchen at work in a bid to combat eating for the sake of it.

"Think before you reach into that tin. You know, you might be doing very well, you might not be someone who ever eats chocolate during the day at work…but when they’re there, it’s quite difficult."

To listen to the whole segment on Today with Sean O’Rourke, click here.