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Is it possible to get through Christmas without over-doing it?


Our Expert Says ...

Christmas is a time of year when we all tend to overeat. A survey by YouGov carried out a few years ago in the UK found that, on average, we eat over 5000 calories on Christmas Day alone! No wonder we fall asleep in front of the TV before the Queen even makes it onto the screen!

But calorie excesses and Christmas don't have to go hand in hand. Giving food choices a little bit of thought beforehand can make all the difference in the number of calories you consume over the festive season.

Here are 7 tips on how to make Christmas go with a bang but without a complete diet bust!

1) Food shop online

Take the stress and temptation out of Christmas by doing your grocery shopping online. Supermarkets aisles are full of treats at this time of year so stick to your shopping list, and your budget, by ordering exactly what you need.

2) Set a healthy present trend!

Why not break from tradition and suggest that friends and family buy at least one healthy present this year? Ditch the box of chocs (save your waistline) - how about a healthy cookery book instead? Or a herb and spice set to liven up cooking. You could even try and encourage everyone to take up a new sport or activity for the New Year - a new games console for the family?!

3) Christmas Dinner - the healthier way

Although we always over indulge on Christmas Day, we don't really need to. The simple turkey dinner can actually be quite a healthy option - it's all about how it's cooked.

The turkey
Roasting a turkey is fine but choose healthier fat to cook with and use less of it. Avoid eating the skin, and just go for lean breast meat. Turkey is definitely a much lower calorie and fat option that goose or duck.

The spuds
Cook roast potatoes in sunflower or virgin olive oil. Leave as larger sizes rather than cutting into small ones. They have less surface area so soak up less fat - it's a small saving but it all helps!

The Brussels & veg
Steam your vegetables. Although calorie contents are the same as boiling, steaming retains more of the important vitamins and minerals. Don't add sauces or dressings to vegetables - eat them as they come!

The frills
Stuffing and sausages are an essential for Christmas Dinner, and it's fine to have them - just think about how much you're having. And again, how you cook them. Ready to cook stuffing can be a good option because you'll have the calorie information on the pack to keep track.

4) Stop when you're full

Might seem like common sense but who really does stop on Christmas Day? Without spoiling your day you can be sensible about what you eat. Think about whether you really need to have that extra potato, or another mince pie. If you feel as stuffed as the turkey then it's time to stop! You'll be avoiding extra calories you don't need and hopefully avoid a getting indigestion too!

5) Drink sensibly

We all like to have a tipple on Christmas Day, even the annual dry sherry drinkers! Choosing the right type of drinks can make all the difference to that all important weigh in. Did you know that having a glass of dry white wine rather than a Bailey's saves over 50 calories?

And obviously it's not just about the type of drink, but how much you consume too. Alternative a glass of water with every alcoholic drink you choose. Not only will it mean a clearer head in the morning, but also will keep the calorie intake lower too.

6) Burn off some calories

Christmas is a great time to get some exercise and burn off a few of those extra calories, so how about a brisk family walk on Christmas Day? We can't guarantee a white Christmas but it's sure to be cold so wrap up warm, dig out the wellies and enjoy the fresh air. Stay out for an hour and you could burn up to 280 calories if you keep up the pace. And it gives the other family members a chance to get all the washing up done before you get back too!

7) Keep a healthy attitude

Finally it's important to remember is that Christmas is just one day. So if you do find that you've over indulged, don't despair!

Having a healthy attitude to food is as significant as healthy eating, so rather than thinking there's no point in carrying on with your diet plan, pick yourself up and get back on the wagon. You might find your weight loss is a bit slower that week but you'll soon be back in the swing of things. And with a New Year around the corner, there's never a better time to start.

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