If you’re like me, you love Christmas for the following three reasons – family, films and food, with the latter being most peoples’ favourite part of the season. According to a recent study carried out by Ideal Weight, Britons consume a massive 7,000 calories, with the daily recommended calorie allowance already reached by 2pm!
With the gluttonous season upon us, many people will be indulging in lovely and amazing food. It has been reported that the average Brit will gain 2.7kg (6lb) over the festive season, which can be attributed to snacking on copious amounts of chocolate, nuts and biscuits, and not forgetting those extra few tipples of sherry. It is easy to eat to excess over the Christmas period with temptations everywhere you look, but with careful planning in the run-up to the Christmas season, you can enjoy Christmas without causing too much damage to your waistline.
Try to swap junk food with healthier and guilt free options. Finding healthy alternatives to those calorific offenders such as cheese, chocolate and pastries will help cut down your daily calorie intake. On the NHS Choices website they refer to the British Nutrition Foundation’s snack swap list, which lists some unhealthy snacks and their healthier alternatives. Here are a few examples –
DON’T – Four wrapped chocolates (160kcal, 8g fat)
DO – Four dates (116kcal, 0g fat)
DON’T – 30g handful of ready salted crisps (155kcal, 9.7g fat)
DO – 30g handful of tortilla chips (147kcal, 7.3g fat)
DON’T – mini pastry tartlet (45kcal, 3.2g fat)
DO – mini filo tartlet (30kcal, 1.5g fat).
DON’T – 30g handful of macadamia nuts (225kcal, 23.3g fat)
DO – 30g handful of almonds (184kcal, 15.3g fat)
It is also important to stay active and supplement healthy snacking with regular exercise. With all those cosy films and programmes on TV, it is far too easy to become a couch potato over Christmas. Although it may be difficult to keep active, sticking to your exercise routine will help you feel better, making you feel fresh throughout the season.
Making subtle changes to your eating habits and sticking to an exercise routine over Christmas allows you to enjoy the festive period without gaining the pounds, helping you to bring in 2014 feeling positive and revitalised. Merry Christmas everyone!