The Christmas Diet Dilemmas. Many of us will gain unwanted extra weight this Christmas. Whether it is due to decreased exercise, attending more social occasions or an increased craving for comfort foods during the long, cold nights, weight gain is not inevitable. Here at 121 Dietitian we would like to share with you some tips for the festive season and hopefully save you making “must lose weight” resolutions as we enter the New Year.
Christmas diet – Why do we gain weight during the festive period?
Christmas is a time of celebration which can span from the 2 -3 weeks prior to the big day with Christmas parties followed by New Year celebrations and then continue into January with finishing the leftovers. This amounts to nearly a month of celebrating and for some of us who might normally resist temptation telling ourselves ‘it’s alright it’s a special occasion.’ These special occasions can easily mount up. Even something you consider to be a little treat can have a larger effect than you would realise.
If you consume over 200 – 300 kcal ( mince pie or some buffet sausages, large glass of wine) or more each day over the course of 1 month you can expect to gain 4-8lb minimum if you are not actively exercising over and above your normal activity or having days where you keep control.
Weight gain over the festive period is easy but it is not inevitable.
You can be very clever with your food/kcal intake and still have fun. The right state of mind is often the major hurdle to compliance.
A pre-party tip
People live busy lives and are on the go the whole time. However take a little extra time to have a pre party planning stage for what you are going to wear, how you will travel and what you will eat during the day, and then at the party. This will see you through with a big smile and smaller bum, tum or hips!!
Some good advice
- If going to a buffet eat well during the day.
- High fibre regular meals are good.
- Have a snack before you go out e.g. banana and wholemeal toast if in a rush, or some lean meat /fish and pasta/potato and vegetables.
- At the buffet try and fill most of your plate with raw vegetable sticks and fruit.
What not to do instead of what not to eat!
Avoidance is never the best long term plan. Usually it makes you want something more! It is better to teach ourselves to moderate rather than avoid. Often avoided foods will creep back into the diet and if you can’t control this then a yo-yo weight gain can occur. When out celebrating here are some don’ts.
- Don’t go hungry.
- Don’t stand near the food table as you will be tempted.
- Don’t get too tipsy early as this will reduce your willpower and the results could be bad!
- Watch the dips, go for the salad options, then you can add a few of the other items like goujons and crisps, enough variety to see you through.
- The worst high fat offenders are the sausage roll, vol au vents and depending on the quality deep fried chicken in breadcrumbs can be processed and fatty.
Christmas diet – Being clever can save you calories!
Your choice at the buffet table can mean you can make a difference of a clever 350 kcal intake for the night (not including alcohol) instead of 1200 kcal, almost a full extra days intake of junk and saturated fat.
One last more sobering thought: Think ahead: how you are going to feel come January with a substantial food and drinks bill, clothes that are too tight and potential blood pressure, cholesterol, health problems. Do these treats seem so appealing?
Enjoy, but have pride in resisting some temptation too!
Happy Healthy Christmas, we look forward to hearing your success stories….
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Information checked & correct on 16th May 2018.
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