On average, we will consume around 6,000 / 7,000 calories (kcal) on Christmas day alone (versus the recommended daily amount of 2,000 kcal for women and 2,500 kcal for men).
Not only that but, over the festive period, which seems to kick off earlier and earlier every year, the average person could consume an extra 500 kcals per day, equating to a weight gain of around 5lb by the time we reach the beginning of the New Year.
Plan ahead: If you know you will be eating out, have smaller meals in the run up to the event and avoid any other treats.
Dealing with the buffet: Avoid foods high in saturated fat like sausage rolls and quiche, instead, fill up on skinless chicken and fruit and vegetables. Take one trip and don't overload your plate. If you are tempted by a desert, go for something small for damage limitation. Done stand hear the buffet – take your food and then move away. Buffett hoverers will eat more.
In the office: Everyone loves to bring in those festive treats to share in the office during the build up to Christmas. Try to avoid tucking in to all those mince pies, and have your own supply of fruit on standby to share when the box of chocolates are opened.
Tins of treats: During the Christmas period we love to give and receive those festive treats. Don't go crazy, only open one box of chocolates at a time, and put the others to one side; out of sight out of mind. If you do find yourself with a cupboard full of treats, don't feel guilty about giving them away. It's your waist line and health at the end of the day.
Supermarket sweep: It's always a good idea to make a list and stick to it, especially during Christmas. Not only does this help the pennies, but also the waist line! Steer clear of those aisles that will tempt you to stock up on festive treats. Instead, opt for healthy treats like pretzels and popcorn and stick to low-fat dips. Be honest with yourself when you see the 'BOGOFs' – are you really going to give those to the school office are will you be the one delving in when no-one's looking?
Tasty turkey: Turkey is a lean meat and a great source of protein, however most of the fat is in the skin. Solution: remove any skin for a healthy meal!
Portion control: Aim for a third / half of your plate to be made up of vegetables, such as unbuttered Brussels sprouts, peas and carrots. Be sensible when it comes to roast potatoes, creamy mash and Yorkshire puddings, they may be delicious but are also high in fat.
Healthy roasties: If you are fond of a roast potatoes and find them hard to resist, use a low fat frying / roasting spray instead.
Cheers: Many of us enjoy a drink or 2 over Christmas, but fail to count the calories that our favourite tipple has in it. Play it safe and avoid any sweet mixers, opt for low / diet options instead. Also, a great idea is to alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water / low sugar juice. This helps keep the calories down and reduce the risk of a Boxing Day hangover!
Pie-Eyed: The average mice pie contains about 250 calories and that's before it's covered in cream or brandy butter. Removing the top crust can help!
Final Thoughts: Most of us will over indulge during Christmas but you can limit the damage by keeping track on what you are eating. Having a mental list on what you will allow yourself is a great way to keep track on those extra calories. Even taking a moment to think 'will my trousers still do up tomorrow if I eat this?' can make all the difference.