Women can on average gain 7 pounds over Christmas – enough to make your best pants too tight or move you up to the next higher dress size.
But instead of denying oneself party treats, here is a little guide to avoid all the traps of calories -pitfalls, and you will still slid into your jeans in January, no problem at all!
How not to overeat at a party.
There is little you can do about the food offered at parties or friends places; however, there are many things you can do to prevent it from becoming a calorie-fest, and control weight gain over Christmas.
- If it’s a buffet, eat something small before you go. Try a cup of vegetable soup (tomato is a good choice) one hour before departure.
- Save half of your sandwich from lunch and eat it a short wile before you go. Anything that prevents you from arriving at the buffet table light-headed with hunger.
- When you get there, fill half your plate with low-cal foods likes chopped carrots, cucumber, celery, grapes and cherry tomatoes.
- Then you have a palm sized portion of lean protein like chicken (no skin), ham or shrimp.
If you opt for a sandwich, no more than four quarters.
- Go for brown or granary bread, with fillings such as tuna and cucumber, chicken, eggs mayo, which is surprisingly low in calories.
- Try to avoid sausage rolls, Quiche, garlic bread and spring rolls, also; avoid anything that you can pick at, like peanuts, and fatty parts such as mayonnaise, potato salad, Thousand Island dressing and cheese. It’s probably a good idea not to stand to close to the buffet table.
- If, instead of a buffet, you are having a nice sit down lunch/dinner, use the tips for a big meal that follow.
How not to over eat… On the big day
Over Christmas Day, the average person gets though something like 7,000 calories. The average woman needs to just fewer than 2,000 a day, so it’s not surprising that any of our clothes don’t fit us in January.
First up, make sure you tuck into a healthy, filling breakfast when you wake up. Skipping breakfast in the mistaken belief it will help cut your daily calorie intake – is the worst thing you can do. By midday you’ll be hungry and surrounded by tins of sweets and boxes of biscuits not a good combination! cause them fingers start to fumble with stuff like this.
Instead, start the day with eggs. Studies show they’re the best breakfast for keeping you full and preventing you from overeating. Either poach or scramble two, and serve them on wholemeal or granary toast. And keep drinking water throughout the day – try to have at least two litres.
If you don’t drink enough fluids, your body will mistake your dehydration for hunger and you’re likely to pick at all the fattening food sitting around the house over Christmas.
It’s especially important to be well hydrated before your main meal, so try to drink a large glass of water before you sit down to eat. It’s a good way to stop you bingeing and it works.
How not to overeat…At a big meal
Well Christmas lunch is very healthy actually. After all, it consists mainly of lean protein (turkey) and vegetables.
However, it’s the trimmings that add up to big weight gain.
Among the worst offenders are mini sausages (60 calories each – more if wrapped in bacon), Yorkshire puddings (up to 100 calories a time), stuffing (231 calories per serving) and roast potatoes (150 calories per serving). You don’t have to say no, just go easy on them.
Filling your plate first with low-fat Brussels sprouts (high in fibre and vitamin C), broccoli (the healthiest vegetable around), cauliflower (lowers cholesterol), carrots (full of skin and hair-loving vitamin A), parsnips (great for digestion), and skinless turkey (all the fat and calories are found in the skin, so always remove it – you’ll save around 50 calories per portion).this way there will be less room on your plate for the fattier stuff, are you getting the picture now.
One thing you should make room for is cranberry sauce: it’s a fantastic source of beta-carotene which, studies show; helps slow down the ageing process. I did say Christmas dinner was good for you.
How not to overeat…The snacks and goodies
So far we have survived the party buffet, and the main meal, and now what?
We are faced with a mountain of goodies, tasty leftovers, tins of chocolates and selection boxes to tempt us; you know all that stuff we buy at the supermarket to eat over Christmas.
Post-dinner Christmas grazing is often the biggest downfall for most dieters.
A mince pie alone can contain 240 calories, so it’s easy to eat close to 1,000 calories without even having another meal.
But you can save calories with a few clever swaps. A couple of handfuls of Twiglet type snack contain 192 calories, compared to a handful of Pringles that contain 279.
Say no to cream on your pudding and you’ll save 450 calories. Or just have a small amount, which only has 135 calories.
If you fancy a dip in the chocolate tin, treat it as a chocolate bar. The average chocolate bar contains 220 calories, so eat just six or seven chocolates, which is roughly the same as a chocolate bar, or you can make sure its dark chocolate which has fewer calories than milk-chocolate.
Once you’ve picked your seven chocolates, leave the tin alone and leave all the empty wrappers where you can see them, so you can see how many you’ve eaten.
When it comes to leftovers, leave the roast potatoes alone and pick at the Brussels, carrots or the turkey.
Turkey is a great food to snack on, as it’s almost impossible to binge on lean protein – studies show it fills you up more quickly than carbs and “switches off” your hunger.
And finally the drinks
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mulled wine or Bucks Fizz or your favourite tipple, but alcohol is one of the main reasons we gain weight over the festive season.
We some times tend to forget the calories in alcohol, and its not good to forget this.
Quit Often we’ll say no to the chocolate or an extra slice of cake but happily pour ourselves another glass of wine when it contains more calories than the cake or the chocolate.
You don’t have to be tee-total over Christmas but here is a few clever tricks to cut calories (and reduce your hangover, too over Christmas).
You may have heard it many times before but drinking a glass of tap water between every alcoholic drink really dose help reduce your hangover and weight gain.
Steer clear of creamy liquors, such as Baileys (180 calories and 8g fat per glass) and stick to champagne (111 calories, 0g fat per glass) or Tia Maria (131 calories).
Finally, go easy on the mulled wine – with 245 calories per glass (that’s more than a whole bar of Chocolate) you’re best off just sticking to the one glass if you can?
Festive calorie swaps
Just a few switches from your usual festive feast will save you hundreds of calories and a few notches on your belt, and help you to stay in your favourite pants.
On Christmas Eve: Swap a gin and tonic (93 calories) for a gin and slim line/ diet tonic (53 calories).
After dinner: Swap a serving of Christmas pudding with custard and brandy butter (587 calories) for a serving of Christmas pudding on its own (330 calories)
During your favourite TV special: Swap a mince pie (240 calories) for a slice of chocolate log (185 calories).
At the cheeseboard: Swap a 30g wedge of Stilton (120 calories) for a 30gwedge of Camembert (85 calories).
When you’re peckish: Swap a handful of peanuts (180 calories) for a handful of olives (68 calories).
And the important bit, ways to burn off all that food
An hour of ice skating: 531 calories!
Dancing at your Christmas party for two hours: 600 calories!
A 60-minute walk around the shops doing last-minute Christmas shopping: 240 calories!
Two hours of preparing Christmas dinner: 320 calories!
Spend 30 minutes washing up afterwards: 105 calories!
Playing on the Nintendo wii fit? Who knows but it sure is fun!