Christmas Eating

Five Ideas for Christmas Eating

Christmas time means family, presents and of course, enjoying a lovely meal – or two!! A few big meals over the holiday season can lead to a few extra kilos that you don’t need.  It only takes an extra 2000-4000kJ/day each day for a week to gain 0.5-1.0kg. 2000kJ is the spring rolls or dim sims at the Christmas party. The big Christmas meal (pork, crackling and mixed vegetables) with a couple of glasses of wine is about 4000kJ. So what are some of the success factors to enjoying a good Christmas and ensuring the only thing you keep is the Christmas presents?

  1. Parties
    1. Avoid going hungry to parties. Eat something light before the party to reduce your chances of snacking on high calorie party food. Try eating protein rich food before you go. Some healthy snacks include a 200g tub of reduced fat yoghurt, a boiled eggs or 30-40gr of cheese.
    2. At a party, sit/stand away from the food.
      • People eat less when they sit furthest away from the food. They also eat less when they sit with their backs to the food.
      • At parties where the host brings around the platter, only take something every 2nd round. Take only one thing at a time and eat it slowly
      • If food is on the table, stand with your back to the food. People tends to eat less when they cannot see the food
      • Remember the two metre rule. Food more than two metres away is less likely to be eaten
  2. Sit down meals
    • Trim the fat off the meat and skin off the turkey/chicken
    • Seafood is the meat/protein – usually about ¼ calories of meat or chicken
    • Eat more vegetables and salads
    • For the nibbles on the table, chop up some carrots sticks/celery sticks and dip in humus
    • Chose lower fat dips (salsa, hommus, low fat Philadelphia etc) and avoid the high calorie ones (guacamole, avocado, French onion).
    • Avoid nuts, biscuits and cakes. Try more filling foods: yoghurts, low fat custards and low fat cheese Dessert: try meringues or Pavlova. Use fruit salad with yoghurt. If you have pudding, less is better
  3. Drinks have kilojoules too. Try having a glass of water in between each drink. Also put your drink down between sips as you will drink slower. Low carbohydrate beers (e.g. Pure Blonde, Hahn Superdry) and light alcohol beers (e.g. Cascade light) have a lot less kilojoules. There is also a sparkling wine (Yellow Glen Jewel) with about ½ of the kilojoules of champagne
  4. Keep active:
    • At parties, stand up. You burn 9% of calories more when standing
    • Do some type of exercise on Christmas day. Play some cricket after lunch
    • If you have time off over the holiday break, make sure you utilise it with some extra exercise
  5. It is only one day. Even with a big day on Christmas day, most people will gain th, 27th etc). Remember weight maintenance at Christmas is success

If all else fails, and you miss most of the above, make weight loss your New Year’s resolution. But you don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes the support of a doctor or dietitian can set you in the right direction.

Merry Christmas!!