Whilst Christmas is a time for celebration and fun it doesn’t need to be a stint of over indulgence on calories from fat, sugars and alcohol. A one off treat at the office party or family get together seems harmless, especially if you’re having a dance, but regularly exceeding your calories and alcohol units causes harm to your heart over time.
Reports suggest that young children may be consuming over 6,000 calories on Christmas day alone, taking in harmful amounts of saturated fat and salt. If you eat more calories than your body needs, your body will store this as fat. It takes only 3500 extra calories to gain 1lb of fat.
So if you don’t want to be a spoiled sprout this Christmas but want to avoid resembling the rounded belly of the big red man in 2018, chew over our festive healthy tips;
Go elf size
At the Boxing Day buffet, go for thumb size snacks when you have the nibbles and avoid the temptation of over filling your festive plate. Try roasting your own chestnuts which are naturally low in fat and salt. They take a little effort to crisp up and open so you can savour every bite instead of gorging through the potential 1600 calories you could consume from an average bag of peanuts.
There are an abundance of festive fruit and vegetables available over the Christmas period like wintery parsnips, juicy satsumas, fibrous zesty candied peel, vibrant cranberries and, like them or not, fresh green sprouts. The heart healthy benefits of those antioxidants from the wonderful colours will leave you feeling fresh over the frosty winter season but go easy on the butter and salt, use a light spray of rapeseed oil for roasting, steam veg when you can and season with spices that are kind to your heart like cinnamon, thyme and paprika.
Keep a little routine and kerb the temptation for calorie laden snacks by having regular meals, starting with a hearty breakfast. Try something a little luxurious but still heart healthy like poached egg and salmon on a seeded bagel. Or add some chopped apple, cinnamon and heart healthy nuts to a comforting hot porridge. Oats stabilise your blood glucose levels, mop up cholesterol and help fill you up so you’re less likely to open the chocolate tin.
Did you know, that swapping a small glass of 11% wine instead of a large glass of 13% wine will shed a whopping 130 calories- about the same as two roast potatoes and, with a pint of beer containing around 180 calories, about the same as a mince pie, you will soon add inches to your waist if not careful. Dilute with soda water, go easy on the glass sizes and take a break in between with some active fun by going for a walk or playing games like Wii, twister or charades.