Christmas is coming and it’s not just the goose getting fat.
Most of us gain an average of 4lb over the festive season – and never lose it – as we munch and guzzle 7,000 calories a day.
That is more than double our recommended daily limit.
But there are ways to avoid piling on the pounds while still pigging out on yuletide treats.
Here are some calorie-busting tips from top nutritionist Georgina Smithson.
Make rules about food you should have rather than foods you should not
When you eat, enjoy it. Do not feel restricted over Christmas or feel guilty.
Have that second mince pie – but also make sure you eat a huge plate of vegetables that day with your choice of protein.
Or try a handful of seeds sprinkled over your breakfast so you nourish your body and brain.
Skip a breakfast or a lunch so you are not stuffing your face three times a day because this can be very excessive.
Cutting out a meal every now and then keeps calories down.
Go for a five-minute walk after Christmas lunch
All it takes is five minutes to make a difference.
After eating a big meal, stretching can make you feel a lot better. It optimises the digestive season so you are able to take the overload of food.
Eat home-cooked food
Eat as many roast potatoes as you want but avoid things that are not home-cooked. So that means trying to steer clear of anything in a packet.
Christmas is all about feasting but it is easy to put on unnecessary calories when you choose processed foods with hidden fats.
When you eat big meals you can be tricked into thinking you are hungry when you are in fact dehydrated.
You are exposed to a load of carbs and salt over Christmas.
Make sure you drink at least 1.5 litres of water in the day.
If you stay hydrated you will not eat so much.
Do not buy your Christmas treats too early
Shops stock Christmas foods months ahead of the big day. Try to be realistic about how much food you really need to buy.
It can be tempting to take advantage of offers but ask yourself, if you buy it now, will it last until Christmas?
There is a big risk you will get tempted and scoff it way before December 25.
Pass on the cocktails
Seasonal drinks are delicious but eggnog and mulled wine are laden with sugar.
Even a simple peach bellini can contain 158calories.
Stick to white wine at 85calories per glass or white wine spritzers – made with half soda – at just 43 calories a go.
Crafty calorie burners
Let’s face it, the gym is not that appealing over Christmas.
But that does not mean the holiday period cannot include sneaky but effective ways to burn off a turkey dinner.
Shop off the pounds: A two-hour dash for last-minute pressies burns 500 calories.
Cook up at storm: A whole morning preparing and cooking dinner burns 400 calories.
Be a lean cleaning machine: Clearing the table and washing up after a family meal burns 150 calories. That makes the job a bit more bearable.
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