Christmas is a joyful time – we get to spend time with our loved ones. Give each other pressies and eat. Did I mention eat? Most of us live for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. We tell ourselves that we have been SO good all year this is the one time that we get to ‘treat’ ourselves. Fair enough. But you don’t want all that hard work to go to waste. By making healthy choices you can still enjoy a yummy Christmas lunch without the guilt. Win-win I say!
You should know
A recent study found that the average British person consumes about 6,000 calories on Christmas day. The government guidelines recommend a daily calorie intake of 2,500kcals for men and 2,00kcals for women. Here are a few things you can do to help you keep the calories down.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Some of us may be tempted to skip breakfast as we will be eating loads later. However, eating a healthy hearty breakfast will help fill you up and prevent you from overeating later. So go ahead and enjoy your scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, traditional pancakes or a frittata with champagne and orange juice.
Keep an eye on your snacking
Opt for the healthier snacks and consider taking some with you like dried fruit and nuts or Turkish delights (surprisingly low in calories!) to ensure there are some healthy options available. Try to have a snack every few hours to ensure you don’t get too hungry.
Bring a healthy dish
Another way to ensure there are some healthy options is to bring one yourself, a salad or vegetable dish is always a good option. Here are some ideas courtesy of BBC Good Food and all under 100kcals.
Sticky carrots with thyme & honey 73kcals
Christmas spiced red cabbage 82kcals
Creamed spinach 83kcals
Roasted cauliflower with garlic bay & lemon 96kcals
Cranberry sauce with port & star anise 51kcals
Or opt for a smorgasbord of nice breads, cheeses and fish & meats like meatballs or smoked herring.
Turkey is the best option for a traditional Christmas lunch. It’s low in fat, high in protein and contains fewer calories per slice than chicken. If you have 3-4 slices of roasted turkey (without the skin) it is about 300 calories.
The grand finale
Pudding! Finding a pudding low in calories can be hard but not impossible! There are a few options courtesy of BBC Good Food including a gluten-free and egg-free Crumble-topped mince pies (175kcals); Lovely and light yet fabulously festive Clementine & Prosecco jellies (115kcals); Try this Sticky cinnamon fig pudding (162kcal) that can be whipped up in 10 minutes; or if you are a chocolate lover why not try the Chocolate mousse (167kcals) which is surprisingly low in calories.
Obviously, as with all things, portion control is important. Have a bit of everything just try not to overindulge.
After lunch most of us just want to sit on the sofa and maybe have a snooze but why not take the whole family out (including Fido) for a brisk walk instead.
The Department of Health, which has teamed up with the Ramblers charity to promote Christmas Day walking, said a stroll of just one mile could make a difference.
For more information about the winter walks go to www.ramblers.org.uk/winterwalks
Come see us again
It can be hard to keep up your fitness routine during the winter months, especially during the festive season. For some ideas on how to stay motived read our blog Staying motivated during the winter months. If you find you are missing a few sessions don’t be too hard on yourself. We will be here when you are ready to get back into it.
Why not start off the New Year by booking a review session with one of our fabulous fitness instructors and get a new programme set up. Or try that class you were a little nervous to try before. With over 60+ classes a week there is something for everyone.