Nutrition At Christmas

Nutrition At Christmas

December 11, 2019

Nutrition at Christmas

by our Performance Nutritionist Dr James Morehen

Christmas is a time for family, friends, festivities and of course, food! It’s reported that we tend to consume upwards of 3 days’ worth of calories on Christmas day alone (~6000!). Christmas day is indulgent, there’s no escaping it and we all deserve some indulgence every now and then. Steps can, however, be taken during the time around the big day to mitigate the negative impacts of excessive calorie consumption.

Christmas parties offer up a plethora of tasty treats and these come with some hefty calorie counts as well! As we said before, we deserve to indulge, but keep in mind that some simple substitutions when it comes to party drinks/snacks can significantly reduce calorie intake, see below for some suggestions:

Snack/Drink Substitution
Breaded Chicken Chicken Skewers
Salted/Roasted Nuts Popcorn
Chocolate from the tin Square of dark chocolate
Lager “Light” Lager
Fruity alcoholic cocktail Slimline G&T
Cheese & Crackers Cheese & Fruit

Christmas Nutrition

When the 25th finally rolls around, there are also a few steps you can take to improve the nutritional profile of the showstopper itself – Christmas dinner!

1. Choose white over red meat as it tends to have fewer calories and less fat.
2. Ditch the goose fat for vegetable oils – it’s lower in saturated fats and your potatoes will still go nice and crispy!
3. Aim for a rainbow-selection of veggies to improve the vitamin and mineral content of the dinner.
4. The skin is the fattiest part of the turkey, so avoid eating this part if you can.
5. Try and opt for desserts which contain fresh fruits to contribute to your 5-a-day.

Another thing to bear in mind is keeping hydrated throughout the day. With festivities and all the food on offer, drinking good old H2O can easily slip our minds. Thirst can sometimes be confused with hunger so keeping up with your water intake can serve to reduce your food intake.

Over the extended festive period, small changes or smarter choices when it comes to food and drink can help to minimise the impact on our nutritional goals. Consider implementing a few of the above but above all else, enjoy yourself!

Don’t beat yourself up if/when you do over-indulge, just be mindful of how often this over-indulgence occurs, and be sure to take a look at the blog post on staying active over the festive period too!


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