‘Ah sure, it’s Christmas’ we tell ourselves as we throw caution to the wind and eat whatever we feel like.
While it seems like a good idea at the time, we often regret this devil-may-care attitude when we step on to the scales later.
According to the British Dietetics Association, we gain on average five pounds by the time January rolls around.
This is perhaps not surprising when you consider that we consume 3,289 calories during Christmas Day on average, making us tied with the UK for the most calorific meal in Europe.
Christmas represents a specific temptation given we are surrounded by food and drink. We eat a huge Christmas lunch, snack throughout the day and receive treats as presents.
So how do we stop ourselves from overindulging?
Here are some simple tricks.
1. Have a good breakfast
When we wake up on Christmas morning, we often make the mistake of forgetting to eat in between all the present-opening, mass-going, travelling and preparations for the big event. By the time lunch rolls around you’re starving and scoff anything in front of you. Avoid this by having something healthy and filling in the morning, like a bowl of porridge.
2. Be conscious of what you’re eating
One of the biggest issues with overeating is the lack of knowledge that you’re even doing it. You grab things as you go along during the day and don’t realise how much you’ve actually eaten. Try to keep a running tally of how much you’ve nommed.
3. Drink lots of water
This should help reduce any hangover, make you feel less hungry and keep you hydrated like a boss.
4. Go for smaller portions
When the Christmas pudding comes out, go for half of your normal slice. Take one turkey breast instead of two. You can always go back for more if you want to, but you’ll find that when you don’t feel like you have to finish what’s on your plate, because of the starving orphans in Africa, you don’t actually want as much.
5. Fill up on veg
Try to follow the new nutrition plate and fill up with half fruit and veg. You won’t feel as bloated or splurge as much on other types of food.
6. Ask ‘do I really want this?’
Part of the problem on Christmas day is the mindless eating. Enjoy yourself by having the stuff you really want and have been looking forward to, and avoid the stuff you don’t really care for but eat anyway just because.
7. Don’t sit around
Part of the problem with Christmas is the endless amount of food that is put out on the table. We tend to just grab whatever is sitting in front of us automatically. Instead get up, go to another room, play games with the family, go for a walk, anything.
8. Put away your presents
If you get food or drink for Christmas, put it away or somewhere out of sight. Chances are you’ll be too full on the day to really enjoy it, and there will come a time in the future when you’ll be really glad you saved it.