Christmas Cheer not Christmas Kilos

3kg of fat = 3L of oil = 3kg butter = 18 000 calories or 75 600 kilojoules.

Three kilos is the average weight gain over the Christmas and New Year period.  That means that in approximately 30 days, a person who gains 3kg will have eaten an additional 18 000 calories overall or an additional 600 calories each day.

 So, what does 600 calories look like on top of your normal eating?

  • 1 bottle + 1 glass of champagne OR
  • 5 full strength beers OR
  • 3 mince pies OR
  • 2 large slices (200g) fruit cake OR
  • 300g turkey meat with skin OR
  • 7-8 small roast potatoes (cooked in fat) OR
  • 7 rum balls OR
  • 1 ham and cheese croissant OR
  • 130g chocolate covered sultanas (2 large handfuls)

You can see it’s not difficult to eat and drink on Christmas weight however as many people can appreciate, it is difficult to lose 3kg.  For some people it can take up to 3 months to lose the 3kg they easily gained in one month.

Let’s make Christmas 2014 different, let’s start 2015 at the same weight you ended 2014 - we have set the challenge, now how do you do it?

Pre-Christmas Parties

Christmas parties can start as early as November which only extends the Christmas period!  So how do you enjoy the social aspects of the party without adding kilos?

  • Exercise – don’t miss your usual exercise regime for a Christmas party!  This only doubles the impact – more calories consumed and less calories burnt!  Get up early to fit in your session before work, finish work earlier to exercise before the party or do an extra session on the weekend.
  • Start well hydrated – drink plenty of water during the day and before the party to make sure you’re not thirsty when downing your first alcoholic drink.  Try starting the party with a non-alcoholic drink such as water, mineral water, a diet soft drink or lime and soda to curb your thirst and slow down your alcohol intake.
  • Alcohol – offer to drive to the party to limit your alcohol consumption.  Have a non-alcoholic low calorie drink in between each alcoholic one.  Choose light beer over heavy beers.  A champagne glass is smaller than a wine glass so opt for champagne and sip slowly!  Decide how many drinks you will have before you get to the party and stick to it!  Try ordering an alcoholic drink and a glass of water, that way you will drink more slowly, stay better hydrated and eat less food as your hands will be full!
  • Food – The Golden Rule: Don’t turn up hungry! Have a snack before you leave for the party or even eat a meal to stop those munchies!  Don’t stand near the food and try to resist temptation by taking food every second or third impulse instead of every one.  Avoid the deep-fried options and go for veggie sticks, rice crackers, lean meats, dried fruit or nuts, fresh fruit and salads.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

For many families these three days are steeped in tradition from the Australian ritual of fresh seafood to English roasts, to all day eating feasts and drinking benders which may last for days!  Each day tends to be filled with excess food and alcohol and little exercise.  Make this Christmas different; create a new and healthier tradition for 2014 and beyond.  Try these suggestions:

  • Fresh seafood is a tasty and healthy choice, serve with a variety of salads and cold lean meats for those family members who may not like seafood
  • Serve a lean roast – cook the vegetables in a separate tray sprayed with olive oil
  • Don’t leave food out all day – serve meals at regular meal times and opt for fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and veggie sticks for munchies instead
  • If the festivities are at your house, serve foods that you want to eat!  If others want treats, they can have them at another time
  • Try not to buy too much food.  Leftovers are inevitable but leftovers for weeks can be avoided!
  • If you have guests choose one ‘main’ meal and serve lighter meals at other times.  You can still make ‘special’ food such as a breakfast of tropical fruit salad with pancakes or waffles instead of bacon and eggs.  Or prawn and avocado salad for lunch instead of a heavy roast.
  • Offer non-alcoholic, low calorie drinks such as iced water, lime and soda, fruit punch, diet soft drinks etc
  • Don’t start serving alcoholic drinks too early in the day.   The earlier you start the more you will consume!

Remember Christmas is actually only one day! One day of excessive calories is not going to cause 3kg of weight gain so enjoy Christmas and a few treats but don’t allow Christmas to extend for a month!


New Years Eve and New Years Day

Celebrations to bring in a new year can very easily bring unwanted weight with it!  Prepare for 2015 by celebrating smart in 2014:

  • Drink plenty of water before your celebration
  • Make your first drink water or non-alcoholic
  • Eat a meal before you arrive at the party to stop nibbles when you’re there
  • If you’re taking a plate, make it a healthy plate – veggie sticks with dip, healthy antipasto, stuffed vegetables, meat balls etc.
  • If the celebration involves dinner, choose well and ensure at least half your plate is vegetables or salad
  • On New Year’s Day organise a healthy activity – grab a bunch of friends and organise a picnic with frisbee, cricket or footy; go for a bike ride; pack some sandwiches and go hiking in the hinterland; swim laps in your pool
  • Make New Year’s Day your day to stop overeating and under-exercising.  Avoid alcohol, eat healthy food and go for a long walk to start 2009 in the most healthful way!

Remember that Christmas is only one day, as is New Year’s Eve – enjoy your celebrations but put measures in place to prevent starting 2015 3 kilos heavier than 2014!   After all, that’s three less New Year’s Resolution kilos to lose! Happy Holidays!

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