Be Merry
Christmas Diet Tips

Top Christmas diet tips to ensure you enjoy your festive food but don't end up as stuffed as the turkey (with thighs to match)!

Christmas Diet Tips - How to Eat, Drink and be Merry without the January Hangover

By WLR MD Tracey Walton

I once heard a doctor put forward his view that most people’s excess weight is gained over Christmas and/or holidays. It was at an annual National Obesity Forum conference. I wish I’d noted his name, but I was concentrating on listening to what he had to say.

Anyway, it’s an interesting view and it may have some relevance for many of us.

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Estimates of how much we over-indulge on Christmas Day generally come in at around the 6000 calorie mark. That’s 3500-4000 calories more than we need, and more than enough to add a pound of fat to the not-so-secret stash.

And Christmas day is only one day of the season - the mince pies, chocolates, party buffets and panettone start to build up well before the event, and linger for at least a week after.

It’s easy to see that a weight gain of anything from a few pounds to half a stone wouldn’t be difficult to achieve.    

So who cares about putting a few extra pounds on over Christmas? It’s only once a year.

Well, lots of people tell us they don’t really know how they gained weight – the weight ‘just crept up’. Maybe half a stone to a stone heavier in a couple of years.

The problem is, unless you go on a diet to lose the excess Christmas (or any other holiday) pounds, they’re not going to melt away like snowmen. They’ll be part of that year-on-year creep upwards.

I’m not advocating that anyone should attempt to calorie count over Christmas, or forbid any festive foods.

But a bit of smart damage limitation, that won’t spoil the festive feeling or fun, may make your self-talk a bit sweeter when you first step on the scales in January.

So here’s dietitian Juliette Kellow’s tips to help you enjoy Christmas food and drink without the new year hangover.

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