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National Get On The Scales Day - 29th December


On average, a full Christmas lunch contains a huge 7000 calories. The recommended daily intake of calories for men is 2200 calories, and for women, 2000 calories. This means that when we sit down for Christmas lunch, we are consuming over 3 days worth of calories!

This calorific consumption is fine if it’s just a one off. However, this over indulgence spills over into the remainder of the festive season. The regular grazing over chocolates and nuts and any other bits you have around the house, plus the increased alcohol intake, all adds up.

As a consequence, the average weight gain over Christmas is 5lbs. This excess calorie consumption and added weight will leave us feeling sluggish and off colour. Plus these added lbs usually don’t get shifted, which is where gradual weight gain comes into the picture. Assuming you put no weight on for the remainder of the year, within 3 Christmas’, you could be a stone heavier.

These indulgences are fine if you incorporate a little planning into your festive schedule. In other words, have a great Christmas by enjoying a little of what you fancy but not over indulging in everything you fancy as you will regret it by the time January rolls around.

If you ignore what you’re consuming throughout the Christmas period, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the new year, consequently leaving it overly tempting to bury your head in the sand – hence gradual weight gain. Keeping on top of your calorie consumption in the here and now is key in maintaining good health and wellbeing.


Here are 15 top tips for staying in shape throughout the festive season:

  1. Eat 3 meals plus 2 healthy snacks daily, plus approx. 1.5 litres of water.
  2. Quit bread, the sugar rush it gives just makes you tired. Replace with pitta bread or wraps.
  3. Consume chocolate and sweets in small amounts, they make you tired and crave more.
  4. Plan your eating accordingly. If party food is unavoidable on Friday and Saturday, then treat yourself then and make up for it on Sunday and Monday with plenty of veg, lean meat and fish.
  5. Start to replace tea and coffee with fruit or herbal tea or water – perhaps alternate between the two.
  6. Avoid eating leftovers unless they genuinely make up part of your meal. Simply eat at mealtimes and avoid grazing.
  7. We love choice, so we will pile our plates with a bit of everything and so easily eat much more than usual just because of all of the Christmas food choices. Use a smaller plate, especially for buffet food. Enjoy the choice, but in smaller portions!
  8. When it comes to nibbles and canapés, enjoy just a couple and consciously enjoy them.
  9. Canapes are usually loaded with carbohydrate and fat, so there is much more than meets the eye. If you are making your own canapés, use healthy recipes such as pieces of celery stuffed with cottage cheese and herbs.
  10. Christmas is loaded with emotions. Break the habit and re-train yourself to do something else so that you no longer link food with emotions or stress.
  11. There’s no need to entirely deny yourself alcohol. Having one or two is fine – try to choose drier wines with less sugar. Champagne is also a great option as it is a drink that we tend to savour, and therefore drink less.
  12. If you are drinking, enjoy just one or two glasses and then move on to water. When Christmas arrives you will still feel fresh and able to fully enjoy your day, along with a drink or two.
  13. Believe you will keep to your weight plan. Be organised and enjoy your food, feel good about yourself and your weight.
  14. If you have some over indulgent days, keep upbeat and positive and return to a balanced diet for a few days to even things out.
  15. When you weigh yourself, be sure to do it at the same time of day, wearing the same clothes and on the same set of scales. If you see a couple of lbs creeping on, do something about it then and there. It’s much easier to manage a couple of lbs than to be faces with an extra 10lbs in January.


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