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  • Writer's pictureJane Webber Nutrition

Need that extra help over Christmas?

Sorry I am not offering to cook the roast, but here's a few ideas

Whether you have blown the Christmas budget with gifts, food and generally having fun.

Or you have to cut back because you need to, or you don’t want to start 2024 with extra weight.

Keep following me over the next 8 days for some ideas that mean you still have fun, but don’t bust the calorie budget!!

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room!

Yes, the turkey has been stuffed, but let’s not have a stuffed you! Research shows that on average we consume over 3,000 calories in our Christmas dinner alone. That doesn’t include the turkey sandwiches after the Christmas pudding!!

In total we consume over 5,700 calories on the day itself. That's 3 times more calories recommended for the average woman.

Be honest with yourself. It is just Christmas day that you overindulge? I know that it slips into Boxing Day with people who you couldn’t be with on Christmas Day, and then you go off to the shops and eat out. Plus, there are all of those leftovers to finish up. Let’s not forget New Year’s Eve as well.

What to do with Christmas Day dinner? Instead of stuffing yourself because it’s Christmas, just eat a normal size meal. Take a 20-minute break before going to hit the pudding or seconds. It takes your stomach time to tell your brain that you are full.

I can guarantee that this break between courses or seconds will help you realise that you’ve had enough.

The second reason why we consume too many calories on a festive day is…

The alcohol!

Most of us don’t need to drive on the day, so it’s easy to start early…. Bucks Fizz with breakfast anyone? Then continue with the drinking throughout the day. Sometimes trying drinks we wouldn’t normally try. Eggnog? Baileys? Port with the cheese?

It’s the first time in ages that I am not the chauffeur for the day, collecting and delivering my parents to my brothers. I am still going to have a drink, but since doing Sober October, my level of drinking has dropped and I am keen to continue this trend.

Government guidelines are 14 units a week, so it’s easy to drink your whole week’s allowance in 1 day. A bottle of wine is 10 units, so you can see how that can add up very quickly.

Pace yourself! Add soda to your white wine. Drink water in between alcoholic drinks. Stop and think about how you will feel on Boxing Day. Waking up with a sore head isn’t fun.

Stress at a festive time

Yup, it’s the season to be jolly, but just going around your supermarket with a trolley full of food or trying to do last-minute gift shopping isn’t very calming.

Overspending, cooking, cleaning the house for guests, the endless list of events to attend…. Nativity plays, drinks at The Jones, work do’s…… By the time the 25th has arrived, it is no wonder we are tired, stressed and exhausted.

Keep a sense of proportion. Buying Tesco mince pies isn’t a crime. So, the spare bedroom still has boxes in it, but it’s just for sleeping in. Overcooked Brussels – so what!

The 25th is just one day in the whole year and by the time January has arrived, it will be a distant memory.

Fruity thoughts

I am not old enough to remember getting a satsuma in my Christmas stocking, but I remember my Mum telling me that children used to get this, plus a toy!

Fruit is not normally associated with Christmas, but let’s not forget that fruit is full of essential vitamins and minerals and will help keep colds and other viruses at bay.

Get that fruit bowl out on the table rather than the bowl of sweets.

Shift your bottom!

Don’t sit in front of the TV all day. Yes, the usual suspects will be showing on the big day, but that’s no excuse not to get out and about and walk off that Christmas turkey and pudding.

If the kids have new outdoor toys such as roller skates, bikes, footballs, then get outside in the garden or local park and get some fresh air.

Don’t vegetate

Can’t get out? Instead of watching the TV, why not play some games that engage your brain? Charades, Monopoly or even card games.

Don’t like playing games – me too – then engage your brain by helping to set up those electronic gadgets or building Lego with the kids.


Enjoy!! It’s just another day.

Don’t stress, it’s only 24 hours long, just like other days.

Make it your day, your way.

This is the last blog from me until January, but if you fancy joining my free Facebook group, then hit the link below

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