So in my last post I wrote about Christmas dinners from all over the world, which may have set your mouths watering with their delicious descriptions so now I thought I would be a Scrooge and give you a few tips on how to eat sensibly over the festive season. It doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself though so don’t worry!
Did you know that the average woman puts on 5lbs over Christmas and that the average person consumes over 3,000 calories on Christmas Day?
Fortunately it’s not just down to us being greedy, but also down to triggers which cause us to overeat:
- The sight and smell of food sets off our metabolic hunger signals, which expand our stomachs so that we need to eat more food to feel equally full.
- The food itself (pigs in blankets, butter-laden stuffing, Christmas pudding with brandy cream and so on) is understandably high in calories and is low in fibre, which means we need to eat more before we feel satisfied.
- There are usually more delights on offer than at any normal dinner time so it’s understandable that people want to try them all, but this can lead to an extra 400 calories being confirmed.
- The amount of people around the table can also add to your calorie intake. If you see others tucking into and enjoy their food then you’re more likely to eat bigger portions and maybe go back for seconds.
- If music is playing then you’re more likely to eat more as it takes your mind off what you’re eating.
- The same applies to watching T.V. later on with snacks in hand because the show/film will provide you with a distraction and you could end up shovelling food into your mouth without even realising.
Here are a few tips to help you
Avoid going hungry to parties. Eat a healthy snack before going so that there’s less chance of you pigging out once you arrive.
If you love dip why not use carrot, celery or cucumber batons instead of crisps to limit your calorie intake?
Have a cup of tea before dessert (or even instead of dessert) as the antioxidants in tea will fill you up so you might be less likely to gorge on unhealthy food.
If you’re drinking alcohol over the Christmas period don’t forget about the calories in that. Be careful with topping up as you might lose count of how much you’ve actually drunk.
Alternate an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic one and you’ll feel better for it.
by Clare Carmichael (Google+), My Passion for Food