How to avoid the Christmas spread


This time of year can throw even the calmest of individuals into a panic.

Present buying, party organisation, not to mention what your Christmas jumper of choice will be for the big day (maroon with little white reindeer, in case you’re wondering), throw the thought of the ‘Christmas binge’ into the mix, and it’s enough to topple you over the edge.

On average, we can consume up to 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone and can gain up to 5lbs over the Christmas week.

Now I enjoy myself as much as the next person, but there are things you can do to limit the extra calories you consume:

  • Watch what you’re drinking

We all love a festive tipple, and I’d hate to sound like a killjoy, but the extra calories we consume will often come from alcohol. Making a few sensible changes and alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water will make a huge difference.

  • Don’t go mad at parties

If I know there’s a buffet on offer, I’ll try and have a snack before I go, or have a late lunch. Head straight for the veggies or the healthier stuff and get those on your plate first, followed by protein (skinless chicken, ham or seafood) and try and avoid the high-fat foods as much as possible.

  • Don’t skip breakfast

People think about cutting down on calories and straight away cut meals out – a definite no-no! All you’ll do is make your hunger worse, meaning there’s more chance of picking or having a bigger binge later in the day. Have eggs or porridge for breakfast and they’ll keep you fuller for longer, meaning less chance of being tempted by the After Eights at 8.30am!

  • Load up with veggies

Skinless turkey breast is a great source of protein so, on the face of it, a Christmas dinner is not that unhealthy, but the side dishes can sometimes add calories which we wouldn’t usually have – pigs in blankets, Yorkshire puddings and various different roasted vegetables and stuffing.

Fill your plate with vegetable first and then there’s less room for the higher fat offerings, but make sure you enjoy the treats.

  • Go easy on the snacks

I don’t know what your house is like at Christmas, but at ours there’s enough food to feed a small nation (not that I’m complaining!), but it means that there’s more temptation to avoid.

After I’ve had a glass or two of wine, my snack barrier comes down and I find myself snacking for the sake of it – sometimes I snack just because the food is there. If you have a tiny bit of willpower, you can avoid consuming unnecessary and avoidable calories.

  • Make sure you drink plenty of water

Sometimes we think we’re hungry when we’re really thirsty. If you sit there and think you could do with an extra turkey sandwich, have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry after that, then you can eat – if you’re not, then you know it was just thirst.

Remember this is a once-a-year splurge, so treat is as such and once you get back into your January routine, it should take no time at all to get back to your routine. Set a date for your first exercise session after the festive period, so you know you can let your hair down until then!

If you need any more advice or tips, feel free to get in touch – sallymillspersonaltraining@hotmail.com

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