Christmas comes with a cavalcade of options when it comes to delicious foods, which makes it pretty tricky to stay healthy at this time of year, so it’s no surprise gaining weight over Christmas is very common.
To help you make healthier choices during the holidays, we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular Christmas foods to see how they compare.
Tips to keep you healthy
Before we get into that, here are a few rules to live by when you are treating yourself.
1. Save it for the special days
The best thing you can do is save the indulgence for the ‘big’ days. There’s nothing wrong with eating treats on Christmas Day, but you’ll do yourself a world of good if you avoid making it a daily habit.
If you really want to be good, you could even try trading treats for healthier options at other times. So if you find yourself having an extra slice of cake one night, choose a lighter meal for your next one.
2. Keep moving!
One of the hardest battles is getting started, so don’t stop! If you’re used to exercising try to maintain your routine during the holidays (and if you don’t, take the opportunity to start).
Go for a walk – walking regularly for 40-60 minutes can burn calories and has lots of other health benefits too.
3. Love the veggies
If you do treat yourself, don’t cut out the vegetables. They provide fibre, vitamins and minerals – all vital for your health.
As well as providing vital nutrients, they’ll help to reduce hunger, so you’ll be less inclined to overindulge.
4. Manage your Christmas booze
If you’re fond of a tipple at Christmas, just make sure you have plenty of water at the same time!
Christmas Treats - Ranked
For most, a Christmas dinner would not be complete without roast potatoes. You can have turkey or goose, parsnips or sprouts, but if roast potatoes aren’t on the menu, it’s just not a Christmas dinner.
There are lots of variables with roast potatoes, such as what you cook them in and how big they are, but a single roast potato could contain up to a whopping 200 calories. We wouldn’t dream of suggesting skipping the roasties at Christmas, but maybe save them for Christmas Day.
Pigs in Blankets
Sausages wrapped in bacon. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that these have quite a high fat and calorie content.
While they might look like small little treats, those calories can quickly add up. A single pig-in-a-blanket can contain over 50 calories
The good news for homemade stuffing makers is that the calorie count really depends on the type of stuffing you make.
A ‘healthy’ recipe and a moderate portion size means you can keep your calorie intake down to around 120 calories. If you’re a little more indulgent with your ingredients and freer with your servings, this can easily escalate to over 300 calories.
If you’ve still got room for it after your Christmas dinner, Christmas pudding can certainly add to the calorie total. A serving of Christmas pudding alone can run over 320 calories and that’s before you’ve added cream or the classic brandy butter to the situation.
Remember, all calorie numbers are estimations and can vary significantly.
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