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Christmas Nutrition: How to feast healthily on the big day

By Jennifer Bulcock

  • Christmas is coming, are you getting fat?
  • What the heck, it's Christmas!
  • Nutrition consultant and Mum of 3, Jennifer Bulcock, explains how to maintain control over the festive season, leading to a healthy happy new year.

The Best Christmas Dinner Ever

If we look at how Christmas has evolved, it has become the tradition to consume highly calorific, rich foods, during the cold dark winter months.

But the days of a traditional Victorian Christmas - which may be romanticised in the movies - were incredibly challenging times.

Mostly, people struggled to eat enough, and many worked in highly laboured, physical jobs.

Today, many of us cannot afford these extra calories, without it influencing our waistlines or our health.

We lead less physically active lifestyles, and have access to hyperpalatable, highly calorific foods, year round.

After the typical weight gain during the Summer from alcohol, BBQ’s and all-inclusive holidays, we’re hit with another reason to indulge: Halloween. With buckets of candy and buckets of excuses.

Then comes bonfire night, with parkin and toffee, or if you’re in the states, there’s Thanksgiving. We move into Advent, and the Christmas build up, giving ourselves more justification to let it all go.

We never truly get back on track. January hits and rather than gaining a few pounds, it can be more like a stone, or even two!

Based on 1 or 2lbs weight loss a week, it could take until March to lose the extra weight. Just in time for Easter egg chocolate binge perhaps?

The point I’m trying to make is, whether it be Christmas, Easter, Summer Holidays, Halloween, birthdays, anniversaries, or the Saturday night takeaway, we can always find justification for excessive food consumption - to appease the guilt associated with over indulgence.

Once you’ve had one or two days of overindulgence, it’s pretty easy to throw the towel in and continue the binge throughout the whole of December. Making it even harder to gain control.

Christmas is the same as any other time of year: eat in moderation and true balance.  Food, on its own, should not be the reward. Rather, an embellishment to the moments you are lucky enough to enjoy, during this time of year.

What can we do during the festive season, to offset any damage? Click on through and find out...

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