Dr. Aaron's Blog

Another Christmas Blog.

December 18, 2014 All by Aaron Van Gaver

As the holiday season is approaching, so do all the extra treats, goodies, and copious amounts of food.  According to the British Dietetic Association, the average person in the UK consumes 6000 calories on Christmas day, which is 2x the daily guideline for men and 3x the guideline for women!

But there is also the “Christmas party period” which seems to start early December in which the average person consumes an extra 500 calories/day, which can equal out to 2kg (5lbs) of weight gained by New Year’s Day.  Not only is there extra food, but also extra alcohol that adds to these increased calories.

Instead of getting overwhelmed and feeling like your whole lifestyle goes out the window at Christmas time, here are some small steps you can take to help get your through the Christmas party time, without feeling like you are stuffed to the max and don’t know what to do about it.

Here are a few simple suggestions:

  1. Be mindful of the foods that you are eating, and to make sure to listen to your body when you feel full
  2. Go for a brisk walk if you have over-eaten (even just 15 mins)
  3. Be present while you eat, enjoy the food, eat slowly and listen to your body when you feel full
  4. Know which foods are your weaknesses, and set a limit
  5. Don’t just eat food because it is there- eat if you are hungry, and eat portions that are reasonable sized (just like you would at any other time of the year)
  6. Eat slowly- there is always a delay in your stomach telling you that you are full. Take smaller portions, and if after finishing that, and you are still hungry then go back for a small second helping
  7. Don’t starve yourself all day because you have a big meal that night, or had a big meal the day before- eat in small snack size portions throughout the day, and then you are less likely to gorge in the evening, when your metabolism is slower, and you are going to go to bed soon after eating
  8. Over the holidays, keep to a realistic exercise schedule, that you are likely to follow- even if it is a quick walk around the block each morning, or before dinner time
  9. At all the parties you go to….. Get out on the dance floor, and have fun!!! (Dancing can be great exercise, and a lot of fun to do with friends, co-workers and family)
  10. Put your leftovers in the fridge/freezer and save them for another time- if they are out on the counter, it is easier to continue to eat it, and go back for seconds or thirds because it is convenient. Pack it up, and save it for another night, or send some of the left overs home with your dinner guests.

I hope some of these ideas are helpful in helping get through the Christmas season.  I hope you have a wonderful, safe and happy holiday season.