When the average Christmas Dinner
is added, our calorie intake soars to more 30,000 and fat to nearly
two kilos *. This means on Christmas Day we consume at least double
the recommended calorie and fat intake.
Yet although most people intend to indulge
during this festive season, more than one third of respondents said
they’ll abstain because they’re worried about gaining weight.
Men and women responded almost equally with 36 per cent of women and
29 per cent of men planning to limit their food and booze to prevent
a post festive bulge.
Men munch 17 per cent more than women during
Christmas and New Year, and drink 43 per cent more. Their greatest
offending foods are mixed nuts followed by dates and crisps. Women’s
are mixed nuts followed by mince pies and salted peanuts.
Men consumed most calories from alcohol by
drinking beer followed by, red wine and bitter, whereas for women it
was Irish cream followed by white wine and spirits.
When asked about their usual diet, half of
respondents said they felt they ought to eat more healthily and 41
per cent said they should eat more fruit. Only 15 per felt they
needed to drink less alcohol and, surprisingly, five per cent said
they wanted to drink more.
There are a number of easy ways to indulge at
Christmas and New Year but limit the pounds. For example, if grapes
are substituted for nuts the festive calorie intake would come down
by 3,000. For a women this would be the equivalent of 14.5 hours
walking or four hours playing squash, and for a man 11 hours walking
or 3.25 hours playing squash.
Grapes also have excellent nutritional
qualities and one cup contains 1.1g protein; 28.4g carbohydrate;
1.9g fibre; 17mg vitamin C; 0.4mg iron; 296mg potassium and only 114
calories and 0.9g fat.
To help us indulge without the bulge over
Christmas, Cape and Outspan have issued the following top 10 fruity
1. Dip Cape grapes in chocolate as a
substitute for a box of chocolates
2. Serve Satsumas in brandy instead of sherry
3. Swap champagne for bucks fizz made with
freshly squeezed orange juice
4. Satisfy your craving for sweets with
caramelised peach segments
5. Drink mulled wine with fresh Outspan orange
6. Swap bowls of crisps with finger fruit eg:
grapes, plums and dried apricots
7. Experiment with fruit salsa instead of
8. Be unusual - try white wine spritzer with
juices – the long life juices have some unusual and fun
9. Try freshly squeezed orange juice with ice
10. Follow tradition and put a Clementine at
the bottom of the Christmas stockings
Larraine Brown, spokeswoman for Capespan
says:- “Christmas is the only time in the year when we get
the chance to let our hair down and truly indulge. But with so many
high calorie and fat foods tempting us it’s sometimes hard not to
consume the equivalent of a full meal by nibbling.
Substituting just a few of these foods
with nutritious and tasty fruit is a good way to keep the calories
under control but still indulge. Eating a bowl full of fruit dipped
in chocolate or caramel is far better for the waistline than
munching though a box of chocolates.”
Dr Hannah Theobald from the British Nutrition
“On average, people gain 2kg or 5lbs
of weight over the Christmas period. The food at parties can be hard
to resist, but there are ways you can eat and enjoy without worrying
too much about gaining a few extra pounds.
Have a substantial snack before you
leave to help curb hunger and prevent you overdoing the snacks.
Choose a couple of snacks to eat and stick to these, or choose fruit
based nibbles or low fat dips with breadsticks. Also think about
whether you are hungry or not - it is all to easy to eat when you
really don't need too.
Most people think of food when it comes
to indulging over the festive period, but it doesn't have to be so.
Perhaps treat yourself to a beauty treatment, some accessories to go
with your outfit or something you need instead.”