Keep Calories during Christmas under Control
“It’s a marshmallow world in the winter, when the snow comes to cover the ground, it’s the time for play, it’s a whipped cream day, I wait for it the whole year round” – after hearing Sinatra croon those lyrics, who wouldn’t long for Christmas sweets! During Christmas, calorie control may be the last thing on your to-do list but there are plenty of reasons why you need to bump it to the top. On average, the number of calories consumed on Christmas day can come close to 10,000 and that should be incentive enough to start monitoring your calorie intake during Christmas.
To make sure that ol’ St. Nick is the only one who’s fat this Christmas, here are 7 tips to control your calorie intake during the holiday season:
1. Don’t starve. There are 2 reasons why people starve around Christmas time – either they are “saving their appetite” for a big dinner party or they are trying to cut down on their calorie intake. Staying hungry is one of the most common and the worst mistake that a person can make as it causes unnecessary and uncontrolled binging later in the day.
2. Snack before you leave for a party. Make it a point to have a large snack just before you leave for a dinner party as this will help you control your appetite and your portion serving sizes!
3. Salad comes first! Before you reach for that delicious cream covered mince pie or a slab of rib roast, reach for the salad tongs – if you fill your plate with salad, you will have a lot less place for calorie rich foods. This is an easy Christmas calorie control method that can save you countless hours at the gym post-Christmas.
4. Chew slowly. Don’t race through your meal but instead chew your food well and pace yourself while savouring every morsel. You will enjoy your meal and you are less likely to overeat.
5. Wait before grabbing seconds! It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to send the message to your brain that you are full and that you need to stop eating. So before you give in to temptation and go for a second serving, you should take a 10 minute break and if you are still not satisfied, you can opt for a very small serving.
6. Be selective when it comes to sweets. Sweets will make you pile on the pounds quicker than most foods as most of them contain a large amount of sugar as well as fats. You will find that it is easier to resist temptation when you know what the cost is – for instance, you are less likely to overindulge, if you keep in mind how many calories there are in Christmas pudding – between 350 and 500 calories in just a single serving!
7. Drink more water. Increasing your water intake throughout is the simplest and most effective way to reduce your hunger cravings and thereby reduce your overall calorie intake.
When deciding on your Christmas menu, you should take into account the calorie value of each recipe. There are many low calorie Christmas recipes such as Glazed ham with Blackberry sauce, Chocolate-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce and Roast turkey with couscous & ginger yogurt. Low calorie Christmas desserts are a simple way to reduce your calorie intake for the day so instead of making carrot cake or a sinfully rich chocolate pudding, you can opt for low calorie Christmas treats such as a pear and ginger cheesecake, chocolate and pecan macaroons or apple dumplings with apple cider sauce. Your Christmas dinner calories should not exceed 2000, so if you have your heart set on serving a rich dessert, you should cut back on the calorie count of the main course.
Most of us tend to overindulge during this season and that’s why most New Year resolutions are weight-related. After the first couple of days of pigging out, we start to feel guilty and it’s a short road from guilty to defensive which is why we soon tell ourselves that Christmas comes just once a year and so it’s okay if we make a “few exceptions” to our regular diet plan. Just because you’ve pigged out for a part of the season, it doesn’t mean that you cannot start cutting back now. Even a few Christmas calorie control measures will help to slow down your Christmas weight gain, so start today!
- Relationship between sleep quality and quantity and weight loss in women participating in a weight-loss intervention trial. - (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22402738)
- Stuff the Bird, Not Yourself: How to Deal with the 3,000 Calorie Holiday Meal - (http://www.caloriecontrol.org/articles-and-video/feature-articles/stuff-the-bird-not-yourself)
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