Today, the Royal Society for Public Health have called for the introduction of "physical activity calorie equivalent or expenditure" (Pace) food labelling which would tell consumers how many minutes or miles of exercise they need to do to burn off the calories in a particular product!
This made us start thinking about the amount of food and calories eaten over Christmas and how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy weight during such a social time. Did you know for example that the average person in the UK eats over 6,000 calories on Christmas day! That's more than double the average daily intake for an adult!
Read on to find out the calories in the most common Christmas foods and our top 5 tips on how to enjoy Christmas and maintain your weight!
Traditional Christmas Dinner
Roast potatoes - 200 kcal each
Turkey - 300 kcal for 3 slices
Pigs in blankets - 80 kcal each
Stuffing - 125 kcal
Mashed potato - 125 kcal
Gravy - 25 kcal
Parsnips - 70 kcal
Carrots - 30 kcal
Sprouts -30 kcal
Peas - 50 kcal
TOTAL FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER = Approx 1515 kcal
Deserts & Treats
This is where we pile the pounds on. Lots of us have tins of chocolates open or on display around the house and it's just so easy to grab one as you walk by (every time)
You convince yourself that you have only had one or two, but in reality, it's probably more like 6 or 7....
Mince pie - 177 kcal each
5 quality street - 132 kcal
Ferrero Rocher - 74 kcal
After Eights - 29 kcal
TOTAL = Approx 1030
Everyone likes to indulge at Christmas, whether it's a glass of wine with dinner or a few beers in the evening when your friends call round.
1 glass of champagne - 113 kcal
1 glass of white wine - 120 kcal
1 glass of red wine - 160 kcal
1 glass of port - 154 kcal
1 glass of mulled wine - 123 kcal
TOTAL - Approx 350 kcal
Do the examples feel familiar? Maybe you don't drink, or you don't enjoy deserts, but you can see how quickly the calories add up. We've been quite conservative with the portion sizes and the amount of drinks and snacks consumed, but still this totals around 2,895 kcal, and we haven't even included any breakfast or evening snacks you may have. And this is just one day!
"But it's Christmas" I hear you shout! We're the last people to ever suggest you shouldn't enjoy yourself at Christmas, or anytime come to that! The ethos of "Get Fit Today" is all about enjoying staying fit and healthy, and if you can't eat some tasty foods and have a few drinks at Christmas, then what's it all for?
So to help you through this enjoyable calorie-filled holiday, here are our TOP FIVE TIPS:
1. Go for a walk!
A person weighing 12.5 stone will burn off around 375 calories walking at a brisk pace for an hour (this is the sort of pace where you can chat but still breathing quicker than normal).
2. Don't sit down all day
Get up, move around, play with the kids or grand-kids. Christmas is a time to be sociable so don't sit in front of that TV all day
3. Eat before you go out.
If you're meeting friends or work colleagues for an evening in the pub, make sure you eat before you go. If not, you're going to be feeling hungry later and end up snacking on crisps, peanuts and worse still (depending on your age) that dreaded kebab!
4. Don't stand or sit near the buffet!
The closer you are, the easier it is to keep grabbing and snacking. Have you ever been doing this and then suddenly wondered how come the plate is empty?
5. Drink water
If you can, drink a glass of water regularly throughout the day. This will stop you from snacking or over eating. Staying hydrated has lots of health benefits as well, but will really help during the festive period.
Finally, and most importantly - ENJOY YOURSELF! Don't set yourself crazy or unrealistic weight loss goals and don't worry if you put on a pound or two, it's Christmas after all. It only happens once a year and you have the next 11 months and 3 weeks to get yourself back in shape ready for next time!
In January, if you're feeling like you want to burn off a few hundred calories, get in touch, we'd love to help!
Merry Christmas everyone!