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Enjoy Christmas Day the Nutracheck way

Most of us love the Christmas period. It's a time to celebrate with friends and family and as we all know - it's a time to eat! You may have heard some reports that we Brits can consume around 3 times as many calories on Christmas day than a 'normal day' (that's around 6,000 calories for women and 7,500 calories for men!). So we decided to put this theory to the test.

Not so merry findings

We created a typical 'no holds barred' Christmas Day menu and calculated the total calories and fat using the Nutracheck Food Diary. The results were quite staggering and confirmed other reports - the food and drink for the day totalled 6,000 calories and a whopping 260g fat! Perhaps the most disturbing part was that the food and drink, although excessive for any ordinary day, didn't look unrealistic (we've cast a few eyes over this menu and all of us agreed we are capable of consuming this much on Christmas Day).

Making healthier choices

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a little indulgence. However, there are still many of us willing to make a few sacrifices for the sake of our waistline. With this in mind we decided to do a comparison of three different Christmas Day menus - Christmas Day the naughty way, Christmas Day the slightly restrained way and Christmas Day the Nutracheck way. Check out the menus below:

Click to enlarge

Naughty Restrained The Nutracheck way

Christmas Day for less

We discovered that just by making a few clever swaps and showing a little restraint, you can save 2,850 calories and 160g fat, compared to the 'no holds barred' Christmas Day. Alternatively, if you have the strength to be a saint over the festive period and do Christmas the Nutracheck way you could save a massive 4,000 calories and 210g fat! What's more, you still get to eat chocolate, a mince pie, Christmas pudding and Champagne. A pretty appealing option, we say!

Ultimately our Christmas Day comparisons show that it's perfectly possible to enjoy some tasty treats at Christmas without going completely over the top. So if you're wondering if you will be able to survive the festive period without gaining half a stone, rest assured the answer is yes! You can do it - it's just about balance!

Top 5 tips for a healthier Christmas

Keep active
Try and offset some of the Christmas eating with a bit more physical activity. Christmas is the perfect time to jump on the Wii or dance mat and have some fun with the kids. Or why not go for a nice long walk with the family before dinner - a snowball fight wouldn't go a miss either!

Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks
Alcoholic drinks, as we know, are generally high in calories, plus alcohol can stimulate appetite. So try your best to limit your intake by having one alcoholic drink followed by one soft drink.

Hide the chocolate tin
We're all guilty of it, you see the chocolates in the lovely big tin and it's impossible not to dip in every time you pass by. So help yourself by keeping them in a place where you don't have to look at them all day. Out of sight really can be out of mind!

Fill your dinner plate with vegetables first
Put your veggies on your plate before your meat and potatoes. With less room you'll be less inclined to have that extra roastie or Yorkshire.

Have fun!
It is Christmas after all and this approach is all about balance. If you do decide to let loose a little, just make some adjustments over the following days and you'll be right on track.

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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