December 7, 2018, by brzmjb1

Christmas Calories and How to Avoid Them

Research suggests that the average British Christmas dinner packs a whopping 3,000 calories – more than the recommended daily intake of an adult man. In fact, us Brits have the second most calorific Christmas dinner in the world. The US just about knocks us out of first place, but not by much.

Fear not! Small swaps and a few healthier choices will go a long way to reducing your intake of calories at Christmas.

Protein

When it comes to meat and poultry there are some easy ways to swerve unnecessary calories. The type of meat and how it’s cooked can make a big difference to its saturated fat content. First off, make sure to cut off any visible fat and skin before cooking – crackling and poultry skin are much higher in fat than the meat itself. Stick to white meat as brown contains more fat. Instead of having fatty goose or duck, go for a leaner option like turkey.

Vegetables

Might be obvious, but make sure to load up on vegetables. Just because they’re good for you doesn’t mean they can’t be delicious. Check out these recipes for mouthwatering honey parsnipstasty spiced cabbage or delicious sprouts with pancetta.

Dessert

When it comes to sweets, moderation is key. Go for strong, rich dark chocolate so that you aren’t as tempted to eat the whole bar. Why not have an exotic fruit platter as dessert? Or have a go at this recipe for festive fruit pavlova, definitely just as tasty as cake but with far fewer calories.

Cheese

Speaking of platters, a cheese spread can be tempting but very high in fat. Just like with chocolate, the stronger the better. Pick a mature cheddar or a tangy goats cheese over a mild brie – it’s just too easy to eat.

Of course doing a bit of exercise will help you fit in more treats without going over your daily calorie allowance.

Fancy a glass of prosecco?

All you need is a brisk walk to stride off those calories.

Need a mince pie with your afternoon cuppa?

Burn off that buttery, flaky goodness with a quick spin class to get your metabolism going.

Craving a baileys hot chocolate at the Christmas markets?

Have a go at one of our GRIT cardio classes. A workout combining HITT with powerful music to improve cardiovascular fitness, increase speed and maximise calorie burn.

Is that second helping of roast potatoes seeming inevitable?

Book yourself into a body combat class to punch and kick your way to fitness, burning up to 740 calories along the way. This high-energy martial-arts inspired workout is totally non-contact and there are no complex moves to master.

If you’re interested in having a really, really healthy Christmas day, check out this 2500 calorie plan for a whole day of delicious, but balanced, festive eating.

Don’t forget that alcohol increases iron absorption – a good excuse for another? We’ll let you decide. Whatever you’re eating on the 25th, we hope you have a very merry day.

For the latest news on all things health and fitness within and beyond the university head to: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/news/news.aspx

Posted in Health and Fitness