Small steps to reverse the Christmas excess

Small steps to reverse the Christmas excess

So the ‘silly season’ is well and truly over and many readers will have settled into their New Year resolutions by now.

December is a notoriously difficult month for keeping healthy eating regimes on track and an even more precarious period for alcohol intake.

Between work parties and meeting up with old friends, not to mention hearty Christmas dinners, many people are often chomping at the bit to get back to normal come New Year.

The total Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) for the average adult is 2,000 kcals, however, it’s easy to overeat at Christmas.

Studies show that, on average, people can gain up to 2kg (4.4lbs) in the four-week Christmas period, which works out at an extra 550 kcal a day.

This results in the average Irish person needing to put ‘lose some weight’ on the top of their New Year’s resolution list.

Some will have opted to curtail certain unhealthy foods while others will attempt to cut out the booze, others both!

Whatever you have decided to do make sure it’s achievable! Far too often people set unrealistic goals for themselves and wind up feeling disheartened when they fail to hit their target.

For most people, losing weight can be troublesome. Almost everybody seems to over-complicate things and become bogged down attempting restrictive ‘quick-fix’ fad diets. However, there is an easier way.

Ultimately, everybody should attempt to eat whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, eggs and nuts, and avoid processed foods.


Exercising regularly helps too but as the saying goes: “You can’t out-train a bad diet.”

Remember, it’s important to ease yourself into your New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps start by cutting down on excess slowly. Two glasses of wine becomes one, or instead of ordering that weekend take away you could replicate your own healthier version in the kitchen.

Try to be more specific with your goals too. If your target for 2016 is to eat more healthily, a fairly vague concept, why not try to eat more vegetables instead.

Start every meal with green veggies or salad and you will eat fewer calories overall, while getting a more nutritious meal.

Generally, whatever food we put in our mouths first is what we eat most of.

There’s no need to cut out snacking either. However, instead of munching on that chocolate bar opt for a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. It’s a matter of choice.

Nuts are nutritionally dense and contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein. Try making your own trail mix by combining a selection of nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts and raisins.

Apart from tasting great, fruits are also packed with fibre, rich in nutrients and help to lower your risk of a wide range of diseases and health conditions.

You can pack pineapple, melon and mango slices to have while at work, or you could just take along an apple or a banana to snack on.

Take small steps in 2016. Be healthy.