Fitness Formation column

Ryan Donohue.
Ryan Donohue.

Tis the season to be jolly. And so we should be jolly, and we should enjoy it.

That said, we need to do so with caution. Christmas is the time of the year when ‘self-sabotage’ becomes a big factor in the battle you may well have to fight in January.

Many of the things that we indulge in over the festive period have hidden calories that many of us are unaware of, so here’s a few tips on how to avoid these pitfalls.

Many of our favourite festive drinks have many hidden calories, so try swapping some of the Christmas staples like mulled wine for a white wine, and lay try off the syrups in your coffee. Instead opt for festive flavoured coffee beans.

A festive hot chocolate can contain anything from 350 to 580 calories.

The sheer volume of food available to us over this period means that we have the mindset of trying everything that we see.

Doing so can lead to you over consuming an average of 400 calories over your RDA. Fruit cake, and Christmas pudding are high in calories.

They have little fibre meaning you have to eat more to feel full.

Try to make smart choices, and limit what you try.

On average, people will gain around 3-5lbs in weight over the fortnight or so that we really immerse ourselves in the Christmas period, but this is often linked to the psychological factor of the sight, and smell of food triggering our mental responses to hunger. Try to keep yourself occupied, or leave the room, if you feel the urge to consume extra calories in-between meals.

Lay off the sweet temptations. You’ll consume so many extra calories that you’ll lose sight, and count of how much you’ve eaten.

Swap them for better options such as seasonal fruit, or chocolate at the darker end of the spectrum.

When you’re going for the dips, go for the better choices such as hummus, or fat free greek yoghurt. Better still, leave the dips, and chomp on the carrot only.

Enjoy yourself this Christmas, but be wary of the pitfalls of over consumption of hidden calories.

The team at Fitness Formation, and our #fitnessformationfamilia would like to wish all of you the very merriest of Christmases, and the happiest of New Years, and thank you for reading the column this year. See you in 2015.