Counting Christmas calories? No need to panic!

At this time of year newspaper articles will warn of over-indulgence on Christmas day. Experts from the University of Birmingham School of Sport and Exercise Sciences say there is too much focus on the calories consumed during just this one day of the year.  

They say that although a traditional Christmas dinner might average 1000 calories (a total daily average on Christmas day is around 3500-4500 kcal) people shouldn't get too hung-up about the calories in their Christmas dinner.  Equally as important are the less obvious calories in alcohol and grazing over the festive period, which substantially contribute to excessive . With festive treats a plenty over the holiday season we must be mindful of how quickly the calorie count can increase above the usual level. There are approximately 100 calories in a glass of champagne, for example, and 132 calories in three Quality Street sweets!

Dr Andrew Blannin, an expert in exercise metabolism from the University of Birmingham, said 'people shouldn't worry too much about one day of the year – Christmas is a time to relax and enjoy yourself. In fact,  gradual weight gain over our adult years is mainly due to small daily energy imbalances, which are individually trivial, but when they accumulate over months and years cause us to very gradually gain weight.

'After Christmas is the time to reflect on consumed and .  Most studies show dieting is more beneficial in the short-term, while exercise is better as a long-term strategy.  Regular walking is as good as any, and as a general rule of thumb, you expend approximately 100kcal per mile covered.'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Would you stop eating out to lose weight?

Jan 10, 2012

Going out to eat has become a major part of our culture. Frequently eating out and consuming high-calorie foods in large portions at restaurants can contribute to excess calorie intake and weight gain. However, a study in ...

Potato consumption lower than expected

Apr 21, 2012

Calorie intake from white potatoes is surprisingly modest for adults and school-aged children, according to a new study released today at the Experimental Biology 2012 Annual Meeting.

How to stay healthy this Christmas

Dec 18, 2007

At Christmas it can be hard to stay healthy. The average Christmas dinner contains over 1,400 calories, 70 per cent of the total calorie intake for an adult woman (2,000 calories a day) and over half the amount ...

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

20 hours ago

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

21 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

21 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

22 hours ago

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments