A Christmas Day Food Guide (That Would Keep Santa Happy)

christmasdiet Dec 02, 2020

Most of us would agree that 2020 has been a bit of a crazy year. What’s even crazier is that Christmas is around the corner.  

And what does that mean? Well, It’s time to purchase an advent calendar and get ready for the Christmas pudding! Christmas is a time of celebration. Once a year, we get together with our families, sing a Christmas tune and indulge in some Aussie delights. This could include honey-glazed turkey, nana’s homemade rumballs and a bevvy (or two).  


So today we will explore some common questions us dietitians receive as we head into the silly season!


As a dietitian, are you worried about Chrissy weight gain?

Christmas weight gain is always a consideration of mine, due to the fact that it can be a month of over-indulgence (well, for me it is). Nutrition Australia has released new research stating that the average weight gain around the X'mas period is 0.8-1.5kg.  What's even scarier, is that the evidence highlights the difficulty in losing weight, in the months proceeding Christmas. 

Generally, weight gain is associated with larger portion sizes, the overconsumption of alcohol and peoples inability to control themselves around food when in the company of family and friends. Trust me, I know the difficulty in saying 'no more' to an extra 2 rum balls from my lovely, sweet nana. Weight gain can also be associated with fluid retention. Many of our Christmas treats, like ham and cheese, are loaded with salt. And salt holds fluid.  


Out of interest, how long would it take to burn off some Christmas goodies?

- A small glass of sparkling wine (105 calories) = 9 minutes of running.

- 120g of roast turkey (200 calories) = 16 minutes of running.

- 100g of Christmas pudding (370 calories) = 32 minutes of running.


What are some healthy choices I can make on Christmas day?

  1. Always opt for lean meat. For instance, focus your eating on seafood, turkey or chicken (with the skin removed). These protein sources are low in saturated fat, which is a significant contributor to an increase in adipose tissue.
  2. Select reduced-fat alternatives when choosing ingredients for salad dressings and spreads.
  3. Be mindful about how many ‘treat foods’ you eat over the day. Foods like rumballs and cakes have a significant amount of sugar and saturated fat. And it’s okay to indulge a little, just avoid eating 17 in one hit.
  4. Fill your plate up with colourful vegetables and fruit. There are some great veggie & fruit salad recipes that make great side dishes to the main meat meals.  
  5. Select sugar-free drinks or mixers with your beverages! This can help to keep your kilojoule intake down, whilst allowing you to enjoy a refreshing drink.


At the end of the day, we want to enjoy Christmas, and that may mean exceeding our energy intake. But guess what? That’s okay. It is these special occasions where we’re allowed to indulge a little and not feel guilty about it. It’s all about getting into the Christmas spirit and making healthy choices where we can.


If you’d like further suggestions regarding healthy Christmas day recipes or strategies to make nutritious choices, make an appointment with one of our dietitians. They’d be more than happy to help out and promote the Christmas cheer!


Here is a link to book in with one of our expert dietitians at any of our locations https://www.cqnutrition.com.au/booking/ 

Want an online consultation? Book in on my calendar and in comments write online: https://bit.ly/AnnieROK 

Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac



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