People are warned they could eat up to a kilo of pure fat over a two week period this Christmas!

Unbelievably, it is estimated the average Queenslander will eat two kilos of ham, a kilo of chicken, a kilo of turkey, thirty pieces of deep fried finger food, a large packet of potato chips, a large packet of beer nuts, six cups of potato salad, a dozen mince pies, one Christmas pudding, almost a litre of custard, half a dozen candy canes, a box of chocolates, thirty-six beers and five bottles of wine over a two week period this Christmas, which adds up to about a kilo of pure fat.

It’s enough to make you sick just thinking about it! To work off this excess eating, the average Queensland male would need to walk from Brisbane to Rockhampton.

“Overindulgence this Christmas could contribute to people becoming overweight or obese, placing them at a higher risk of developing life-threatening chronic diseases,” says Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute. “On average people will attend about six Christmas functions and we estimate some people will eat a truly staggering 133,000 extra kilojoules which is the equivalent of 45 meals!”

All that food will contain around a kilo of saturated and trans fat, which significantly increases the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“This Christmas we want Queenslanders to get healthy by cutting back, and cutting out, some foods,” says Trute. “Almost 1,000 Queenslanders will develop type 2 diabetes this Christmas – don’t let Santa leave type 2 diabetes under your Christmas tree.”

It’s very important to keep up an exercise regime, but be aware that going for one twenty minute jog over the break won’t make much of an impact in working off the extra kilojoules.

“People just don’t understand the physical activity required to burn off certain foods. For instance, one mince pie takes a five kilometre walk to burn off,” says Heart Foundation Health Director Rachelle Foreman. “We encourage people to enjoy themselves in moderation, think about buying active toys and getting active by taking a family walk on Christmas Day or playing a backyard test match on Boxing Day.”

“Cutting out some foods altogether and eating less of others could save some people almost 100,000 kilojoules,” says Aloysa Hourigan, NAQ Nutrition Senior Nutritionist. “A healthy holiday means filling your plate with veggies, halving your consumption of beef, chicken and turkey and cutting down on alcohol and sugary drinks.” 

Shocked by these figures, but know it will be hard to resist temptation when Christmas lunch is in front of you? Weight loss expert Kylie Ryan gives us her top tips for keeping your motivation in check this festive season:

1. Get really clear on why you want to stay healthy and slim this Christmas

Without a BIG why, the cake will come tempting. You need a really good reason to say no. Ask yourself, “Why do I really want to be slim and healthy?” until you get an answer that no piece of cake could argue with. Maybe you want to live a long and healthy life so you can enjoy your grandchildren in years to come, maybe you don’t want to be forced into dramatic weight loss surgery – or hey, maybe because you want to look fantastic in that bikini – choose your reason and remember it next time the chips and dip come around.

2. Make a decision about what you are going to eat and drink before you walk into a Christmas party.

If your gran makes an amazing cake, and you want some, decide that you will have some of that, and then don’t eat other sweets or chips. It’s your indecision that leads to overeating. Decide beforehand, and practice your response when someone offers you something. Repeat after me – “No thank you. It looks delicious, but I’m full.” Say it with clear voice and a friendly smile but don’t leave any room for arguments.

3. Stay away from the snack and chips tables.

Get yourself a drink, take a deep breath and go and talk to someone. If you’re a bit shy, remember that nobody wants to be alone at a party – your friendly approach might be a lifesaver to someone else! If you see someone alone, go up to them and introduce yourself. You could start off by asking my favourite party line – “So tell me, what are you passionate about?”

4. Resist the temptation to try everything at a smorgasbord.

Remember your portion sizes, why you are staying healthy and keep your plate small. When you first get the thought, “I’m full”, stop eating.

5. Drink water.

Wine spritzers are a great way to look festive without over-drinking. Limit your alcohol to 2 standard drinks. If you think you’ll be tempted, drive to the event, so there is no option to drink too much.

6. Get some exercise in with your family and visiting relatives.

Soccer, cricket, running around with toddlers are all fun family games that will help you to break a sweat and keep fit.

How are you planning on staying healthy and cutting the fat this festive season? Give us your tips and ideas for keeping active and saying no to that extra helping of dessert!