The LBD (little black dress) and LBT (little black trouser) Guide to Getting the Christmas Parties Started01 December 2015
Today The British Dietetic Association has released their guide for both men and women to enjoy the party season without hijacking their health.
On average, people gain between 1-5lbs (1-2.5kg) over the Christmas period. To ensure that everyone enjoys this festive time without piling on the pounds, The British Dietetic Association (BDA) lists the top five tips for enjoying the festive party fun whilst maintaining a healthy balance and a healthy body.
The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,000 members.
- Eat before! The buffet table can often offer limited food choice, usually fat-laden stodgy offerings like sausage rolls, deep fried samosas and savoury snacks that provide little nutritional value. Why not make your own decision to fill up on the food of your choice beforehand at home or work? Try eating something healthy and filling before you make your grand entrance, such as hearty vegetable and bean soup, hummus with oatcakes, or fresh fruit and a yogurt-based smoothie. As a bonus, you won’t be drinking on an empty stomach or have to worry about embarrassing spillages down your favourite party clothes.
- Walk this way! If you are travelling by car, why not park a little further away and walk the extra distance (if safe to do so of course) or get off the bus a stop early. Not only will that walk contribute to your daily activity and burn some calories, it will also get your blood pumping making you more alert and energised for the festive fun ahead. In addition, if you drive, you won’t be tempted by those calorific alcoholic drinks (see below), but be careful to watch the calories in those soft drinks.
- Drink, but think! Whilst it is the season to be jolly, take it easy and don’t get carried away. Those enticing, brightly-coloured cocktails are often full of sugar, cream and the hangover favourites - ‘congeners’ (mostly found in darker spirits like whisky and rum). If you are going to drink alcohol try sticking to a refreshing white wine spritzer (less alcohol and fewer calories) and alternate your alcoholic drink with a glass of water, low calorie soft drinks or unsweetened fruit juice mixed with fizzy water. If you do want to indulge in cocktail hour with your friends, you could go for the good old fashioned Screwdriver (vodka and unsweetened orange juice) or a Sea Breeze (vodka and cranberry juice).
- Festive Foods! If you do decide to eat at the party, try to pick out healthier options such as skinless chicken, salads without dressing, or veggie crudités with hummus that also contribute to your recommended 5-a-day. Try to avoid creamy dips, mayo-loaded salads, fried foods, and the pastry offerings that will inevitably be in abundance. Perhaps visit only once with a small dessert sized plate and then step away from temptation.
- Rockin’ around the Christmas…dance floor! Get those dancing shoes on and bust out your best dance floor moves to classics like Slade, The Pogues (featuring Kirsty McColl) and, Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas. Dancing is a great way of burning calories and it is also the perfect distraction from drinking and eating more. Just remember to drink lots of water throughout the night to maintain hydration levels and keep up your disco dancing stamina.
Sian Porter, Consultant Dietitian and Spokesperson for the BDA commented:
“For many of us, the Christmas period is the one time of the year we get all our friends together in one place for a night, or nights, of fun and celebration. We can all get a bit carried away and actually, for one or two nights, why not? We’ve all worked hard throughout the year!
“However, we can over do the eating and drinking, meaning the party clothes that look absolutely fabulous on December 1st, can be a little snug by the time we get to the New Year’s Eve party on the 31st.
“It’s not about being a party pooper, it’s all about having fun and making choices. We can choose to go all out and gorge on all the food and drink we clap eyes on, or we can choose to pace ourselves, balancing the feasts with lighter days and use portion control. Remember that Christmas is a great chance to spend time with loved ones - not the buffet! Either way, the British Dietetic Association wants to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2015!”
Save your money and access a whole raft of FREE BDA Food Fact Sheets at https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/home
including one specifically about weight loss at http://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Want2LoseWeight.pdf
For more information / interview requests, please contact the BDA Press Office on:
0800 048 1714
Notes to the Editor:
- Visit the BDA website at www.bda.uk.com
- Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
- Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, non-government organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.