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What are you eating at Christmas?

Posted by Aisling Murray on

I never suggest people avoid any particular foods at Christmas, I simply suggest being aware of the foods you are eating and not to over indulge because its “Christmas time”. The average person gains >5lbs over the two weekChristmas Holiday period. A report published in the Irish Independent in Dec 2014 estimated that Irish people can consume an average of 6000Kcals on Christmas day and an excess of 17,500Kcals over the two weeks. Where are the extra calories coming from? I will go some way to explaining!

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner, for many of us is our favourite dinner of the year. The turkey, ham and all the trimmings can mean we are consuming 1,450kcal at dinner. This is not including the turkey sandwich we tuck into later or throughout the following days. Turkey is the best option for individuals trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Turkey is low in fat and calories and high in protein. To improve taste we have the tendency to smother turkey with butter, oil or margarine. Why not reduce or eliminate the amount of fat added to the turkey; this will decrease calorie content. 1 teaspoon of oil contains 100cals and 11g of fat. By removing the skin on the turkey you are saving 70Kcals and 6g of fat.


By steaming veggies rather than boiling you retain the flavour and more of the nutrients. Avoid adding dollops of butter. When making roast potatoes, parboil them first and brush them lightly with rapeseed oil, this will keep the crispiness but reduce calories. Keep in mind that extras like gravy, cranberry sauce etc. all contain calories.


Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding is a traditional dessert at Christmas; an average 100g portion contains a massive 330 calories and 11.8g fat, this is before cream or custard is added. If you are a lover of Christmas pudding, why not have a smaller portion and opt for low fat creams and custards. 



Mince pies

Mince pies are a staple in every household over Christmas and these little pies can rack up a shocking 300kcal each depending on size. As always, moderation is key!





Trifle contains a lot of cream, custard and jelly and can be extremely calorific; 2 full tablespoons can be at least 225kcal. Opt to make the trifle at home and use low fat cream, custard and sugar free jelly to save calories. If you wish, you can make individual trifles which means you are more inclined to keep track of how much you are eating.


Christmas cake

One 60g slice can contain as much as 215kcal, that is not to mention the sugar content can be between 28g – 42g. Again, as with other Christmas “treats”, try and reduce your serving size.


Whelehans Nutrition Service

Whelehans nutritional service is a private one to one advice service with our nutritionist Aisling Murray. Aisling’s areas of interest include weight loss management, nutrition education and food intolerance. Our nutrition service offers you the chance to change your life in a positive way by focusing on your overall wellbeing as well as the chance to follow up on your progress.


Wishing all my loyal readers and clients a Happy and peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment


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