Expert reveals shocking number of calories these hidden festive treats add to your December intake

But there's a way you can stay healthy over Christmas...
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  • We all like to indulge over the Christmas period, but hidden treats can cause us to pile on the pounds without us realising.

    It can feel impossible to stay healthy over Christmas with all the festive treats on offer, but Terri Ann, founder of Terri Ann 123 Diet Plan, says there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your favourite foods over Christmas.

    Terri Ann says, “Christmas is a time to celebrate with friends and family, and of course we should all enjoy our favourite foods and spend time with loved ones at this time of the year.

    “The problem starts when you start overindulging too early in December, and use the festive season as an excuse to binge on food and drink that would usually be an occasional treat. This approach can very easily result in weight gain, and it makes it all that harder to start a healthier lifestyle in January.”

    There are several indulgences that could be knocking you off course, especially if you’re treating yourself to them throughout the month of December.

    Shockingly, advent calendar treats could be adding up to 5,184 calories a month. Many people are choosing alternatives to chocolate ones, but it turns out the classics could actually be better for you.

    Terri Ann says, “A gin or beer advent calendar, which treats you to a bottle of your favourite tipple behind each door could see you knocking back an extra 137- 216 calories a day, while food advent calendars, such as cheese calendars, adds up to an extra 2,160 calories over the month.

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    “While these advent calendars can be fun, a traditional chocolate calendar is actually better for your waistline – coming in at just 20 calories a day – so is actually the healthier option if you want to stay on track with your diet this Christmas.”

    With plenty of Christmas parties and catch-ups with friends throughout December, festive drinks can also be causing you to pile on the calories without you even noticing.

    Addressing this, Terri Ann says, “If you go out twice a week during the run up to Christmas, and drink every day from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, you could soon put away an extra 3,990 calories, depending on what your tipple of choice is.”

    In a similar vein, Christmas coffees from your favourite cafes can also add a huge 4,184 calories over the month, because they’re full of sugars, cream and syrups. As tempting as a gingerbread latte or a festive hot chocolate is, its best enjoyed in moderation.

    festive treats

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    If you’ve got lots of festive lunches with friends or workmates coming up, eating out can make it so much harder to stay on track with healthy eating.

    Terri Ann said, You might be tempted to order the traditional turkey on many restaurant menus this Christmas but, with the average turkey dinner coming in at 2,128 calories, if you eat out twice a week this festive season, you could soon put away an extra 17,024 calories a month.

    “Add on a dessert or starter and it soon adds up to 19,952 calories over the month. If you know you’re going to be eating out multiple times this December, try to go for the healthier choices in at least some of your meals. Try soup for a starter rather than deep fried items, and go for lower carb options for your main for a lighter option.”

    Last but not least, Christmas treats like mince pies or chocolate are offered throughout December, from friends, family members and workmates alike. But overindulging can add an extra 2,604 calories.

    Terri Ann added, “A little bit of what you fancy won’t hurt, but it’s important to be aware of the calorie content of these indulgences and how they might be impacting on your daily calorie intake.