Don't panic about stuffing at Christmas say experts

By Ian Dipple Friday 14 December 2012 Updated: 14/12 13:54

STUFFING yourself at Christmas is unlikely to do too much damage to long-term plans to lose weight according to experts.

Researchers from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham say there is too much focus on the amount of calories consumed on Christmas Day itself when it is only one day of the year.

On average people will consume somewhere between 3,500 and 4,500 calories on Christmas Day with 1,000 of those being consumed from Christmas dinner alone. The average daily intake for a man is 2,500 and 2,000 for a women.

But experts say it is casual grazing and excess alcohol over the festive period itself which is more likely to lead to weight gain. There are 132 calories in just three Quality Street sweets and 100 calories in a glass of champagne.

Dr Andrew Blannin, an expert in exercise metabolism from the University of Birmingham, said: "People shouldn’t worry too much about one day of the year - Christmas is a time to relax and enjoy yourself. In fact, gradual weight gain over our adult years is mainly due to small daily energy imbalances, which are individually trivial, but when they accumulate over months and years cause us to very gradually gain weight.

"After Christmas is the time to reflect on calories consumed and energy expenditure. Most studies show dieting is more beneficial in the short-term, while exercise is better as a long-term strategy. Regular walking is as good as any, and as a general rule of thumb, you expend approximately 100kcal per mile covered."

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