Ways To Keep The Christmas Kilos Off

'Tis the season to be jolly - and overindulge. Aussies are set to scoff 15 million canapes this party season! See how to make sure you don't go overboard.

In celebration of yuletide gatherings, Weight Watchers has examined the perils of party fare and taken a look at exactly how many Christmas nibbles we are set to enjoy, revealing Australians will eat an estimated 15 million canapés during Christmas revelries.

With party goers attending multiple Christmas events and devouring up to 15 canapés at each shindig, it's no surprise that as invites to end of year celebrations start to pile up, so too do potential kilos.

"Not only is resisting a delicious looking tray of canapés challenging but combined with calorific alcohol and a hectic social calendar that leaves little time for exercise, the result is an unwanted Christmas present: weight gain," says Kate Cody, Director of Publishing & Programme, Weight Watchers.

Experts estimate the average adult gains 0.45 kilograms during the holiday season[3] which as a nation; weighs in at over 10 million kilograms that Aussies will need to lose come January 1st to get back to their pre-Christmas holiday weight. Alarmingly, experts also believe that weight gained over the holiday period is rarely lost and often accumulates through the years, becoming a contributor to obesity later in life.

However according to Weight Watchers' Kate Cody, there are ways to avoid seasonal spread: "Canapés may seem small but it's easy to lose count of how many you're eating and before you know it, you've eaten the equivalent of a main meal. Choose canapés carefully: opt for raw items like sashimi and avoid deep fried pieces such as spring rolls or salt and pepper squid".

Whatever Sydney-siders best intentions, they should prepare to loosen their belts, as top party providers Belinda Franks Catering predicts revellers attending their events will get through a whopping 20,000 prawns, 5,000 eggs, 10,000 mini burger buns and 300 kilograms of lamb, not to mention the 50,000 napkins that accompany all the nibbles.

Belinda Franks Catering confirms that the latest trends in canapés aren't ideal for those trying to battle the bulge: "This year party goers are loving larger, substantial bites. Think Rueben sandwiches, gourmet sausage rolls and crumbed snapper burgers. There's a move away from over-complicated food to items that are simpler and showcase great produce".

"Party goers should be aware that there are plenty of healthy options out there, you just need to know what to pick." Comments Weight Watchers program director Kate Cody. To help Australians make sensible choices this holiday season, which don't compromise on taste or fun, Weight Watchers has compiled some helpful tips and a selection of delicious, healthy canapé recipes:

Ways to keep the kilos off during the Christmas season:

- Be the designated driver: save your friends and waistline

- Look for fresh foods like sushi, salad or sandwiches

- Order soda water with a twist of lime or lemon at cocktail parties, it looks like an alcoholic drink but without all the extra calories

- At a party ask for the vegetarian option

- Don't go to events on an empty stomach, have a healthy snack such as a fat-free or low-fat yoghurt before you arrive so you're not tempted to gobble everything in sight

- Choose dips that are lower in fat like hummus, beetroot, tzatziki and choose vegie sticks over crackers

- Keep your hands busy, take along a camera, photos to show, a mobile phone or clutch purse to hold instead of food

- Avoid anything deep-fried, cheesy or heavy like chips and mini pies

- Give your New Year's weight loss resolution a trial run — start it before the festive season instead of after!

- Be more active on the day of your party and hit the dance floor rather than sit talking and eating all night

- Eat a soup or salad at lunch time on the day of your party

- Plan to eat 4 to 5 of the most delicious canapés and unlimited fruit and vegetables

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