THE average person in the UK will consume an EXTRA 19,381 calories during the month of December – the equivalent of 546 after dinner mints, a study has found.
Christmas parties, a near-constant stream of chocolate and mince pies, as well as the big day itself, means the average adult’s calorie intake will soar by more than 28 per cent – 622 calories – over the festive period.
But the sheer amount of food and drink doesn’t always go down well, with 83 per cent saying they have eaten so much, they have ended up feeling sluggish, while a third have been left feeling ill.
The biggest Christmas indulgence over the restive season is devouring chocolates with two thirds saying they indulge in this over December.
A spokesman for Healthspan, which commissioned the research, said: “Food and drink is one of the big things that we all look forward to around Christmas, and for some, even the best bit.
“But it’s not just Christmas Day where we over indulge, with most of us attending at least one Christmas party during December, tucking into all the food and drink that comes with it
“The odd treat here and there over the Christmas period might not seem that bad, but once you start to add everything up, it can be play havoc with our digestion.”
The study of 2,000 Brits, found that between January and November, the average adult will consume 2,182 calories each day, but during December, this rises to 2,804 – an increase of around 622 calories daily.
Men see the biggest surge in their calorie intake, going from 2,318 per day to around 2,956 during December, while women tuck into 2,653 calories on a December day – 606 more than any other time of the year.
But when it comes to Christmas Day itself, women can expect to consume a total of 2,793 calories, with men tucking into 3,014.
So, unsurprisingly, it’s the food and drink we have on the big day that most people blame for their calorie intake rising during December, with the average adult having two different Christmas dinners over the festive period.
Almost one in ten even claimed they will usually have tucked into at least five by the time the New Year comes around.
It has also emerged that 9 in 10 have admitted to consuming more food and drink at Christmas than at any other time of the year, with more than three quarters saying their diet is at its worst during December.
Seventy-three per cent even admitted they often feel like they spent the entire Christmas Day eating or drinking.
Fifty-eight per cent have had to have a nap or lie down over Christmas, while a third have ended up feeling ill after over-indulging.
Dr Hilary Jones said: “Britons drink 41 per cent more than the annual monthly average in December alone, with 11 per cent of people claiming they drink every day at this time of year.
“Unsurprisingly, the abundance of food and alcohol intake over Christmas can have a negative impact on our health and liver.”
Rob Hobson Healthspan’s Head of Nutrition added: “Low energy levels and queasy stomachs are all part of the festive package.
“Adding supplements such as Healthspan’s Milk Thistle Complete, which has been tailored to help maintain energy levels and support digestion and liver function, to your diet at this time of year is absolutely worth doing.”
Dr Hilary Jones’s, GP and TV Doctor advises:
1. Really boost your diet at this time of year if you diet is healthy it will support your liver function and digestive system through the party season.
2. Slow it down! If you do intend to drink a fair bit then have a couple of glasses of water pre so you don’t guzzle and water will help keep you hydrated. Have one or two glasses of water first, to quench your thirst before you have any alcohol.
A healthy liver can only break down one standard drink per hour; an unhealthy liver is much slower. Alcohol can make you feel thirsty, so drink some water in-between alcoholic beverages. Drinking slowly reduces the impact of alcohol on your liver keeping well hydrated reduces the hangover the next day.
3. Have a light meal, ideally something containing protein as this spends longer in the stomach and prevents the stomach lining from becoming irritated with the acid from alcohol.
4. Take Healthspan Milk Thistle Complete the night before and the morning after to help support your liver and digestion.
5. Drinking coconut water the morning after also helps replenish lost electrolytes that are lost.