Dr Michael Mosley on healthy eating over Christmas – keep up exercise regime

Weight loss: Dr Michael Mosley discusses the benefits of fasting

Losing weight can be hard at the best of times, with results taking up to eight weeks to see. With people typically consuming two to three times the recommended calorie intake on Christmas Day, Dr Michael Mosley has provided top tips on how to stay healthy over the festive period.

The expert explained: “It’s certainly very tricky to follow a healthy diet over the Christmas period. So I do recommend that you try doing some substitutes.

“For example, I would recommend that you have more roasted vegetables, parsnips and things like that, rather than a big pile of potatoes. Go for a healthy, Fast 800 Christmas cake, rather than something a lot more glutenous than that. And also suggest you do try and keep up some sort of exercise regime.”

The Fast 800 is a popular diet created by Mr Mosley which involves eating nutritious but low-calorie foods.

He added: “The temptation is to sort of sit in front of the telly all the time, particularly after a big Christmas meal, but you will find that is going to help burn off some of those calories you’ve just consumed in huge amounts. And if you are following a healthy diet, then do let your rest of your family know that being given boxes of chocolates for Christmas is probably not a good idea this year, or ever.

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The recommended daily calorie intake depends on various factors including gender, age, height and weight.

Typically, a male should consume around 2,500 calories a day and women should consume around 2,000 according to the NHS.

However this can be hard to stick to, especially when tasty Christmas food tends to be high in calories.

Michael Mosley said: “During Christmas you will find it very difficult to do any serious calorie restriction, but I think you might do something like time restricted eating, particularly ending your evening meal earlier. 

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“Some recent studies have suggested that that is beneficial. And so try not to have a late night splurge.”

Restricted eating is when eating is restricted between a specific time period, typically between 10am-8pm. 

There are also different methods of restricted eating, known as intermittent fasting.

Mr Mosley added: “Typically, what we do is we have a kind of reasonably big Christmas lunch, go for a longish walk, do some exercise, and then have a sort of very light evening meal, which is sort of leftovers and then play lots of vigorous Christmas games, running around.”

Walking after consuming food can help improve digestion and can help improve satiety after eating.

This will help reduce the amount of snacking throughout the day.

The expert said: “The best time to lose weight is soon after you put it on. Without a doubt, it is much easier before your body gets used to the new, fatter you. 

“So do get stuck in as soon as it’s convenient. You do not have to wait for January 1. You can begin earlier. There is nothing sacred about January 1. Start following the Fast 800 program, use meal replacement shakes, and you will find that weight will fall off very easily, but if you leave it on, it won’t.”

Mr Mosley also shared that eating too much on Christmas Day isn’t harmful, but it is best to get back on track soon after.

He explained: “You can consume anything up to three to 4,000 calories in total on Christmas day, which is probably about at least 2,000 more than you need. 

“But it’s the build-up to Christmas that can be tricky. You start eating lots of chocolates, in the build up to Christmas and a lot of alcohol as well, which has lots of calories. So I think you could certainly undo the damage in a couple of days of restricting your calories. 

“Obviously you’re going to celebrate. The only thing I’d say is do be aware that alcohol is pretty calorific, that a smallish glass of wine can come in at about 170 calories and anything which has sort of cocktails with lots of cream in it, they’re going to also be very calorific. And then of course there’s all these sort of fizzy drinks and things like that, which tend to come out. 

“I recommend that you alternate drinking a glass of alcohol with a glass of water and that way, you probably wouldn’t drink as much.”

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