Christmas: Counting the Calories

Christmas is nearly here, and after another difficult year we’ve certainly all earned a break – from work, from stress, from worrying…and perhaps from our diets! While as a chiropractic clinic we promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices we also understand that sometimes a little bit of what you fancy can do you good!


Christmas food – balancing fun and fat

There’s no question that some of the foods we usually enjoy at Christmas are exceptionally tasty and without a doubt, it can be hard to resist all of the luxury treats which tend to accumulate in the kitchen this time of year – at the same time, we do need to be aware of just how many calories we may be consuming – did you know that the average slice of Christmas cake contains over 250 calories?

The point of this weeks blog isn’t to tell you not to eat these things – rather we want to cover some of the (rough) calorie counts for some common Christmas foods, with some knowledge about just what you’re consuming. Please do enjoy the foods you love over Christmas, but perhaps skip those which aren’t so near and dear to your heart?!


Christmas foods, some calorie counts:

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner is often the highlight of our Christmas day celebrations – as always filling up with vegetables is a great way to feel full without consuming as many calories. The typical components of a Christmas dinner contain, roughly:

Roast turkey (90g) – 149 calories

Roast potatoes (85g) – 127 calories

Stuffing (100g) – 231 calories

Bread sauce (45g) – 42 calories

Roast parsnips (90g) – 102 calories

Boiled carrots – 14 calories

Boiled Brussels sprouts – 32 calories

Gravy (50g) – 17 calories

Cranberry sauce (30g) – 45 calories

Pork sausage (20g) – 62 calories

Bacon (40g) – 135 calories


Snacks, cake and other nibbles

The Christmas dinner above clocks in at around 1000 calories – most people will probably eat more than this, however, this is hardly a disastrous amount of food to eat – especially just on one day. No, it’s all of the extra snacks and nibbles which make their way into our diets that can do the real damage here:


1 slice of Christmas cake (70g) – 249 calories

1 portion of chocolate log (30g) – 101 calories

1 portion of cheese and biscuits – 394 calories

1 portion of mixed nuts (40g) – 243 calories

1 portion Christmas pudding (100g), custard and brandy butter – 587 calories

1 mince pie and double cream – 368 calories

3 Quality Streets – 133 calories

5 Chocolate Fingers – 150 calories

Average Selection Box – 1,111 calories

1 portion of mixed nuts (40g) – 243 calories

1 glass of mulled wine – 245 calories

Christmas Ham – 115 Calories (100g)

Turkey and stuffing sandwich with cranberry jelly (2 slices of bread with butter) – 435 calories


Avoiding Christmas weight gain

On average, we put on 4lbs between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day after consuming roughly twice our recommended calorie intake – keep in mind that during January, many of us work ourselves to the bone to lose just 2lbs and it’s easy to see how a bit of moderation over the Christmas period can really pay off later. There’s no magical way to avoid this – if you want to indulge over Christmas, you’ll need to work those calories back off, so, by all means, enjoy the foods that you love, but keep January in mind!

It’s also critical to continue to exercise as usual over the Christmas period – if you also reduce the exercise you do in a day, the potential for weight gain is even greater.

Hopefully having an idea of the calories in these common foods will help you enjoy the holiday season, and make January seem a little less daunting – but if you go completely overboard, don’t worry – we’ll be back in the new year with some exercise tips!!



Blog by / December 18, 2021 / Blog

Dr. Paul Irvine is a doctor of chiropractic who graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of NSW and in 1996, attained his Master of Chiropractic degree from Macquarie University in Australia. He practised in North Sydney for 5 years before he left Australia to travel and practise in the UK. He joined Complete Chiropractic in 2003 (est 1999) and took over the clinic in 2007