Look fabulous in your LBD this Christmas season

Although most of us are trying to ignore the run up to Christmas, it is here. It is time to dust off the little black dress (LBD), but if 2012 has been as good to you as 2011 you are heavier than you were last year.

Although most of us are trying to ignore the run up to Christmas, it is here. It is time to dust off the little black dress (LBD), but if 2012 has been as good to you as 2011 you are heavier than you were last year.

Cara Cunningham, Community Dietitian

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The New England Journal of Medicine have estimated that on average people are around 1lb heavier (maybe more) than this time last year. So the body hugging sensational party dress from last year might be showing a few extra bumps when you put it on again! So what to do if you have only 4 weeks till that Christmas night out – here are a few steps to getting back into that fabulous dress to wow everyone:

A good rule is to think that each pound of weight represents 3,500 Kcals, so this equates to dropping your calorie intake by 500 Kcals per day, by making small changes to your daily eating it can all add up:

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* Swap to low fat milk instead of full fat – for every pint save 56 calories or go that extra step and swap to skimmed milk and save 135 calories per pint.

* Giving up sugar in tea and swapping to a sweetener – save 20 calories per teaspoon

* Poach your egg instead of frying it – save approximately 45 calories

* Choose diet or 0% yogurt rather that that creamy variety and save up to 100 calories.

* Replace coleslaw and potato salad with salad vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber and save up to 90 calories per 50g/ 2oz serving

* Choose baked beans instead of cheese in your baked potato and save more than 50 calories

* Eat one less slice of pizza at dinner – save up to 100 calories

* Stop adding butter or margarine to potatoes – drop calories by 50-100

* Have a 4oz steak instead of 6 oz and save 70 calories

* When having chicken take off the skin and save more than 40 calories

* Also remember that adding a bit of exercise to your daily routine will help you lose even more weight and will also tone you up so that you will look fabulous. On average a 30 minute walk of moderate intensity (enough so you are feeling hot and sweaty, but still able to hold a conversation with a friend) burns up 250 calories.

* Remember this works both ways if you eat an extra 100 calories a day, this will leave you 10lbs heavier next year! So small changes can make a big difference – it can be better for your health and your bank balance to lose that excess weight.

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For more information or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact: The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster Tel: (044) 9353220 or email community.dietitians@hse.ie.