Indulge in moderation, advise fitness experts

WORRIED about the decadent treats you are stuffing into your body between Christmas and the new year? Don't be.

"You should really be more worried about what you eat and drink for the rest of the year," CrossFit Launceston co-owner Russel Kapper said.

"If you're eating crap food for 90 per cent of the year and then get worried about what you eat during the festive season, you've got your priorities wrong."

Mr Kapper said everyone, including himself, was likely to eat and drink unhealthy things during the festive season.

"I don't think you can really hurt yourself with food over the Christmas period, I don't think you can do a great deal of damage," he said.

"Get out there and enjoy yourself - within moderation."

A serving of traditional Christmas lunch - including turkey, ham and all the trimmings, pudding with brandy butter and two mince pies - contains about 3000 calories.

Burning off the calories would take about five hours and 41 minutes of brisk walking.

Health and Fitness World and Fernwood Fitness owner Karen Rawlings said people should get back to basics to counteract indulgent meals during the festive season.

"Instead of playing computer games and watching the Test match on the television after lunch, grab a bat and ball and have a hit of backyard cricket with the kids," she said.

"Don't try and lose weight - the festive period is not the time for it.

"Focus on maintaining your weight, and lose it in the new year if you need to."

Population Health Services specialist medical adviser Scott McKeown encouraged people to celebrate the holiday season safely.

"People should keep an eye on the amount of alcohol they drink and food they eat for their own health and the safety of those around them," he said.

"The last thing we'd want to be doing is telling people not to enjoy themselves; all we want is for people to do it safely."

Dr McKeown said bingeing on food one or two times wasn't likely to hurt somebody.

"If people are overeating over a long period of time, they should certainly look at limiting the amount they eat once the holiday period is over," he said.

Dr McKeown urged people to use indulging in luxurious fare as motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle once the festive period finished.

"Look at the new year as an opportunity to pick up some new, healthy habits like eating well, exercising and even giving up smoking," he said.

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