Just in case that huge tinsel-covered tree in your local shopping centre wasn’t a big enough hint… Christmas Day is almost upon us, whether you’re ready for it or not.
Although your wish list may change from one year to the next, there are some aspects of Christmas that will never change.
These include: Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You on loop (non-negotiable); the fight your uncle and your grandfather (substitute with family members as appropriate) will inevitably get into over lunch; and food. So much food. Piles and piles of it.
With a lot of food comes a lot of eating. It's normal - nay, tradition - to throw portion control to the wind and gorge yourself on prawns, turkey, salads, fruit, puddings, chocolate coins, wine, champagne... etc etc etc on Christmas Day. And with so many parties and catchups over the 'silly season', we also tend to consume more than usual in the lead-up to December 25, and between Christmas and New Year's Eve.
There's nothing to feel guilty about here - food and drinks are a big part of what makes Christmas such a special event, so you shouldn't feel you have to deprive yourself that enjoyment. But you may be wondering: what exactly does this Bacchus-style festival of indulgence actually do to your waistline - and is there really any need to freak out about it?
According to Michele Chevalley Hedge, qualified nutritionist and author, and founder of A Healthy View, it's not uncommon for Australians to gain "a kilo or two" over the whole summer holiday season. That's not as much as you'd expected, right?
"[Consuming] an extra 500 calories per day over the holiday ... can lead lead to a half a kilo of weight gain per week," Michele explains. This 500 calories could take the form of a slice of pavlova, a few nibbles at your office Christmas party, a handful of lollies, a cocktail with a sweet mixer or a couple of glasses of wine.