Keep down your Christmas calorie count with 10 strategies to keep you on track
Planning to minimise the weight gain this Christmas? Get your strategies in place to cope with festive temptation. Try these tips from the British Dietetic Association (BDA), the professional association for registered dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
1. Plan ahead: Eating out later on? Plan a day of smaller meals beforehand and avoid between-meal treats. Low-calorie lunch ideas
2. Chocolate boxes: Never have more than one box of chocolates open at a time, and keep unopened boxes out of sight. They won't go off: stagger them over the next few months if necessary. Beat your chocolate cravings
3. At the Christmas buffet: Do not hover by the buffet table. Make your selection then step away from the table. Think about what you're putting on your plate - make it one portion and do not make repeat visits. Choose a smaller dessert-sized plate, and avoid the high saturated fat offerings like sausage rolls and quiche; instead load up on fruit, skinless chicken and vegetable crudités. How to spot a healthy canapé
4. At work: If everyone brings in Christmas goodies to share, make your contribution festive satsumas, and EAT THEM rather than the high-calorie communal chocolate and mince pies.
5. At the supermarket: Make a shopping list and stick to it. Avoid the aisles of temptation and make your Christmas snacks plain popcorn, pretzels, and vegetable crudités with a low fat dip. 8 ways to shop more healthily
6. The bird: Turkey is a great source of protein and a low fat meat. Most of the fat that is present in a cooked turkey will be found in the skin. So don't eat the skin. Simples! Easy ways to cut your Christmas Day calorie count
7. Perfect portions. Even on Christmas Day, when turkey, stuffing, chipolatas and bacon rolls are begging to be eaten, make sure vegetables take up one third of the space on your dinner plate. If you're in charge of cooking, steam veg where possible or use only a small amount of water. Brussels sprouts, peas and carrots can all be served unbuttered. Use the veg water for gravy and any leftover vegetables in a delicious soup to help fill you up and keep down the calorie count in the days after Christmas.
8. Healthy options: Want to keep the calories down even further? Try dry roasting potatoes on a non-stick baking sheet or use an oil spray instead of smothering them in goose fat. You can also make gravy using vegetable stock instead of meat juices, accompanied by a fruit-based stuffing; make bread sauce from low fat milk. More healthier Christmas cooking ideas
9. Bottoms down: Who doesn't drink more at Christmas? At the very least, steer clear of sweet cocktails and creamy liqueurs. Have a glass of water after every alcoholic drink to keep down the calorie count - it also has the benefit of leaving you with a clearer head the next morning. What to eat before a big night out
10. Pie wise: The average mince pie contains around 250 calories and that's before you've added cream or brandy butter. Can't resist this Christmas treat? Always remove the lid to cut its calorie-count.
For more information about healthy weight loss, visit the BDA website.
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