From the yuletide tipples and finger foods to a little too many helpings of pudding, the festive treats can easily knock healthy eating plans off course. With just a few food swaps, you can trim your festive calories without upsetting your taste buds.
THE MAIN COURSE
Turkey is a lean meat, but keep it leaner by leaving the skin off. Instead of the traditional honey glazed ham, impress your guest with baked salmon – it’s far richer in omega 3 and essential fatty acids.
Swap traditional spuds in favour of nutrient-dense sweet potatoes or roasted parsnips sprinkled with paprika.
CANAPÉS AND STARTERS
Offer olives instead of crisps, or swap the pastries for refreshing rice paper rolls.
Rather than drench the salads in creamy sauces and mayo, make your own dressings made with Greek yoghurt, olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon for an added protein boost and some gut-loving probiotics.
Whip up a delicious stuffing made with whole grains like quinoa or bulger mixed with mixed dried fruit, herbs and spices instead of breadcrumbs and salt to reduce belly bloat.
No need for sugary Brandy custards or double whipped cream, dish up some Greek or natural yoghurt flavoured with vanilla and a drizzle of honey. Better still, skip the plum pud all together and take advantage of all the delicious seasonal summer fruits for dessert or raw desserts made with avocado and fresh raspberries.
Serving cheese with raw nuts, sliced seasonal fruit and wholegrain crackers means you’re satisfied on less thanks to the added hunger-busting fibre.
When it comes to treating yourself this Christmas – plan it, don’t ban it. Swap five days of gluttony, and pick one day to go all out.
Always opt for smaller portions. Enjoy one mini mince pies rather than three and use small plates and glasses – you’ll be surprised by how much less food and drink you consume.
Rather than mindlessly grazing, plate up your nibbles once. Rate your hunger and see if you really need a second helping.