19 Dec 2013

Christmas dinner eating tips from Diet Chef

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Christmas lights have been turned on throughout the country, shelves have been stocked with festive produce and seasonal markets are popping up all around; it can only mean one thing, Christmas is fast approaching.

A recent 'Day of Vice' survey by Diet Chef, showed that 60% of women around the country, find that this exciting time of year is also their danger zone for dieting. Resisting that little mince pie becomes nearly impossible, and the prospect of all the family being together round one table becomes the perfect excuse to put the diet on hold for a few days.

Although we should let ourselves indulge on the festive food on offer, there is no reason why we can’t continue to watch our weight at the same time, making it that little bit easier when we kick-start our diet in the New Year. Izzy Cameron, Nutrition and Weight Management Specialist at Diet Chef, provides us with some Christmas meal comparisons, so we can enjoy our Christmas dinner guilt-free, and choose what to put on our plate to keep our calorie intake at bay.

Goose vs. turkey

For most, their Christmas meal will be made up of succulent meat, usually from a goose (top pic) or turkey (bottom pic), surrounded by all the usual trimmings.

There is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy your yearly feast on this meat, however, below are the calorie and fat figures for both turkey and goose so you can weigh up your options when choosing between the two.

One portion of goose:
427 calories; 30 grams of fat

One portion of turkey:
340 calories; 20 grams of fat

As you can see goose has a much higher fat and calorie content than turkey. I would therefore choose turkey since you will instantly be lowering your fat content by 10 grams.

Roast potatoes vs. roasted parsnips

Both of these sides are favourites, so when piling your plate I would suggest substituting potatoes for parsnips as much as possible, due to the reduced fat content.

As you can see below, parsnips (bottom pic) contain half the fat of potatoes (top pic), so allow yourself a couple of 'roasties' but fill up on parsnips.

One portion of or roast potatoes: 

189 calories; 9 grams of fat

One portion of roast parsnips:
143 calories ; 4 grams of fat

Yorkshire Pudding vs. stuffing 
Although not much difference in it, stuffing (bottom pic) is slightly less fattening than Yorkshire Puddings (top pic).

 Although fine to indulge in both of these sides, I would try and limit yourself to just the one portion. It can be easy to get carried away and although the calorie content doesn't seem too high, it will quickly build up!

One portion of Yorkshire Puddings:

68 calories; 2.4 grams of fat

One portion of stuffing: 
90 calories; 1 gram of fat

Apple crumble vs. Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is the best option for desert. If you are craving something sweet at the end of the meal and don’t want to miss out on the desert options I would go for this, but again just the one small portion. The figures given above are for pretty generous servings.

One portion of apple crumble: 

330 calories; 14 grams of fat

One portion of Christmas Pudding: 
335 calories; 9 grams of fat

Custard vs. cream

Believe it or not, custard (bottom pic) is much less fattening than cream (top pic). If you feel the need to moisten your desert with one of these, I would choose custard if you can. Custard has half the calories and a quarter of the fat content.

One portion of cream: 
314 calories; 28 grams of fat

One portion of custard: 
148 calories; 7 grams

Christmas coffee vs. regular latte

Cafes and restaurants are filled with special Christmas variety coffee at the moment, such as the Gingerbread Latte in Starbucks and the Chocolate and Orange Mocha Latte at Costa. As tempting as they seem, beware; they contain double the calories and fat of regular lattes.

Small Christmas latte (right pic):
189 calories; 8.1 grams of fat

Small regular latte (left pic): 

95 calories; 3.5 grams of fat

Popcorn vs. crisps

We all know that popcorn (bottom pic) is better for us than crisps (bottom pic), but did you know just how much better it is? Although popcorn has quite high calorie content, it has an eighth of the fat content crisps do. When snacking this Christmas, make sure you reach for the popcorn each time.

One portion of crisps:
536 calories; 35 grams of fat

One portion of popcorn: 
375 calories; 4.3 grams of fat


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