16 Dec 2014

Christmas dinner "smart swaps"...

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Sensible choices for the Christmas table!

Christmas is a difficult time to watch your waistline, with an excess of food temptations at every turn. If you do decide to take a break from the diet over the festive holidays, we've got some Christmas table food tips and smart swaps, to help you keep on track, weight-wise!

Turkey rather than goose

If you want to cut down on your Christmas dinner calorie intake as much as possible, opt for turkey rather than goose, as the former is slightly leaner meat.

Homemade cranberry sauce 

Standard cranberry sauce can be very high in sugar. Try making homemade cranberry sauce with unsweetened cranberries – rather than sugar, use pineapple and apple puree, or raspberries, to add natural sweetness.

Vegetarian stuffing 

Instead of pork / bacon stuffing, opt for vegetarian chestnut, mushroom and rice-based stuffing, as this will be lower in saturated fats and calories.

Olive oil rather than butter

Roast your vegetables using a small drizzle of olive oil and herbs such as rosemary, rather than roasting with butter, to season and add flavour, whilst lowering the fat content.

More parsnips, less potatoes

Try substituting most of your roast potatoes for roast parsnips – parsnips contain less fat than potatoes, so allow yourself one or two 'roasties' and add some extra parsnips to bulk up.

Low salt gravy 

With gravy, if buying granules, opt for lower salt versions. Gravy can be seasoned with ‘festive’ tasting herbs such as sage, thyme and nutmeg, rather than added salt.

Wholegrain bread 

Standard bread sauce can be high in calories and fat; use semi-skimmed rather than full fat milk to reduce both. Although you'd only use one or two slices of bread, use wholegrain rather than white for increased fibre.

Low fat, low sugar custard 

Traditional Christmas pudding shouldn't be messed with, but watch what you serve it with! Check labels to make sure you buy a low-fat and low sugar custard, and swap full fat double cream for crème fraiche.

'Open topped' mince pies 

‘Open topped’ mince pies contain less calories, fat and sugar than regular mince pies, as you are reducing the amount of pastry used.

Use a smaller plate

Go for a smaller plate at meal times. This may sound obvious and a bit silly, but overeating is often more about greed than hunger. By using a smaller plate, you can create the illusion that you are getting a pile of food without overdoing it.

And don't forget...

Eat slowly and drink lots of water in-between and during meals, as well as when having alcoholic drinks. Also, try to make sure you keep lots of healthy snacks around - like unsalted nuts, fresh vegetables with humus, and fruit - to stop you reaching for that tin or Roses every time you feel peckish!

You might also want to...

Check out our festive party season healthy tips...
Contact us if you have any questions...
Visit our website... 

Have a fantastic time over the festive break and all the best for 2015!

Merry Christmas! 


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