Start in early December and you can cut 3,500 cals a week in the run-up to Christmas, losing a few vital pounds in the process and making sure your body’s ready for festive feasting. Each of our tips saves at least 100 calories, so simply choose five a day and you can lose at least a pound a week!
– Eat breakfast: research says you’ll eat at least 100 fewer calories over the course of the day.
– Have 2tsp reduced-sugar jam instead of butter on your morning toast.
– Swap 2 scrambled eggs for 1 poached egg on buttered wholemeal bread.
– Swap 4tbsp muesli for 4tbsp bran flakes.
– Take away a slice of bread and butter from your sandwich and eat it “open”.
– Replace 30g Cheddar in your sandwich with 1tbsp low-fat cheese spread.
– Skip the mayo and add a squeeze of lemon juice or mustard to your sandwich.
– Swap a jacket potato with chilli or cheese and coleslaw for one with baked beans.
– Lose the salad dressing – it’s typically around 100 calories per tbsp; use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar instead, both fat-free.
– Swap half a pot of houmous for half a pot of tzatziki to go with pitta bread.
– Swap one can of tuna in oil for one preserved in spring water.
– Whenever you feel the need, have a glass of water instead and wait 10 minutes – chances are your hunger pangs are caused by dehydration.
– Tempted to have a small chocolate bar? Go for a 150g pot of non-fat Greek yogurt sprinkled with berries and 1tsp honey instead.
– Instead of a packet of crisps, dip into some cucumber slices with a triangle of light soft cheese.
– Don’t buy flavoured popcorn: make your own (easy and fun) and sprinkle with a little grated dark chocolate.
– Nuts about nuts? Eat a handful of pistachios over any other – they’re lower in cals than many varieties.
Dump dinnertime excess
– Try lentil bolognese over the meat variety; you’ll save a hefty 250 calories per serving!
– Swap beef for pork in any casserole-type dish.
– Enjoy pasta; just have half as much – a tennis ball-sized portion is plenty.
– Swap 225g chips for 225g baked potato or baked sweet potato wedges.
Super sweet savers
– Enjoy a slice of fruit pie but leave half the pastry.
– Instead of adding cream to desserts, go for low-fat fromage frais.
– Swap scoops of ice cream for sorbet.
– Have a baked apple with sultanas instead of apple crumble.
Take the calories out of takeaways
– Eat the fish, not the batter and share a portion of chips.
– Have tandoori chicken instead of a chicken korma.
– Swap battered prawn balls with sweet and sour sauce for king prawns in sweet and sour sauce.
– Choose thin and crispy pizza instead of thick or cheese-stuffed.
– Swap a Big Mac for a cheeseburger.
– Swap your large glass of red for a small glass of white… if you’re pouring at home, pour half as much and top up with soda.
– Swap your swimming-pool sized wine glass (around 300ml) for 150ml.
– If you fancy a beer, ask for a shandy (with no-sugar lemonade, or soda).
– Have a Pimm’s with diet lemonade instead of a rum and coke.
– Try a margarita instead of a piña colada; a Long Island iced tea instead of a mojito.
– Swap a bottle of alcopop for a gin and slimline tonic.
– Alternate each alcoholic drink with a still water with lemon.