We often use Christmas as an excuse to throw the diet out of the window – how much difference can one day make, after all? Well, according to new research, quite a bit… Lighter Life Fast say that we eat, on average, an additional 1,450 calories a day over the festive period, which could see us pack on 2lbs in just three days.
You don’t have to wait until January to kickstart your diet, though – stay trim and enjoy the big day with a few simple tweaks to your Christmas menu. Here are some of our favourites…
1. Start your day the right way. Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast. Scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast will keep you going until lunch, forestalling the temptation to break out the Celebrations. Use skimmed milk instead of single cream and save 89 calories and 6.8g fat.
2. It’s best to forgo pre-dinner nibbles altogether, but if you simply
can’t wait, pick Twiglets and satsumas over crisps and chocolates.
3. As a source of lean protein, turkey is one of the healthiest foods you can eat on Christmas day. However, the skin is packed with fat and calories. Remove it and stick to white breast meat for a low fat food swap which will save you 126 calories.
4. Christmas dinner is – in theory – a healthy, balanced meal, packed with veggies and lean protein. But those extras add up – fatty roast potatoes, stuffing (200 calories a serving), Yorkshire puddings (100 calories each), pigs in blankets (90 calories each)… You don’t need to forgo the extras entirely, but try to be portion-conscious. Pile your plate high with sprouts, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, leaving less room for the naughty stuff.
5. Use a fat separator when making gravy from turkey juices to trim off excess fat and calories.
6. Opt for a vegetarian fruit or chestnut-based stuffing.
7. The average mince pie contains 240 calories. Serve adorable mini mince pies instead, to cut the calorie count by more than 50%.
8. Switch fat and calorie-packed brandy butter and double cream for a squirt of light aerosol dairy cream.
9. As we all know, one of the biggest sources of Christmas calories is alcohol. Take it easy on the Baileys (180 calories) and mulled wine (245 calories) and opt for a glass of prosecco (100 calories) instead.
10. Swap stilton for camembert. Can’t resist an after-dinner cheeseboard? Camembert is your best choice, clocking in at 263 calories per 100g, versus stilton’s 411.