A slimmer's Christmas dinner

Turkey, ham, stuffing, all the trimmings, pudding, cake or mince pies, not to mention the vol-au-vents, crisps and peanuts at the staff ‘do’ – Christmas is great, isn’t it? Unfortunately, the greater the indulgence in December, the heavier the cloud of depression when you step on the scales in January - and the less likely it is that the new jumper you got for Christmas will hide the bulges. This time of year is as much of a challenge for your waistline as it is for your wallet. But never fear – we have some tips to really save you pounds on the Christmas feast…

Where do I start?

Melon or low-fat soup are great starters with less than 50 calories in a slice of melon or a bowl of vegetable soup. And what’s the alternative? A bowl of creamy tomato soup has over 100 calories and 7g fat while a prawn cocktail with a generous serving of seafood sauce has over 300 calories and 25g of fat. Soup or fruit is definitely the way forward.

The main event

White meat has a fraction of the fat content of brown so going for the lighter meat can save 65 calories and 5g fat in a regular portion. Trim fat off the ham and pass on the bacon rolls and you’ll save another 185 calories and 14g of fat on two slices of ham and just one bacon roll.

While piling on the veggies certainly gets the go-ahead, remember that a serving of roasties can have double the calories and fat of a serving of mashed potato – yikes. And when making that stuffing, use our reduced fat recipes in our Healthy Bytes section to really cut the calories.

A bit on the side

Gravy can be very high in fat, especially if it is made with meat juices which haven’t been skimmed. Skim off that fat, go for reduced fat granules or just enjoy cranberry sauce for next to no calories.

And afters?

Deciding on dessert can be a dieter’s downfall - downsize the Christmas pudding and leave that brandy butter, brandy cream and brandy sauce well alone. Choose reduced fat custard on a small portion of pud and save a massive 165 calories and 23g of fat, compared to a medium portion with just fresh cream. Remember to look for low fat recipes for Christmas pudding in our Healthy Bytes section or try a lighter dessert this Christmas, such as fruit mousse or fool.

And although Christmas cake and mince pies are traditional fare, their nutritional numbers are anything but fair. One mince pie and a slice of cake can damage our diet by a disastrous 460 calories and 18g of fat.

So what difference do these few simple changes make? Up to 1000 calories and over 70g of fat. Take these tips, lighten up your Christmas and still have a fantastic feast.

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Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.