Think twice before you grab that extra roast potato for Christmas dinner. Surveys show that we nosh our way through 7,000 calories during the festive meal. All the delicious extra sausages, stuffing and Christmas pudding add up, and of course you need to celebrate with a glass of champagne!
So is there any way to enjoy the Christmas extras? Yes! Here are some great tips for feeling stuffed as a turkey without piling on the pounds:
WATCH OUT FOR:
- Turkey skin. Tasty as it is, turkey skin contains tons of fat. Remove the skin before tucking in and you’ll save around 40 calories a portion.
- Extra oil. Just 1tbsp of oil contains 100 calories and 11g of fat, so resist pouring it joyfully over your turkey. Instead, use a pastry brush to add a light covering of oil before you roast it. And if you use the meat juices to make gravy, drain the fat first.
- Roast potatoes. One standard roast potato contains 200 calories, so think before you take another. Brush them lightly with oil rather than pouring it over will help control the calories too.
- Extra sauces. Beware the bread sauce, cranberry sauce and calorific cauliflower cheese sauce. 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce adds 75 calories. And would you really miss it?
- Custard. Christmas pudding needs a sauce, but custard isn’t the healthiest partner, containing more calories than cream, even when made with skimmed milk. You will be better off with a dollop of cream...if you can stick to one tablespoon!
PILE YOUR PLATE HIGH WITH:
- Turkey breast. Turkey is a great choice for healthy-eaters. It’s crammed with protein, nutrients, and low in fat, especially if you choose the breast over the darker meat.
- Parsnips. Fill your plate with parsnips! These tasty roots contain less calories and half the fat of potatoes. They also contain four times as much fibre and more nutrients (particularly folic acid).
- Low fat chipolatas. Wrap these in some lean back bacon for much slimmer pigs-in-blankets. You won’t notice the difference when they’re smothered in gravy anyway.
- Chestnut stuffing. Low in fat and high in potassium, chestnuts make a healthier, tastier stuffing. Chopped chestnuts contain just 2.7g fat per 100g compared to 32g fat in sausagemeat! If you’re using packet stuffing leave out the butter – you won’t notice the difference in taste but you will save 100 calories a tablespoon.
- Traditional vegetables. Enjoy a whole rainbow of vegetable of colours on your Christmas dinner plate. Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, carrots, swede and cauliflower are all great. Pile them high – the more vegetables you have, the greater the variety of nutrients. You will also fill your stomach more, making it easier to resist that extra mince pie!