Stay Slim This Christmas - 2008

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Information & Advice

Health and Beauty Magazine

Stay Slim This Christmas - 2008

Lucie Tobin

Lucie Tobin

Health & Beauty Magazine Online Editor

Published 17th November 2008

Forget spending January crunching carrot sticks or living on lettuce, our expert guide will make sure you beat the bulge.

In the kitchen

Remember to control the calories when you cook this Christmas. Save your waist from extra inches by using an oil spray instead of free-pouring oil from the bottle. ‘Watch out for the extras – butter, salad dressing, mayonnaise and cream can all add extra fat and calories,’ says Boots’ nutritionist Vicky Pennington.

Use vegetable oil instead of goose fat on roast potatoes as it’s a healthier fat, and ditch calorie-heavy pork-based stuffing for sage, onion and chestnut stuffing instead. Stop yourself from picking as you prepare by brushing your teeth before you start cooking or sucking on sugar-free mints.

Other saintly swaps:
SWAP Cream (220 cals for 50ml) for low fat crème fraiche (70 cals for 50ml)
SWAP Puff pastry (700 cals per sheet) for filo pastry (40 cals per sheet) 


At the buffet

Buffets can offer so much to tickle your taste buds, but they’re not so wonderful for your waist. Before you go out for the evening, have a bowl of vegetable soup and drink a pint of water to help prevent over-eating. Limit yourself to two trips to the buffet (or, if you have cast-iron willpower, just one), and give your stomach a rest between trips, ‘It can take around 20 minutes before your stomach knows you are full. Have a break and then decide if you really want a second helping,’ advises Vicky.

Go green and fill at least a quarter of your party plate with salad or vegetables.  Resist sandwiches with mayo-based fillings and choose ham or fish. When you come to the cheese board, opt for softer cheeses such as Camembert (90 cals per 30g portion) and ignore hard cheeses like Stilton (120 cals per 30g portion).


Other saintly swaps:

SWAP Mini sausage for chicken satay
SWAP Taramasalata dip for tzatziki dip
SWAP A handful of peanuts (150 cals) for nine olives (30 cals)


At the bar

Christmas calories also come from the celebratory cocktails and the office party’s open bar. But you can order drinks that won’t leave you looking like Santa’s double. Choose spirits with diet mixers, try vodka on the rocks or get creative and add different types of fruit to plain vodka.

When you’re eyeing up the cocktail menu, rule out cream-based combinations and stick to a calorie-crunching cosmopolitan or mojito. ‘Try to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink,’ suggests Vicky.


Other saintly swaps:

SWAP Bottle of beer for a small glass of white wine
SWAP Southern Comfort for Tia Maria
SWAP Long Island iced tea for a tequila sunrise

Written by Rebecca Twomey

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