Healthy Eating

Food tips to help you avoid Christmas weight gain

Food tips to help you avoid Christmas weight gain

Food tips to help you avoid Christmas weight gain

A nutritionist shares her tips on how to make this Christmas fun, minus the extra kilos.

Image: iStock

The Christmas feasts and parties just never seem to stop, and if you’ve indulged in one too many Christmas hams and popped open too many bottles over the past couple of weeks, you’re probably seeing the holiday weight kick in.

While you might feel like your summer body has completely gone down the drain, don’t give up all your motivation because 1) there’s still the New Year’s celebrations to come, and 2) these handy hints will help keep you on track, especially today.

1.Skip the heavy sauces

Give high calorie sauces and gravies a miss if you want to cut the calories and fat down in your Christmas meal. Instead of making gravy from pan juices, make a lower-fat version with the water from your steamed veggies. Instead of cranberry sauce, which is high in sugar, try blending up some fresh cranberries with a little balsamic vinegar.

2. Load up on roasted vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a perfect accompaniment to any Christmas feast. Instead of adding butter, lightly brush them with some olive or coconut oil, and sprinkle them with herbs and spices and a pinch of sea salt. Throw in a garlic bulb and some Brussel sprouts to give your meal an extra nutritional boost.

3. Try to limit alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol is a sure fire way to pile on the kilos over the Christmas period. Alcohol is not only very high in calories but it seems to go hand-in-hand with unhealthy foods. Remember the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. Go for low carb, light beers, spritzers if you drink wine, and if you prefer spirits avoid soft drink mixers and opt for soda water and some fresh lemon or lime. Try to limit your drinks and don’t forget to have a glass of water in-between alcoholic drinks.

4. Opt for healthy dressings

Salads are ideal for a hot Aussie Christmas day lunch. Don’t ruin your healthy salads with creamy dressings and mayonnaise, go for healthy dressings like lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, Greek yoghurt, and olive oil.

5. Eat slowly

People tend to overeat on Christmas day. Resist the urge to pile your plate high and eat until you could burst. Eat slowly and enjoy your meal. Having some protein with vegetables or salad will help fill you up so you won’t want seconds.

6. Go skinless

Cut the skin off your Christmas chicken, ham, or turkey to reduce the fat and calorie content of your meal.

7. Avoid rich desserts

When it comes to dessert rather than tucking into a big piece of Christmas pudding with custard and ice cream, have a small slice of fruit cake or pudding with some fresh fruit or a dollop of yoghurt.

8. Watch your snacking

Hold off snacking on salted peanuts, chips, and chocolate covered nuts. You are much better off going for raw mixed nuts, olives, hummus, and guacamole with crackers, oven baked pita chips and veggie sticks.

9. Serve up fruit platters

Instead of putting bowls of chocolates out for people to munch on, try fruit platters and bowls of cherries, strawberries and grapes.

10. Have seafood on the menu

Grilled or barbecued seafood makes a super healthy Christmas lunch that contains plenty of protein to help prevent you from overeating, along with providing healthy omega-3 fats.

Festive fruit platter0:19

Complete your Christmas feast with this gorgeous fruit platter.


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