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t‟s that time when most of us start to increase our calorie intake culminating in an all year


high on December 25. Did you know that you can consume up to 6,000 calories during a typical Christmas day? That‟s three times the daily recommended intake for women and more than twice that of men! Over indulgence is part and parcel of


Christmas, but I have a few simple ideas that may help you limit weight gain while still enjoying the festive fayre. The traditional turkey is a healthy choice as it


is high in protein so helps fill you up and lower in fat and calories than goose or duck. Remove the skin as this is where most of the fat is stored. Prick the turkey to allow the fat to drain out before cooking. Choose white meat, such as the breast as it is lower in fat and calories. Make your own stuffing if possible with, for


example, chestnuts. Chestnuts contain 2.7 grams of fat per 100 grams compared to sausage meat which contains 32 grams of fat per 100 grams. Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate,


giving us energy. Cut the potatoes into larger chunks as they will absorb less fat than smaller pieces and cook them in vegetable, olive or sunflower oil instead of lard. Have plenty of vegetables with your Christmas


dinner as they are low in fat and calories as long as you don‟t drown them in butter. Eat a variety of different coloured vegetables to maximise nutrient intake. Do not add salt to the water when cooking your vegetables. Try adding herbs instead and consider steaming them instead of boiling to limit nutrient loss. Making healthy gravy is quick and easy. Stock


cubes and granules should be avoided as these can be very high in salt and a high salt intake may increase blood pressure. If you boil your vegetables use the cooking water for the gravy. The turkey juices can also be used, but skim the fat from the surface before using them. Use low fat or vegetarian sausages and lean


back bacon to make the traditional sausage and bacon rolls. If you have Christmas pudding, have a small


portion because it is high in calories and moderate the custard or cream you pour over it. You could opt for a healthy dessert by stewing your favourite fruits and serving with plain yoghurt. Be aware how many calories are in your


favourite tipple: Medium glass of white wine (175ml) 130 calories


Medium glass of red wine (175ml) 120 calories


One pint of 5% lager One pint of cider


One pint of bitter/ale Liqueur (50ml)


240-250 calories 180-250 calories 180-230 calories 100-170 calories


Drinking alcohol also reduces the amount of fat


your body burns for energy so if you are trying to avoid putting on weight, drink in moderation. I hope that I haven‟t been the bearer of doom


and gloom, but have given you some easy ideas that will prevent those extra pounds piling on. Finally, enjoy your Christmas.


Michelle Marshall


If you have any questions about nutrition you can email Michelle at Michelle.marshall@wiseaboutfood.co.uk


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