Yes, it’s the season to be jolly, but don’t let too much merry-making leave you with a paunch that Santa would be proud of. According to research, most of us pile on two kilograms over Chrimbo – thanks to a whopping 500 extra calories a day from all that nibbling. So, want to defy the buffet without being a party pooper? Your wish is our command!
One glass of mulled wine = 245 calories Swap for... two and a half glasses of red wine
This sugar-laced seasonal fave is one of the worst drinks for your waistline. Sip on a glass or two of antioxidant-rich red wine instead. which will hit the spot without packing in the extra calories.
One slice of Christmas cake = 249 calories Swap for... one baked apple with sultanas and cinnamon
The quintessential Christmas dessert packs a hefty calorie-laden punch. With over eight grams of fat in a 70 gram slice of Christmas cake, a baked apple at 110 calories will still satisfy your sweet tooth without doubling your fat intake.
Three bite-size quiches = 180 calories Swap for... one small handful of green olives
Quiches and other pastry-based foods contain around 50 per cent fat, while heart-friendly olives are a great source of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, and won’t have you cursing the scales come January.
Five cocktail sausages = 300 calories Swap for... Sushi
Avoid deep-fried finger foods at all costs. One tiny cocktail sausage contains five grams of fat and 60 calories, while two kappa maki (cucumber rolls) contain the same amount of calories, but no fat.
Half a cup of mixed salted nuts = 440 calories Swap for... 10 celery sticks with hummus
Skip the salt! Aside from being laden with belly-bloating sodium, nuts contain over 22 grams of fat per handful. Instead, get stuck into the crudities, and nibble ona celery sticks dipped in low fat hummus, which is a great source of vitamin C – as well as being packed with protein.
Buffet the diet slayer
They may be small, but those nibbles are deadly!
1Alternate each alcoholic drink you consume with a glass of water, and top up half a glass of white wine with some carbonated water.
2Stick to the one handful rule. Allow yourself no more than one handful of nuts or crisps – or anything processed.
3Ditch the pastry around the top of mince pies to cut a third of the calories.
4Stick to the high-protein canapes such as grilled fish, sushi, smoked salmon, cold meats, unsalted nuts or hummus. They will fill you up for longer and aren’t packed with as many calories.
5Just stay away from mince pies altogether! To burn off one, you’ll need to do around 30 minutes of brisk walking.