Survive the festive season: all you need to know to fend off the festive flab

Read this essential guide to surviving the festive season by Fiona Kirk Nutritionist and author of the best selling ‘2 Weeks in the Fast Lane’ diet book www.fatbustforever.com

The guide attached provides all you need to know to fend off the festive flab – plus a few additional pointers below.

As we all know buffets have the potential to make or break a healthy eating plan. On the one hand, there are usually plenty of dishes to choose from, which makes it easier to select nibbles with a lower calorie content. On the other hand, it’s tempting to sample every single item!

1. Always have a light snack a few hours before arriving at a party. If you turn up having starved yourself all day, you’re more likely to become a permanent fixture at the buffet table and will almost certainly overindulge when faced with a mountain of delicious food.

2. Don’t hover, stand or constantly drift towards the buffet table – you’ll end up constantly picking, nibbling or munching on tasty morsels and quickly forget just how much you’ve eaten. The easiest way to control the amount you eat is to fill your plate just once and then move away from the food.

3. Choose your nibbles carefully if you want to keep your Christmas halo firmly in place. Avoid pastry items such as sausage rolls, quiche, vol-au-vents, spring rolls and flans. And steer clear of anything that’s been deep-fried, such as crispy wontons or battered prawns. Skipping the garlic bread, crisps and peanuts will save loads of calories – as will avoiding anything that comes with mayo or soured cream such as coleslaw, potato salad and creamy dips.

Instead, opt for lean beef, chicken, turkey, ham, smoked salmon, fresh prawns, salads without mayo, French bread (without the butter), crudités,
breadsticks, salsa, tzatziki and small slices of pizza.

4. If canapés or nibbles are constantly being offered to you while you’re chatting, avoid the temptation by keeping your hands full. A napkin in one hand and a glass in the other should do the trick. Alternatively, keep your hands busy by taking plates of canapés or snacks around for other guests.

5. Choose your accompaniments for cheese carefully. Chunks of French bread and butter or a handful of cream crackers will double the calories.

Instead, go for water biscuits, crispbreads or breadsticks – and fill up on the grapes, celery and fruit.

6. Avoid ‘fizzy mixers’ at all costs – they are full of sugar and even the diet alternatives increase your desire for more of that sugar hit and consequently more alcohol.

7. Avoid ALL ‘lite’ beers, ‘alcopops’ and ‘ready mixed’ spirit-based cocktails – sugar, sugar, sugar!

8. Aim for good quality wine or champagne, spirits on the rocks or with natural unsweetened fruit juice.

9. Cocktails can be dangerous and often high in sugar, but if you stick to Breezes, Martinis, Sours, Manhattans, Screwdrivers, Punches and Pimms (no
sugar added, just the sweetness from the fruit), you shouldn’t get into too much trouble! And, don’t forget the highly nutritious, satisfying and delicious.

10. It’s a favourite trick, but mix white wine with soda water to make it last twice as long and half the calories. If you can’t bear to dilute it, opt for a dry white or red wine as these contain fewer calories than sweeter wines.

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