6 Christmas Dinner Hacks
The Christmas dinner, it’s a meal we wait for all year and we don’t hold back! The average adult is said to consume around 6000 calories over the day!
From the cooked breakfast and stocking treats first thing in the morning, to nibbles and a glass of fizz or a good old fashioned beer. Then onto the main event followed by puddings, cheese and biscuits and lots of after dinner chocolates. Some will find room too for turkey sandwiches just before bed! All this will be washed down with plenty of lovely alcohol. It’s easy to see how the calories quickly stack up.
Check out these simple hacks to help minimise the consequences and the guilt 😉
- Turkey is a very lean meat and is packed full of protein and B vitamins which aid energy production. The skin however, is where most of the fat is. Simply remove this when eating and you’ll save around 40cals. Breast meat is lower in fat than the darker meat from the thigh and drumsticks too and if you’re going to use the meat juices to make the gravy, make sure you drain off the fat first.
- Try to keep the vegetables to steamed or boiled rather than cooked with bacon, nuts or oils. This will help to give you a much needed boost of vitamins and minerals whilst keeping salt and fat levels low. Try to avoid coating them with butter as this will add about 75cals per portion.
- Stuffing, whilst delicious, contains around 32g of fat per serving so think carefully before loading the plate with a large portion. Look for alternative recipes that are lower in fat such as chestnut stuffing.
- Some of the best parts of the Christmas dinner are the roast potatoes, the pigs in blankets, the bread sauce, cranberry sauce and many other little treats. These all pack a serious punch though and will add 100’s of calories to the plate if you’re not careful. Aim for chipolata sausages rather than full size and use lean cuts of bacon rather than streaky. When it comes to the roasties, try to minimise the amount of oil used by using a low calorie cooking spray rather than goose fat, lard, or butter. Also, take one or 2 less than you would like to. Every little helps.
- Christmas pudding is reasonably low calorie, but be careful not to massively increase this by covering it in brandy butler or double cream, try low fat yoghurt as a healthier alternative. You could also choose a fruit salad instead. Keep your hands out of the chocolate box or take one or two and put the rest away out of reach. It’s easier to keep picking mindlessly whilst watching a Christmas film!
- Last but not least, alcohol! There are 7 calories per gram of alcohol and there are no nutritional benefits, unlike the other macro nutrients. Instead of drinking creamy drinks like Bristol cream or eggnog, try a gin and tonic. Other spirits and mixers will help to keep the units of alcohol to a minimum too. Try to drink water in-between every alcoholic drink you have as this will help to spread them out throughout the day and reduce the amount you have.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll save a few calories here and there which will help to reduce the impact of the day. It could take up to 7 hours of intense exercise to burn off the calories from this one indulgent meal. Whilst Christmas dinner is a treat for the whole family, don’t let it derail you from all of your hard work. Try to workout a little over the festive period too as this will also help to keep you on track.
However, above all, if you chose to enjoy your Christmas Day dinner and deal with the consequences later, don’t feel guilty. It’s only once a year. Enjoy it and make sure you get back on track to healthier eating habits sooner rather than later.