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Losing weight over Christmas just doesn't happen unless you have gallstones, but you don't have to put on weight. Here are some tips to keep you trimmer than granny's turkey.
It's a catastrophic minefield for dieters. If you're in charge of cooking, remove turkey skin and eat the white breast meat, which is less likely to have basted in its own fat. Have only one or two pigs-in-blankets because they are dripping with fat, and will result in congestion worse than the M1 on the Christmas drive home.
You could also make your roast potatoes big; you won't eat so much of the fat-drenched skins if you're full of fluffy insides. And if you use meat juice to make the gravy, skim the fat first. Researchers say that skimming the fat layer saves 100 calories per tablespoon.
If you're not cooking (lucky!) you can still load up with veggies and help clear the plates so no one can see what you've left behind.
You can't go wrong with melon, strawberries or raspberries in Greek yogurt. If you can get away with a fruit dessert you'll save a gazillion calories - that's a scientific measurement. If not, stick to one small pudding portion and don't pour on extra cream.
Avoid the deep fried bits such as spicy chicken wings, and don't even look at those chipolatas. Try eating a snack before you head out to a fat-filled buffet so you don't lose control.
Don't leave tins of Quality Street lying around. Keep all chocolate in an awkward-to-reach place as you're less likely to graze on them. You can also cut down on what you actually buy. We all put that Stilton in the bin anyway. Save the cash for sale shopping.
Go for strong-tasting cheese so you eat less, and keep lots of healthy snacks in place of chocolate ones. Oh, and have lots of Christmas walks to burn off some excess fat and sugar.
And by that I mean a healthy one, with bran in some form. Eating chocolate and drinking alcohol in the AM sets you up for a cyclonic sugar-dependency vortex. You'll be like Pac-man on steroids. Start the day with Bran Flakes, or if you want to indulge, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and wholemeal toast will stabilise your blood sugar.
Alcohol is a major calorie source at this time of year. A large glass of wine has as many calories as a Cornetto, so make every third drink a sparkling water. This will keep you hydrated as well as cutting down on your calorie intake - not to mention the hangover. Lager drinkers can go for a lager top. Cream-filled drinks such as Baileys are calorific so avoid those (and keep them away from pets).
If you don't want to go sale shopping and buy a bigger size, you'll need to keep a lid on what you consume this Christmas and New Year.
Stick to standard portions, monitor your alcohol intake and keep drinking water, but don't panic if you indulge a few times. Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself. If you eat sensibly and exercise over the following weeks, those few extra calories will disappear.
For more information and weight loss tips, visit our weight loss page.