It’s that time of year again – when office parties, festive treats and a bucketload of booze gets consumed.
But according to the experts, there are some simple ways you can avoid weight gain over Christmas – and it needn’t mean missing out on the fun times.
Jessica Spendlove, from Health and Performance Collective, tells New Idea that Christmas is a time to relax and celebrate.
But with some simple food swaps you can enjoy yourself without adding unwanted kilos.
Ditching sour cream in favour of Greek yoghurt and pasta for zucchini noodles are just two simple ways you can cut calories, she says.
Creamed spinach can be swapped for sautéed spinach and instead of a potato bake, she suggest roasting a try of vegetables in the oven.
Home-made hummus is a better option than French onion dip, according to the expert, and high sugar cocktail mixes can be swapped for kombucha for a healthier alternative.
Plus if seafood is on the menu for you this Christmas, Jessica suggests avoiding the fryer and opting to have it fresh instead.
Fiona Tuck, an Australian nutritionist and author of The Forensic Nutritionist, has some simple recipes that could help you stick to your goals.
‘Replace sugar laden fizzy drinks with sparkling mineral water infused with fruit,’ she suggests.
‘Cut a passion fruit in half and add the entire fruit to the water with slices of lime for a delicious refreshing calorie free soft drink.’
When it comes to which drinks to opt for to avoid weight gain, Fiona suggests white spirits such as gin are your best option.
‘Mix with sparkling mineral water and a dash of cranberry juice or passion fruit infused fizz,’ she suggests.
‘Minimise sugary mixers and creamy cocktails and add mineral water and ice to white wine or choose champagne or low carb beer,’ she adds.
The expert also says it’s wise to eat before you head to a Christmas party.
‘Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to an eating frenzy at the buffet or canape tray,’ Fiona tells New Idea.
‘Have a salad or smoothie before heading out to avoid blood sugar dips, mindless eating and a stop at the kebab shop on the way home.’
Fiona also suggests taking healthy food as a gift when seeing friends.
‘Your friends will appreciate the gesture and you know that you have something healthy to eat,’ she says.
‘Take a delicious mixed salad or a big bowl of fresh fruit salad so you can fill your plate with the good stuff allowing a little room for a few extra treats.’
Finally, Fiona says it’s important not to deny yourself.
‘Remember it is Christmas after all, a time of celebration not deprivation,’ she says.
‘If you really want that slice of pavlova have it and enjoy it.
'If you completely deprive yourself it is not sustainable, you will end up giving in after one too many champers devouring the entire left overs straight from the fridge!’