With food playing such a central role in Christmas celebrations, it’s easy to eat until you’re as stuffed as the turkey. Try these tips from leading dietitians to eat well on Christmas Day — while still enjoying yourself.

1. Be mindful: Know when enough’s enough.

“Pay attention to feelings of hunger and fullness and stop eating when you’re comfortably full — not when you’re uncomfortable, ” says Pip Golley, and spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia.

Jo-Anne Dembo, from Diet By D’Zyne, says it is important not to waste calories on foods you don’t really want. “The calories are difficult to burn off, so make sure every mouthful is worth its calories, ” she says.

2. Start with a healthy breakfast.

Ms Golley suggests these great breakfasts to kickstart your Christmas:

  • Bircher muesli
  • Home-prepared vegetable juice
  • Poached eggs, spinach, mushroom and tomato
  • Wholemeal pancakes with berries and yoghurt
3. Don’t forget about the greens.

Margaret Hays, of The Nutrition Specialists, says half-fill your plate with vegetables or salads. “It’s the same message as any other time of year, ” she says.

“If people keep it simple and still have that large portion of salad or vegetables, it makes the situation easy.”

4. Drinks count

Many people forget that alcohol is laden with calories.

“Pace alcohol intake with sugar-free drinks such as sparkling mineral water, ” Ms Hays says. And skip the fruit juice.

5. Treat yourself to seafood.

Lauren McGuckin, says to take advantage of a low calorie, yummy source of protein: seafood.

“The beauty of Christmas in Australia is all the seafood that we’re very privileged to enjoy, ” she says.

“Include more of the seafood options on your buffet spread.”. Did you know that 16 large prawns will set you back just 420 kilojoules (roughly 100 calories) — that’s the same as half a small, 60g mince pie, Ms McGuckin says.


© The West Australian

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