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One of the first things that comes to mind when we think of Christmas is food and drink, and lots of it! Christmas isn’t seen as a good time of year for anyone on a healthy routine, and it doesn’t matter if you are watching what you eat for health reasons, disease or weight loss there’s just so much temptation is quite scary.

However, this doesn’t mean to say that you must stuff your face all the way through December and into the New Year. The average person on Christmas day goes through roughly 6000 calories, and remember ladies you should be consuming 2000 and men 2500.

Obviously this is an average and not everyone eats that much, but this is a huge amount of calories from food and drink for anyone to have especially in one day!

Start your day with a good breakfast. Not a mince pie and chocolate orange, but include some fruit and protein such as salmon or eggs. This will keep you full until later and therefore stop you from craving the nibbles.

Load your plate with veg and turkey. Turkey is a good source of protein and, without the skin, is low in fat. It provides B vitamins, which you need for energy production.

The skin on a turkey, or any other roasted poultry, is where most of the fat is. If you remove the skin you can save around 40kcal per portion. Light meat also has slightly fewer calories than dark meat, so choose breast instead of leg or thigh.

With your stuffing use chestnuts. They are low in fat and a good source of potassium, which we need for healthy kidneys, so choose a chestnut or fruit-based stuffing instead of sausage meat.

Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate and are almost fat free (before they're roasted in oil or fat). Baked potatoes are just as tasty but much better for you. You could always opt for sweet potato which have a much lower carb content and taste much nicer too.

To make low-fat gravy, pour the turkey juices into a jug and wait for the fat to rise to the surface. Then carefully pour or spoon off the fat before using the juices to make gravy.

Gravy can be high in salt. Too much salt may increase blood pressure. If you have gravy, try not to add salt to your meal.

Once you’ve eaten and drunk your dinner, don’t just head for the couch and stay there, go out and have a walk. This could be just 30 minutes, but this will let your food reach your stomach and therefore let you realise you are full and stop you hitting those after dinner chocolates straight away.

All the serious stuff is now said, so the last thing for me to say is have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.

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