Fit and festive this Christmas

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Christmas Meal At Home

Finally the festive season is nearly upon us – the time to eat, drink and be merry.

Being restrained is probably the last thing on your mind and we’re certainly not going to tell you to abstain from tasty treats over the holidays!

However, if you want to enjoy Christmas but still make it just a tiny bit healthier, then here’s some simple tips to keep you on the right track.

Party time

If you’re heading to a restaurant for your xmas party take a look at the Heart of Derbyshire scheme for places that offer smaller portions and other healthier options. Find out more at

Other ways of making parties less stodgy and more social include:

  • Try to share starters or desserts with a willing friend
  • Eat regular meals and snacks before heading out. That way you won’t arrive starving and you’re less likely to overindulge.
  • Focus on socialising. Move the conversation away from the food table so you’re less likely to nibble
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a low calorie soft drink – this reduces your calorie intake

Christmas day

When the big day arrives, it will be a frenzy of food, drink and nibbles. But if you’d like to make the main event a little more virtuous here’s a few ideas that don’t scrimp on taste:

  • Serve plenty of vegetables – cut potatoes and parsnips into large pieces for roasting as they’ll absorb less fat
  • Swop some of your roast potatoes for sweet potatoes – more fibre and very tasty
  • Brussel sprouts contain more vitamin C than oranges. Lightly steaming them will preserve and give a sweeter taste
  • Before you cook your turkey or goose, prick the skin to allow the fat to drain out. Removing the skin once cooked will also cut down considerably on fat
  • Make bread sauce healthier by using semi-skimmed milk and add a clove of garlic to the milk to add flavour
  • Make open-top mince pies. Using less pastry cuts down on calories and fat. Alternatively, use filo pastry, which is thinner and lower in calories than traditional pastry.
  • For some healthier snacks try our home made tortilla chips and salsa here.

Don’t forget to try and make time to get active too. A walk on Christmas day or Boxing day helps prevent the post lunch slump and will give you a much needed boost of energy.

If you’re in the mood to make some changes in the New Year then take a look at Live Life Better Derbyshire.

It’s a free service that helps with things like weight management, active lifestyles and smoking support. Find out more at


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