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Easy Christmas Feast Swaps

With the festive season fast approaching we look forward to indulging in treats, parties and roast dinner feasts. We know that this can wreak havoc on our health and fitness goals. So I've identified some easy, and still very delicious swaps that you can try this festive season. You can also take a look at my previous blog on some tips and tricks on staying healthy throughout the festive season. Or why not take a look at my Fit & Festive Program - 30 days of easy-to-follow workouts during the festive season?

Main Course Swaps

Swap Gammon for Salmon

While the gammon brings heaps of flavours, it also brings an abundance of extra calories. Consider grilling or baking a delicious salmon as a healthier yet still scrumptious alternative. Your taste buds might just discover a new holiday favourite.

One portion of gammon = 350-450 calories

One portion of grilled or baked salmon = 200-300 calories

SAVING = 150 calories

Swap Potato Bake for Broccoli Gratin

Potatoes, with their cozy and comforting flavours, often come with an extra side of calories. But hold on, I'm not suggesting you skip the creamy joy of a potato bake entirely. How about swapping out those calorie-loaded potatoes for the green goodness of broccoli? You still get the deliciousness without the guilt. Win-win!

One portion of potato bake = 100-200 calories

One portion of broccoli gratin = 100-150 calories

SAVING = 50 calories

Dessert Swaps

Swap Mince Pies for a Healthier Option

Mince pies are a festive staple that we all love, but let's be honest—the calories from the pastry, butter, and store-bought sugary fruit can sneak up on you. Here's a healthier twist: try making your own stewed fruit and swapping the pastry for phyllo. It's a delicious, lower-calorie alternative that keeps the festive spirit alive without compromising your health goals.

Bought Mince Pie = +-200 calories

Healthier Mince Pie = +- 130 calories

SAVING = 70 calories

Swap Christmas Trifle for a Healthy Berry Trifle

Indulging in a little trifle after dinner is a Christmas dessert tradition. While the jelly might be low in calories, it's often loaded with refined sugar, making it less than ideal for a health-conscious choice. Transform this treat into a healthier option by incorporating fresh berries and opting for reduced sugar. You can still enjoy the sweetness of the season with a nutritious twist.

Shop Bought Trifle = +-130 calories

Berry & Cream Healthy Trifle = +-90 calories

SAVING = 40 calories

Swap Christmas Cake for Un-iced Christmas Cake

Christmas cake, a quintessential treat during the festive season, is a tradition in many households. However, the icing, besides being laden with sugar and other "nasties," contributes a significant amount of calories. Consider enjoying the same delightful Christmas cake flavours without the icing. This simple swap significantly reduces the calorie content, allowing you to relish the festive taste without the unnecessary sweetness. It's a win-win for your taste buds and your health.

Iced Cake = +- 200 calories

Un-iced Christmas Cake = 100-150 calories

SAVING = 100 calories

Swap Christmas Chocolates for Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Indulging in sweet treats is a festive season joy, and the post-dinner fancy chocolates (perhaps enjoyed again at midnight) are practically a tradition. How about elevating this tradition by crafting your own healthy and delicious alternatives? Try dipping strawberries in dark chocolate. This not only saves you calories but also provides a delightful dose of antioxidants. It's a simple, guilt-free twist on a classic indulgence.

Two Fancy Chocolates (although who stops at two) = 90 calories

Two Strawberries in Dark Chocolate = 90 calories

SAVING = Your health

Snack & Starter Swaps

Swap Chips & Dip for Crudités & Hummus

The festive season is undoubtedly a time for snacking, with sweet and salty treats often within arm's reach. With parties filling the calendar and unexpected guests making appearances, chips and dip become a daily affair in December. However, traditional chips are loaded with saturated fats and salt, contributing to higher cholesterol and expanding waistlines. How about a healthier swap? Opt for nutrient-dense veggie sticks and crudités, paired with low-calorie tzatziki or protein-rich hummus. It's a satisfying and guilt-free alternative to the usual snack fare.

Chips & Dip ( one serving around 30g ) = +- 100 calories

Crudités and Tzatziki (around 30g) = +- 30 calories

SAVING = 70 calories

Swap Cocktail Sausages for Wrapped Asparagus

Another indulgent snack that frequently graces Christmas tables worldwide is cocktail sausages or the even more decadent pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in pastry). These are not only processed foods often high in unhealthy fats and salt, but they are also calorie-rich. How about surprising your friends with a healthier alternative? Opt for a vegetable twist, and dazzle them with bacon-wrapped asparagus or, for an even lighter option, melon wrapped in prosciutto. It's a flavourful choice that's kinder to your health.

Pigs in a Blanket (1 sausage) = +-100 calories

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus (1 stalk) = +- 20 calories

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon (1 slice) = +- 30 calories

Swap Cheese Straws for Bread Sticks

A simple yet noticeable swap is transitioning from a cheesy breadstick to a regular one. The golden rule is, that anything with added cheese tends to soar in terms of calories. Choosing the plain version can be an effortless way to cut down on those extra calories while still enjoying a tasty treat.

Cheese Straw ( 1 straw) = +- 50 calories

Breadstick (1 stick) = +-30 calories SAVING = 20 calories

Embrace the festive cheer and indulge in holiday delights while staying true to your health and fitness goals. These simple switches in your Christmas feast allow you to enjoy the season without the worry of excess calories. Give these easy swaps a shot and experience the joy of a healthy and delightful festive celebration!

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