Counting calories at Christmas

-- PHOTO: FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SINGAPORE
-- PHOTO: FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SINGAPORE

Roast turkey, ham, logcakes and cookies abound at Christmas time, and can be a nightmare for those who want to eat healthily.

Fight the festive bulge by having a game plan to eat smart at parties.

Mr Jayven Low, a dietitian from Eat Right Nutrition Consultancy cautions against arriving at a party feeling ravenous.

He says: "Eat something one to two hours before the party, preferably foods which have high fibre and protein content, such as lean chicken or fish with vegetables."

At buffets, he says diners should use smaller serving plates.

He says: "It gives an illusion of having more food on the plate, so you can walk away from the counter once you have filled it."

It is also important to eat slowly, and wait around 20 minutes for the brain to register if the stomach is full.

He adds: "Make conversation during this time, and you may realise that you do not really need a second helping."

Mr Benjamin Lee, a nutritionist at the Health Promotion Board advises diners to look out for vegetables and whole grains at the dining table. Whole grains can consist of brown rice and wholemeal bread.

Mr Lee says: "These foods add bulk to your diet and make you feel full for a longer period of time."

Another tip is to give sweetened beverages a miss.

"They are a source of empty calories, with little nutritive value; choose water instead," he adds.

Here's a calorie count of the season's favourite treats:

Savouries

GPxmas(1)1212

GPxmas(2)1212

Turkeystuffing131214

Cranberrysauce131214

Gibletsauce131214

GPxmas(6)1212

Mashedpotato131214

Roastbeef131214

Sweets

GPxmas(9)1212

GPxmas(10)1212

GPxmas(11)1212

Xmaspuddingwsauce131214

Mincepie131214

GPxmas(14)1212

Gingerbreadman131214

GPxmas(16)1212

Eggnog131214

Beverages

GPxmas(20)1212

Wine131214

Kilocalorie (kcal) is a measure of energy. The daily recommended energy allowance for men is 2,600kcal and for women is 2,000kcal.

Sources: Health Promotion Board, United States Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database and MyFitnessPal

kengohsz@sph.com.sg