Get the Scoop on Nutrition with Emma Stirling

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The scoop on bubbly and beyond for silly season survival

Emma Stirling

Emma Stirling APD

Want the scoop on how can you let your hair down and sneak in a few more celebrations? Here are a few tried and true tips from party people who don’t want to pile on the pounds.

Bubbles of trouble The ‘spirit’ of Christmas can be a real trap so try to moderate your alcohol intake. Go for the increasing range of lower calorie bubbly, beer and now wine brands. Remember that low carb beers do not automatically equal lower kilojoule and light beers are often the better choice. Space your alcohol with diet soft drinks or sparkling water and include low-joule or no-joule mixers like soda water. And go easy on the pre-mixes and cocktails. Even mocktails and those labeled ‘skinny’, can be high in calories thanks to that cream and fruit juice.

  • # Scoop 1: Stretch one standard champagne into two by adding a dash of pureed peach with a splash of soda.

Party plan If the invites are stacking up like presents under the tree, aim to eat a healthy dinner or bowl of salad before you party. Or go for smaller portions, lighter snacks and lunches on the day of a big night out, to compensate for the extra calories in canapés. It only takes a few high-fat pastry items and deep-fried morsels to tip the balance towards weight gain. Stick to lighter options like freshly shucked oysters, vegetable crudités with hummus dip, rice paper rolls with Asian dressing, sushi and fresh asparagus with a citrus vinaigrette.

  • # Scoop 2: Focus on the dancing and mingling, well away from the waiters, and if it’s a local party, clock up some additional activity and stroll home.

Bountiful buffets Family and neighborhood get-togethers too often turn into eat feasts because everyone likes to chip in and bring a dessert, creamy dip or signature dish. So there is usually way too much food, not to mention a fridge groaning with leftovers the next day or longer. It’s a good idea to try and co-ordinate the menu by delegating or negotiating particular items with your guests be it family, neighbours or friends. Limit the choices and go for gourmet goodies with emphasis on quality over quantity. You may like to treat your guests to seafood with beautiful salmon or tuna fillets or cater for one choice steak per person. You don’t need the whole mixed grill. Finish off with a huge platter of fresh fruit with just a sprinkle and twinkle of Christmas candy or chocolate.

  • # Scoop3: Stock up on takeaway tubs and share the leftovers around

Emma Stirling is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and health writer with over ten years experience writing for major publications. She is editor of The Scoop on Nutrition – a blog by expert dietitians. Check it out for hot news bites.