Attention Whitekirkers, the average weight gain over the festive season is 5lbs – that’s the equivalent of a medium sized turkey! However, nobody likes a killjoy so it pays to use clever food and drink swaps to minimise the damage! I don’t believe in calorie counting per se as I think it is always better to use common sense.

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.
Turkey is a healthy meat but not when you have it with the butter or goose fat. A top tip is to prick the skin before you cook it to allow the fat to drain out.

Swap farmed Turkey for a leaner, less fatty organic bird to save on calories and improve taste. It costs more so you’ll eat less overall too!

Switch fatty sausage stuffing for chestnut stuffing that is much lower in fat and is good source of potassium.

For some people roast potatoes are the highlight of Christmas dinner. That oil triples the calorie count and more than quadruples the fat content! So, for roast dinners over the festive period opt for or baked potato except on the big day itself when a little indulgence is called for!

Increase your vegetable intake instead – you can go far wrong with those brussels sprouts!
Puddings are my favourite part of dinner. Swap Christmas pudding with double cream to a smaller portion with Greek yoghurt – or go for a low fat Greek yoghurt trifle.

And lastly why not buy local? We usually order all ours from the lovely folks at Knowes Farm at Tyningham. Locally produced and delicious.

Good luck!

Amanda Hamilton

North Berwick’s Amanda Hamilton is one of the UK’s most popular nutritionists and health gurus, contributing regularly to TV, press, online and public sector. She also runs her own online healthy diet system and healthy holiday company. She’s a member of Whitekirk Leisure Club and will be contributing a weekly post with tips on health and nutrition.