Beat the buffet bulge with our party diet plan

123 couple at Christmas buffet - Bet the buffet bulge with our Christmas party diet - Diet & Wellbeing -

Follow the Home Plan or the Party Plan, depending on what you’re doing on a given day over the festive season.

Home plan

This part of the diet is for days when you don’t have a party to go to. The fact it’s very low in calories means it counteracts the extras that creep in on more sociable days, but as it’s high in protein and fibre, you won’t feel hungry. If you do, snack on a 125g pot of yoghurt or low-fat cottage cheese, half a can of tuna or a few slices of lean meat.

1 egg – boiled, scrambled or poached – with unlimited grilled mushrooms and tomatoes OR 125g pot of low-fat yoghurt or fromage frais with 1⁄2 can of tinned fruit in natural juice, or 1 piece of fresh fruit, sliced.

1⁄2 bag of any supermarket salad, with 3 slices of lean ham, beef or chicken, or 1⁄2 can of tuna or salmon OR Any can of non-creamy veg soup with 125g pot of low-fat cottage cheese and unlimited crudités.

125g chicken breast or white fish fillet, grilled, with tomatoes, mushrooms and green pepper, simmered. Serve with any green veg OR Stir-fry, steam or roast any veg and mix with 100g prawns, tofu, beef or chicken.

Party plan

This is the bit of the diet you follow on a day when you have a party, lunch or dinner to go to. All you do is choose one breakfast, plus one lunch OR dinner (depending when your party is) from the previous page. Before going out, take the edge off your appetite with one of the snacks listed. Then, when you get to your function, follow the advice given below.

At the buffet...
Choose two things you really want on the buffet table and take a serving of each no bigger than your palm (eg small mince pie, a handful of crisps, 2 mini sausage rolls, 1 tbsp potato salad), then fill the rest of your plate with any of these: prawns, smoked salmon, spicy chicken pieces, crudités with salsa or guacamole, any veg-based salad, any sliced meat, antipasto-style veg, chicken satay (but go easy on the sauce!) or any fresh fruit.

At the Christmas lunch...
Choose a starter of fruit or vegetables plus protein, such as melon and prawn cocktail. When the turkey course is served, eat as much meat as you like (but only one bit of skin) and all the veggies you like, but keep to 1 potato and 1 tbsp of stuffing. Sad to say, you’ll have to skip dessert if you’re trying to lose weight – sorry!

Hunger-busting snacks...
Low-fat yoghurt, fromage frais, plus a piece of fruit OR 1 glass of skimmed milk made into a smoothie with 1⁄2 can of peaches in juice, drained.

Seasonal booze alert

You can drink and lose weight if, on party nights, you stick to 1 to 2 of the following: small glasses of wine, spirits with diet mixers, or half-pints of lager. But bear in mind, it will slow weight loss, and any more alcohol than this will take you from weight loss to maintenance – or even weight gain.

Best buffet swaps

The more of these tasty slimmer options you switch to, the more calories you save!

• Swap Tesco Finest Jumbo Tempura (55 cals) for Sainsbury's Party Filo Prawn (18 cals) and save 37 cals
• Swap Asda Mini Beef and Veg Pasty (113 cals) for Tesco Finest Mini British Steak and Ale Pie (65 cals) and save 48 cals
• Swap Sainsbury's Party Aberdeen Angus Beef Burger (70 cals) for M&S Mini Salmon Bagel and save 20 cals
• Swap Tesco Mini Duck Spring Roll (95 cals) for Tesco Finest Chicken Dim Sum (32 calories) and save 63 cals

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