Party season

A little forward planning and making the right food choices are important if you want to enjoy the festive season and still be able to get into your party outfit for New Year’s Eve. High fat nibbles and party food can be tempting for anyone watching their weight. It’s very easy to consume the equivalent of a full meal in calories by nibbling on canapés. So here are some tips for you:-

  • If you’re going to a party straight after work, have a small snack like a bowl of cereal or a yogurt before you go, so you don’t arrive hungry.
  • Studies show that the greater the choice of food on offer, the more calories we tend to consume. So rather than trying a little of everything, stick to a few smart choices.
  • If you select the healthier items first, you are less likely to pile on other higher calorie alternatives.

Party nibbles

See the table below for healthier choices:

Nibble Portion size Energy (kcal) Saturated fat (g) Lower calorie alternative Portion size Energy (kcal) Saturated fat (g)
Mini sausage roll 15g 53 1.6 Sushi 20g 30 0.1
Breaded chicken 20g 51


Chicken fajita bite 20g 25 0.4
2 cheese straws 16g 82 2.8 2 bread sticks 11g 43 0.7
Handful of tortilla crisps 20g 101 0.6 7 olives 21g 22 0.4
Soured cream dip 46g 165 12.5 Tzatziki 46g 35 1.7
Rum and cola 355ml 196 0.0 Rum and diet cola 355ml 64 0.0
Orange cream chocolate 12g 51 1.1 Satsuma 50g 20 0.0
Handful of salted peanuts 30g 181 2.9 Handful of salted popcorn 15g 71 0.2
Mince pie 67g 253 4.0 Mini mince pie 22g 84 1.8

Source: McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of Foods 2015 and retail data

Avoiding weight gain

Exercise can help to reverse some of the effects of eating too much food. If you don’t have time to follow your usual exercise pattern during the festive period, compensate by building physical activity into your daily routine.


  • Walk up the stairs rather than taking the lift or get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of your journey.
  • Rather than watching endless Christmas TV, go for a brisk walk; in 30 minutes you can use up 200 kcal (837 kJ). And if you miss something you should be able to watch it on catch up.
  • Why not get all the family up together for some family sport or activity.


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