Cut calories: healthy Christmas dinner swaps

Christmas is known as a time of excess, and 60 per cent of British women find the festive season a definite danger zone for dieting.

If you want to keep an eye on your weight this Christmas, here's how to cut calories from your Christmas dinner without sacrificing the taste.



Turkey is a great source of protein and low in fat; if you eat it without the skin, that is. Removing the skin after cooking can save around 40kcal per portion. Also prick the skin before cooking to allow any fat to drain out.

100g of butter-basted turkey, with skin on: 146kcal, 4.9g fat
100g of skinless turkey: 104kcal, 2g fat

Potatoes vs. parnsips

Parnsips contain half the fat of potatoes, according to Diet Chef, so try and substitute them as much as possible.

Portion of roast potatoes: 189 kcal, 9g fat.
Portion of roast parsnips: 143 kcal, 4g fat.


Chestnuts are low in fat and a good source of potassium, which is needed for healthy kidneys. Instead of a sausage meat stuffing, choose a chestnut or fruit-based version.

100g of sausage meat stuffing: 252 kcal, 16g fat.
100g of cranberry, orange and roast chestnut stuffing: 162 kcal, 0.8g fat.

Custard vs. cream

While cream is the traditional accompaniment to Christmas pudding, go for custard, which has a significantly reduced fat and calorie content.

Portion of cream: 314 kcal, 28g fat.
Portion of custard: 148 kcal, 7g fat.


The Christmas period involves more nibbles than any other time of the year. Choose your snacks wisely by swapping crisps for popcorn, which has a significantly reduced fat content.

Portion of crisps: 536 kcal, 33g fat.
Portion of popcorn: 375 kcal, 4.3g fat.