It wouldn't be Christmas without party buffet tables groaning under the weight of decadent delights and stressed-out hosts pressing calorie-laden canapes on their guests. We've tracked down the top 10 party food swaps to ensure you don't begin the New Year with a brand new paunch.
When you're offered a drink, it's not unusual for it to arrive with a bowl of snacks. More often then not, these will be crisps, peanuts or olives. Head straight for the olives and you'll consume around 35 calories for every 10 you eat. Munch on 50g of peanuts (a small handful) and you'll be eating around 300 calories and consuming more than a third of the RDA of fat for women.
Bread stick/cheese straw
Make sure you grab a bread stick (21 calories) if you're feeling peckish, rather than a cheese straw, which has double the number of calories.
A small serving (30g) of Stilton will rack up around 120 calories and that's before you add a biscuit, piece of french bread or oatcake to the equation. Have a couple of thin slices of Emmental (20g) on a slice of Ryvita for around 80 calories instead.
Filo pastry/puff pastry
Avoid canapes which are buried in a sea of puff pastry. Four mushroom vol-au-vents total approximately 400 calories - the same as a tuna and tomato sandwich or a slice of chocolate cake. Look for canapes wrapped in filo pastry to cut the calorie count in half.
Go for a few slices of chicken breast (170 calories for every 100g) and add some green salad to your plate to help you feel full, instead of eating pork sausages, which contains around 300 calories per 100g.
Who said you had to make sacrifices to save calories? Choose a standard flute of champagne (90 calories) instead of a small (37ml) glass of cream liqueur (130 calories).
If you munch on 100g of king prawns (not the deep-fried variety) with some chilli dip, you'll consume a mere 80 calories. Compare this to wolfing down 100g of sausage rolls, where you'd be eating at least 480 calories.
If you're craving something sweet during your night out, don't fall in the mince pie trap. Depending on the size and ingredients, a mince pie can cost you around 250 calories. Grab a black coffee to sober up and add a couple of luxury chocolates to save at least 100 calories.
Avoid garnishing your dessert with a dollop of brandy butter - two tablespoons of the stuff has around 160 calories. Choose some low-fat custard instead to save 110 calories.
If you're handed a glass of alcoholic eggnog and you're watching your weight, it might be best to pour it into the nearest pot plant. Eggnog contains an average of 400 calories per glass, so choose a glass of mulled wine to cut the calorie count by 200.
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