How to survive Christmas excess

Sports nutritionist Matt Lovell tells you how to make merry... with caution

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TURKEY

“Turkey is an excellent source of low-fat protein,” says sports nutritionist Matt Lovell. “It also has high levels of tryptophan and amino acids which helps build serotonin, the sleep hormone.” Good if you need some recovery time.

One 100g serving 160 calories, 20g protein, 0g carbs, 8g fat.

SPROUTS

“An excellent vegetable to fill up on,” says Lovell. “Sprouts are loaded with fibre and powerful antioxidants that will help speed detoxification after making merry.”

One 90g serving 32 calories, 2.8g protein, 2.9g carbs, 1.2g fat

ROAST POTATOES

“You can get away with these energy-dense starchy carbs if oven roasted in a little olive oil, garlic, onions and peppercorns,” says Lovell. “Deep fried in goose fat they are not so healthy…”

One 150g serving 120 cals, 3g protein, 22g carbs, 4g fat

CRANBERRY SAUCE

No stuffed bird is complete without it, and the good news is, cranberries are a superfood! “Make your own to reduce the high amount of sugar in shop bought varieties,” says Lovell. Use fruit juice instead of caster sugar for the bonus of vitamin C.”

One 2tbsp serving 50 calories, 0g protein, 13g carbs, 0g fat

MINCE PIES

“This is a food I’d personally avoid,” says Lovell. “Eat Christmas pudding instead, which is full of dried fruit making it a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants.” But if you do really want a pie, resist cream. “One mince pie and cream could pack over 500 calories,” says Lovell.

One pie (no cream) 260 cals, 3g protein, 42g carbs, 9g fat.

MULLED WINE

A warming glühwein fills you with Christmas spirit and can promote good health. “The spices in mulled wine are excellent for you,” says Lovell. Cloves are anti-inflammatory and high in electrolytes, so a good recovery drink. “And as it is heated some of the alcohol content boils off”. Two glasses it is then!

One glass 227 calories, 0g protein, 29g carbs, 0g fat

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Photo by Rebecca Wiggins on Unsplash

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