Holiday eating

Tips for eating out:

  • Be careful with buffet meals or “eat as much as you can” offers.  If you need to go to a buffet, survey the whole choice available first and then choose the food you would like and put it on a plate. Try not to return to the buffet table for seconds. Try to choose one protein, one starch and lots of veggies
  • Careful of sauces, they are generally high in fat. If a meal has a sauce or dressing, ask for it on the side, rather than on the meal
  • Drinks can add extra calories to your meal. Restrict the amount of alcohol you drink. Drink more water or diet drinks with your meal.
  • Beware of the bread basket before the meal.
  • If you need to eat a two or three course meal choose a vegetable e.g. soup or salad as a starter and fruit as a dessert.
  • Avoid fried and creamy options.
  • Control your portions. If the portion is too big, rather take leftovers home.

Tips for Christmas lunches and dinners:

Meat and Chicken

  • Trim off all fat from meat before cooking and remove chicken skin.
  • Try grilling or baking instead of frying.
  • If you use oil, limit it to 1 teaspoon per person.
  • If you make a meat casserole or soup, skim fat off the top before serving.

Tips for roast dinners

  • Cook the meat or chicken in a pan on a drip tray to allow the fats and juices to run away.
  • Bake the potatoes on a separate tray.
  • Make the gravy using gravy powder, instead of juices from the meat.
  • If using meat juices, skim fat off, mix with a stock cube and water, and heat until reduced.

Remember dish up your vegetables first and have half a plate of vegetables with your meals.

Tips for potatoes

  • Avoid deep fried potatoes.
  • Boil or mash potatoes with low fat milk and low fat spread.
  • Bake potatoes in the oven.
  • Cut potatoes into wedges, drizzle or spray lightly with oil and bake in the oven.

Instead of cream

  • For savoury dishes try adding low fat natural yoghurt after cooking, instead of cream.
  • For desserts, try custard made with low fat milk or use low fat yoghurt.


  • Stay active during the holiday since exercise burns calories and helps you to maintain your weight.
  • Exercise can be fun:
  • Go for walks with the family or dogs, on the beach, in the park or in the neighbourhood
  • Meet a friend for a game of golf, tennis or squash
  • Work in the garden
  • Swim in the sea or at home
  • If you can, walk to the shops instead of driving
  • Cycling
  • Play beach bats on the beach
  • Rowing
  • Dancing
  • Or try to continue with your normal exercise routine whether it is jogging or going to the gym

On the road:

  • Packing “padkos” can be part of the fun. Add the following to the basket and keep sweets, crisps and cold drinks to a minimum:
  • Fruit, dried fruit
  • Cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, baby corn, mangetout, snap peas
  • Healthy sandwiches, preferably on whole what or seed bread with fillings such as chicken, egg, tuna, cottage cheese and lots of salad. Choose low fat mayonnaise or margarine and don’t use both.
  • Lean biltong, Pretzels, Nuts and Homemade popcorn
  • Yoghurt