Smart food swaps

Food nutritionist Monica Grenfell shows you how to party without piling on the pounds with her plan!

How can you avoid party pig-outs and have a chance of gliding into the New Year looking glamorous, glowing and slender?

The trick is to copy what celebs do. Faced with one party after another, meal after meal, on a daily basis, they always have an eye on calories, knowing that it’s OK to eat canapés and cakes as long as they compensate elsewhere.

Breakfast swaps:

A good breakfast is a necessary part of the day, especially if you start early or cycle/walk to work. But on holiday, you don’t need all those extra calories. The secret is to cut out all the food that isn’t nourishing, like toast, and swap it with fruit, eggs or yogurt.

Instead of:
Pain au chocolat, ½oz butter, 2tsp jam, cappuccino: 362 calories; 11g fat

Swap for:
Chocolate chip brioche roll, fresh fruit salad: 250 calories and 5g fat

Instead of:
McDonald’s Big Breakfast, cappuccino: 810 calories; 23g fat

Swap for:
McDonald’s Bacon & Egg McMuffin, filter coffee with milk: 373 calories; 5g fat

Instead of:
2 scrambled eggs on 2 slices buttered toast: 612 calories; 9g fat

Swap for:
1 poached egg on 1 slice lightly buttered toast: 200 calories, 5g fat

Monica says: ‘Never force food on people or cajole them into eating seconds. They may have health issues they don’t want to broadcast, such as high cholesterol or diabetes, or want to shed weight. Respect others and let no mean no.’

And remember: When swapping foods, lowering your intake of saturated fat is just as important as reducing calories as it can increase your blood cholesterol level, which in turn is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. All fat values stated are for saturated fat. Ideally you should consume no more than 21g a day.