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Tips for a Healthy Christmas

• Start the day with a healthy breakfast, something like fruit salad and yoghurt would be a good choice. If you start the day with a healthy breakfast you'll be less tempted to nibble during the morning.

• For the main meal keep the starter light and simple – it means less work for whoever's doing the cooking and less calories and fat. Good choices include melon and Parma ham, or smoked salmon or shellfish.

• Choosing a stuffing made from chestnuts or dried fruits instead of the traditional sausage meat stuffing and you'll also save about 100 calories and 11g fat per serving.

• Bigger is always better particularly when you're talking about roast potatoes. Larger potatoes absorb less fat during roasting. Par boil potatoes first, then brush with a little olive oil before finishing off in the oven.

• Make bread sauce with skimmed milk rather than full fat. Choose low fat chipolatas and make bacon rolls with lean bacon rather than streaky.

• Break with tradition – save the Christmas pudding for Boxing day. On Christmas day serve something light like tropical fruit salad or champagne sorbet with fresh berries.

• Serve Christmas pudding with Greek yoghurt or custard rather than double cream or brandy butter.

• Rather than slumping in front of the telly after lunch go for a brisk walk or a gentle bike ride. A breath of fresh air will help clear your head and in just 30 minutes you can burn 200 calories – the equivalent to one mince pie.

Give that hangover the heave ho-ho:
Don't drink on an empty stomach. Food helps mop up the alcohol, preventing it from passing directly into your bloodstream.

Take more water with it. Hangovers are caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol.

If your befuddled brain can cope with it, take a dose of paracetamol, ibruprofen or morning-after medication before falling into bed.

Get fresh and fruity. Vitamin C can alleviate the worst effects, and juices or smoothies are the easiest way to get it down you.

Blow away the fug. A brisk walk or some gentle exercise will help return the metabolism to normal.

Restorative brew. No, not lager: the caffeine in tea or coffee will give you a kick-start while rehydrating your system.

Try a large glass of apple juice, sweetened with a little honey, topped up with a little sparkling water. It's gentler on the stomach than orange juice and provides an instant hit of glucose which will help restore blood sugar levels, vitamin C and fluid to rehydrate the body.

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