What to choose at festival party meals?

Christmas is here again, a lot of people will choose to go out to eat at this festive time with colleagues and relatives, For most people, this is happy time! But for those trying to lose weight it is a big challenge. Losing weight can be gaining weight if you are not careful, so for those faced with this challenge, choices are important.


With starters, a lot of people think that salads are the best choice but the calories of 1 bowl of salad can be higher than a bowl of rice. The reason is calories are coming from the sauces and dressing accompanied with the salad. One tablespoon of salad cream contains 70 kcals. You can eat as much as you want if the salad cream or dressing is separated. Then what is a health starter dish? Try to choose sandwiches, smoked salmon, cold meat etc as these are lower in calories.

Hot dishes

With hot dishes, a lot of the time there are fried noodles and rice with a lot of sauce and oil. Since these foods are common, we suggest trying some rare cuisine such as Christmas turkey. Turkey is low in fat and a good source of protein. The fat and cholesterol content is lower compared with other meats. Remember to remove the skin and fat of the turkey to avoid gaining extra fat. Apart from turkey, choose meat chops such as potato and mixed meat chops lemon sole fillet, beef steak in red wine etc. but avoid adding sauce.


With desserts, everyone is aware that they are high in sugar and fat content. For example, cakes, puddings, chocolate, chestnut tarts etc. For those dessert lovers, just try a mouthful to satisfy your appetite. But for those who are trying to lose weight, try fruit platter. Avoid tinned fruits and aim for fresh fruit selections instead. For drinks selection those who are trying to lose weight, select diet alternative fizzy drinks, sugar free drinks or water to quench thirst as these are lower in calories.

Be aware of portion sizes

Lastly, choosing the appropriate food is important but caution on portion sizes. Don’t think because it is low in calories, you can eat all you want. For example, sushi are low in calories but 6 to 8 pieces of sushi is equivalent to calories of one meal, prioritize most what you want to eat first and research what low calorie options are available. Avoiding sauce is important with fruit and vegetables but try to take as little food as possible each time and eat slowly. Once finished, set your utensils aside so that you can eat happily and healthily.

330 Tips provided by:  Ms Grace Lam  (Senior Dietitian - Centre for Nutritional Studies, School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK)

Date: 2012-12-01