OVER the festive period it is easy to get carried away with the celebrations and over-indulge on treats – food and drink! However, there are some easy Christmas diet alternatives that can help you keep control of your calorie intake, but allow you to enjoy the Christmas period.

1. Santastic snacks
WITH a lot of mince pies, cakes and chocolate selection boxes lying around, it is to snack on these foods. However, they are largely full of sugars which will negatively affect your body composition and your performance in both training and competition. Snacks such as mixed nuts, milk or salmon and cheese crackers offer a great source of protein, a small amount of slow-release carbohydrates and a good portion of healthy fats. This will help you maintain and build your muscle mass, and remain healthy without putting on fat mass – the perfect boxing combination!

2. Carb crackers
GENERALLY speaking, carbohydrate sources that are white in colour contain a larger supply – and a more quickly absorbed amount – of sugar. This means that once consumed, the body stores the carbohydrates quicker and if there is nowhere else to store them, they will be stored as body-fat. Therefore, change your carbohydrate choices from white bread, white rice and white pasta to nut-and-seed bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta. This will keep your body-fat levels nice and low.

3. Oil be home for Christmas
THERE is a lot of food over Christmas, which means a lot of cooking and a lot of oil. The fats that your body needs to maintain health are labelled as monounsaturated fats and can be found in good quantities in olive oil. Changing your cooking oil to olive oil will provide your body with a good source of healthy fats which can help keep you stay fighting fit over a busy Christmas period.

4. Alcoho-ho-hol
LET’S be honest, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a few festive drinks. But a normal pint of beer contains roughly 150 calories, Guinness contains around 180 calories while a single spirit mixed with coke can contain up to 250 calories per serving. If multiple drinks are consumed throughout the day/evening the calories can quickly add up. Unfortunately , there are no healthy alcoholic alternatives (yet), but being sensible about your choices can help keep the calorie count down. Flavored or unflavored soda waters contain very little calories and make a good accompaniment to a spirit of choice, whereas a small glass of dry white wine contains less than 100 calories. The best option is not drink it, but if you do, make the sensible choices!