If you’re trying to slim down, Christmas can be a serious disruption to your diet. To avoid being back at square one come January, follow our Top Ten Christmas Slimming Tips to getting through the festive season with your waistline intact.

1. Be realistic – it’s Christmas after all

Let’s be honest, you’re realistically not going to drop any pounds over Christmas so opt to maintain your current weight rather than lose on the scales – this option will feel much more achievable.

2. Tuck into turkey

This lean, filling protein source is a slimmer’s best friend, so pile plenty of it on your plate, along with lots of lovely fresh vegetables. As well as satisfying your hunger it will leave a little less space for the roast spuds and pigs in blankets.

3. Choose wisely

Don’t waste precious calories on eating fattening foods just because they’re there. Instead, be selective and choose only those seasonal treats you absolutely love – in small amounts!

4. Curb cals with Canderel®

This chocolate roulade makes a much low-calorie alternative to the usual Yule log and is totally yummy. Make big savings with homemade mince pies too, by ditching the pastry top and using a pretty sprinkle of Canderel granules instead.

5. Eat regularly

Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast or miss meals when you’re busy over the festive season – this sort of haphazard eating is more likely to lead to bingeing on festive treats lying around when hunger kicks in.

6. Serve cocktail stick canapés.

Using cocktail stick helps to keep canapé portions small, but it’s also a clever psychological trick because when the sticks pile up on your plate you’re likely to stop eating sooner. Experts say the visual evidence of how much you’ve eaten curbs your consumption – who wants to look that greedy!

7. Be booze clever

It’s common to pour more booze at home than you would get in a pub or wine bar. To stay on track measure as you go – 25ml for a single measure of spirits, 50ml for a double measure, and 175ml maximum for a glass of wine. Finish one drink completely before you have another, avoiding top ups.

8. Sip water

It’s easy to become dehydrated when you’re in a warm and centrally heated environment for days on end. Sipping water stops you from getting thirst and hunger mixed up, while having a glass to sip from keeps your hands busy and away from the snacks. To make it seem special, add ice and a slice, and pour into a heavy glass, which has the psychological effect of making drinks taste better according to experts.

9. Use smaller serving bowls

Use small bowls for serving nibbles like crisps and nuts, only topping up if you need to. Studies show that we consistently help ourselves to much less from a smaller bowl than a bigger one.

10. Conquer the buffet

Check out all the food that’s on offer first so you can make informed decisions about what to eat, then fill your plate with enough food to satisfy you the first time so you can avoid repeat visits. It’s a good idea to sit as far away as you can from the buffet table, ideally with your back to it. The more distance there is between you and the food, the less likely you are to get up for seconds.