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YOUR HEALTH with Jo Ward, health trainer, South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust.

Part 12: Christmas survival guide HERE is our foolproof festive survival guide to help you eat, drink and be merry without having to worry about piling on the pounds.

WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK WE all know that alcohol can contribute to weight gain. Clear spirits mixed with diet drinks tend to have the lowest calorie count, but you should always be aware of your recommended daily allowance (3-4 units a day for men and 2-3 for women).

EAT A MERRY BREAKFAST DON'T be tempted to skip your breakfast as you may end up giving in to unhealthy snacks. Choose a healthy slow-release breakfast like a piece of wholegrain toast, low-fat yoghurt, fresh fruit or treat yourself to some smoked salmon which is great for your essential fatty acids.

DOWNSIZE THE GRAVY TRY to make your gravy healthier. Use less fat from your meat or thick-thicken it with cornflour. Alternatively use your steamed vegetable water - visit www.southtees.nhs.uk/health for our tasty recipe.

GO NUTS A HANDFUL of dried fruit or unsalted nuts will help you fill up and will keep your blood sugar levels steady. With lots of energy and a full stomach you will be less likely to snack on those chocolates!

EAT TASTY TURKEY is low fat and tasty - just remember to remove the skin as this is where all the fat is hidden!

PILE ON THE VEGETABLES FILL your plate with your favourite winter vegetables like carrots, parsnips and good old Brussels sprouts. But watch out for those oozing in butter and creamy sauces. Microwave, steam or roast vegetables to preserve vitamins and avoid adding salt - try pepper or fresh herbs instead.

DECIDE ON YOUR FAVOURITE DESSERT THE healthiest desserts are the ones that are made with fruit, but if you can't resist just pick your favourite and stick to a small portion! At tea time go for turkey sandwiches made with brown bread, spinach and watercress.

BURN OFF THOSE EXTRA CALORIES WHY not head for a brisk walk? Organise an indoor treasure hunt? Or add a fitness DVD to your Christmas list? If it's a white Christmas, you could even take the children sledging - it's amazing how many calories those hills will burn!

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Health trainer Jo Ward

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2014
Words:375
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