Fill up not out this Christmas

For many the festive season can cooking a feast fit for an army, eating as much of it as possible and then lazing around all afternoon in the summer heat.

Diabetes Queensland dietitian Alison Bennett shares tips to help you enjoy your festive season without feeling like you need to undo your belt buckle.

Alison's Top Five Tips

Enjoy the Christmas food and treats

Food is a big part of Christmas - think prawns, glazed ham and cherries and as a consequence overeating is common. This year ask yourself - 'are you really hungry?' This time of the year is traditionally a time for special treats like chocolates, trifle and fruit mince pies. These are 'extra', foods so it's important to consider having small portions and not every day - Christmas is one day and not the whole of December. The first few bites are always the best anyway!

Fruit and veggies to flourish

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables over Christmas and enjoy all of the fresh Queensland produce that is in season. Dish up fresh, crispy salads or veggies with your main meals, and add spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes to a cooked breakfast. Serve up fruit platters for dessert or as a snack. You can even get creative and make fresh fruit ice blocks for the whole family.

Swap this for that

Try swapping ingredients in your favourite Christmas recipes, such as using low fat milk, cream or custard or even natural yoghurt in baking and deserts. Have fruit, unsalted mixed nuts, wholegrain crackers and veggie based dips such as hommus, tzatziki or avocado for nibblies. Opt for wholegrain breads, rice and/or pasta and remember to choose lean cuts of meat.

Watch your drink

Summer heat and cold drinks go hand in hand. Be mindful of the amount of sugar you are consuming in sugary drinks and cordials and don't overindulge on alcohol. Stick to no more than two standard drinks per day. Try adding fresh fruit and herbs such as lime, strawberries and mint to ice and water for a nice refreshing drink.

Get up and move

Get moving and get the whole family involved. Why not go for a walk with the dog or organise a backyard game of cricket or soccer?  Remember to pack your joggers if you are travelling.

Overindulging can result in weight gain so enjoy the Christmas period without overdoing it!