healthy green vegetables

12 PM

At Christmas lunch, it’s logical to think you’re better off avoiding the high-cal foods and loading a plate with foods imagined as virtuous (yeah, we’re not saying loading food with moral values is right, but it happens). Au contraire, says Simpson. Instead, follow the science of vice virtue bundles, which says the optimal eating formula for keeping calories in check and circumventing binge triggers is pairing a quarter of a serve of your favourite food – pork crackle included – with three quarters of less energy-dense sides.

Think steamed veg and salad dressed with balsamic, or nothing. Research shows that by savouring a small portion of the ultimate option, the body and brain are satisfied more than wolfing down lower cal fare.

WHAT TO EAT: “Take a small plate and fill it with healthy options you will enjoy, along with one or two truly decadent items,” Simpson says. Pad out your plate with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, carrot, asparagus, salad, mushrooms, cauliflower and zucchini. “These vegetables are low in calories and will fill you up with great nutrition,” Simpson says. To add interest, add a smear of cranberry sauce or teaspoon of gravy.