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Do you dread piling on the pounds over the Christmas period? Do you reach New Year’s Eve and find that you cannot squeeze into your clothes? Then why not try Pink Lady® apple’s Christmas pretox and start the festive season with peace of mind!

The average adult can gain around 5lbs (2.3kg) over Christmas and New Year and most of us are not aware just how much our favourite foods are making us pile on weight. Just one serving of Christmas pudding contains around 300 kcals and with double cream you add another 100 kcals to your calorie intake.

Nutritionist for Pink Lady Apples, Penny Hunking, has put together some key pretoxing tips to take the despair out of the Christmas diet and add some flavour to the festive season.

What is a pretox?

A pretox regime can set you up so that you’re in fine fettle to tackle the demands of Christmas and are ready to enjoy the festive season. More importantly it will help you keep hydrated and fit so that your post-Christmas recovery is quicker.

A pretox diet entails eating plenty of basic, nutritious foods whilst drinking lots of water, juices and smoothies. It’s out with the high-salt processed food and in with lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and beans, lean meat and fish as well as low fat dairy.

Top tips

You can create a pretox regime that works for you and your budget without having to compromise on taste, so that you start the New Year feeling better than ever.

 Foods that satisfy hunger are those with the most volume or bulk. So the best way to control your appetite is with a food that is high in bulk and low in calories. For example, eat a Pink Lady apple and drink a glass of water before your main meals.

 An apple a day keeps the Doctor away! Apples such as Pink Lady are good for you and to reap the health benefits you should try and eat one every day. The fibre (pectin) and phytonutrients can help to lower blood cholesterol and improve bowel function. In addition, these and other components such as vitamins C found in apples are thought to work together to offer a reduction in heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

 Let’s get to the core of the matter! Apples are virtually fat free and sodium free and contain no artificial colours or flavourings. They’re a great way to help you get your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and contain about 50 Kcals per apple.

 Keep apples in the fridge until the day you want to eat them. They’ll stay their most crisp that way. Also, keep a supply of low calorie snacks of fresh carrots, cucumber, broccoli, peppers and celery.

 If you think you don’t like apples this could be because you’ve never tasted a crisp yet sweet apple such as a Pink Lady. Colourful foods like a Pink Lady sliced, make them a lot more fun for children to eat.

 Phytochemicals (plant chemicals) are naturally occurring compounds (antioxidants) found in several foods including fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, liquorice root, soy and green tea. There are over 3,000 of them and they give plants their colour, flavour and smell. These are perfect for those wishing to feel healthier for the festive season.

 Antioxidants come to the rescue and neutralise free radicals (substances produced naturally in the body when the body uses oxygen). Free radicals can affect:
 The rate we age
 Start cancers by damaging the DNA of cells
 Increase heart disease by making LDL cholesterol more likely to stick to artery walls
 Contribute to inflammation of the joints eg in arthritis
 Damage brain cells.

Early research concentrated on antioxidant vitamins A, C & E and minerals such as selenium, copper and zinc but phytochemicals are thought to be more potent antioxidants than vitamins and minerals.

 When you drink alcohol, match each glass with a tumbler of water.

 The best rule to follow for a pretox is that there is no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s never too late to start preparing yourself for the Christmas season so why not start now? Make a list of the foods you need and pop off and buy them today so you’ve got them ready when you need them.

The 80:20 rule of pretox is also important to remember – be good for 80% of the time but you should be permitted 20% leeway to eat and drink your favourite food and drink!

So why not kick start the festive season the way you mean to go? You never know – you might enjoy it!

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For further information please contact Paul McCaffrey on 020 7569 3043 ( or Tina Fotherby on 020 7569 3042 (

Editors notes:

Penny Hunking is an experienced dietitian who has worked freelance since 1986. She has the fundamental objective to educate and guide clients and groups of clients to enable them to make healthy food choices both at home and at work. Penny develops and plans a programme of work to meet the needs of the client group and works co-operatively with others to integrate her dietetic services into overall care of her clients. Penny is Managing Director of Energise Nutrition Ltd, set up to address the business perspective in order to reach a wider audience with her unique and innovative nutrition messages.

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