Balance the treats with healthy food

Nikki Caputa offers fitness and nutrition advice
Nikki Caputa offers fitness and nutrition advice
The Bridge Tavern and Camber Dock''''Picture: Paul Simpso

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Mince pies, mulled wine and other festive goodies will soon be on the menu and that can mean straining belts, bursting buttons and splitting seams.

No-one wants to put on too much weight over Christmas. Equally, no right-thinking person wants to be too strict with themselves.

It’s all about getting the balance right and exercising damage limitation, advises expert Nikki Caputa.

The Fareham health and fitness coach says: ‘Personally I do the 30 days of November, making sure I eat the right things, because it gets more tricky in December with parties and things.

‘But it’s never too late to start and you can still think about damage limitation. The problem is some people say ‘‘right I’m going to write December off’’, but that makes it more difficult to get back on the right track.’

That doesn’t mean a Christmas without treats – and quite a lot of them. It means keeping an eye on nutrition advice around the parties, family get-togethers and slump-on-the-sofa evenings.

Nikki’s main mission is to stop people thinking about calories. ‘The problem here is that they might eat the wrong things, have hardly anything all day and then have a massive meal.

‘Your body fat increases because of the types of food you’re eating. Strive to choose whole foods over processed products. They contain more nutrients and tend to be lower in calories anyway. But they also reduce sugar cravings.’

Nikki says bloating can be avoided by eating less of certain foods. ‘Refined carbs, like wheat bread, crackers and pasta interfere with proper digestion. Replace refined carbs with healthier, whole food alternatives like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.’

Avoiding sugar and artificial sweeteners as much as posssible is another tip. Nikki advises drinking more water. sweetening with Stevia and eating a better breakfast.

The health and fitness expert recommends eating plenty of protein from different sources including eggs, fish and chicken, and not shying away from certain fats. ‘Good fats like coconut oil, pastured butter, olive oil and walnuts are extremely healthy.’

And don’t forget fitness. Nikki helps with that too at the Fareham-based Fab Body Bootcamp, offering group sessions and personal health and fitness programmes. Visit