Remember, it'll take 30 minutes to walk off that second mince pie - Elsa
WE can have our cake and eat it this Christmas -- but just stick to the one, says a leading Dublin nutritionist.
We are all looking forward to enjoying our turkey dinner, a drink or two and a mince pie as we wind down this festive season.
Nutritionist Elsa Jones said that it is okay to let our hair down and enjoy the festivities.
But she said that we should think twice about taking that second mince pie or opening another tin of Roses chocolates.
"I think the main thing is to have awareness in terms of portion sizes and calories," Elsa told the Herald.
"I think you can have your cake and eat it, but it's just about stopping at one.
"You can have that mince pie, you can have that slice of Christmas cake, but it's about stopping at one."
And everyone can afford extra treats at Christmas time if they make it up with exercise, added Elsa: "While you're off on your Christmas holidays you should aim for 30 minutes walk a day.
"For every mince pie you have its going to take a 30-minute to one-hour walk to burn it off.
"So if you go the extra mile in terms of exercise you can actually enjoy your Christmas treats," she told the Herald.
And nothing is more important than a good breakfast when it comes to the morning after a hard night on the tiles.
"I think the next day what you have for breakfast is important," Elsa said.
"You lose B vitamins when you drink lots of alcohol so you want to make sure that your breakfast contains complex carbohydrates that contain B vitamins.
"A good hangover breakfast would be porridge with chopped banana or, boiled or poached eggs on wholegrain toast -- they would be perfect for the next morning."
While many of us want nothing more than a steaming cup of hot coffee to get through the next day, Elsa warns against the intake of caffeine to cope with a hangover.
"Avoid tea and coffee -- ideally what you want to do is to have something that will rehydrate you such as herbal tea or something that will replace the liquids that you lost."
Elsa is a qualified nutritionist and runs a private practice in Dublin. She writes her own health advice column in the Evening Herald every Monday.
The nutritionist is expecting a large influx of clients in the New Year as people hope to make amends for their eating and drinking sins after Christmas.
"January would probably be my busiest time," Elsa said.
While Elsa feels that everyone should indulge to a certain extent as they relax over Christmas, she urges people to be aware of the quantities that they are consuming.
"You have to think twice before you eat more because you will pay for it later and there are very few people that can get away with it," she said.
"Remember that however much you put on over Christmas, you're going to have make sacrifices to get it off," she added.
ELSA'S GOOD, BAD & UGLY CHRISTMAS FOODS: SEE PAGES 32-33