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Christmas caution

By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Nutrition | on November 26, 2018

It’s the time of the year where it feels like all bets are off! The parties or social gatherings accumulate at a rate that is unparalleled across the year. There is often a feeling that: there is no way that I won’t put on weight over this period, so I might as well enjoy it.

But here’s a serious question: That bloated feeling, that feeling of constantly being full for pretty much a fortnight to a month, that lack of energy, that lethargy; does anyone truly enjoy that?

I’d bet the answer is no, because I certainly don’t and clients in January are usually relieved it is over. Relieved?! Relieved that the fun has stopped! That tells me that the fun comes at a cost.

Now this isn’t a post aimed at taking the jam out of your doughnut (neither literally or figuratively). Rather, it’s aimed at you enjoying the festive season without being dragged down by this guilt and sluggishness.

Here are some super useful tips for you:

1. For the first week of December, track your calories using MyFitnessPal


This will result in a good week of eating to kick-start the month (nobody ever eats terribly when tracking!), plus, it provides a grounding so that you become very conscious of calories going into the month.

2. Ignore the snacks

Let’s face it, you are likely to overeat because you will be drinking more than usual, eating out more than usual and building towards the whopper that is Christmas dinner. As such, gorging on the Quality Street or Celebrations box or the mince pies is going to be a significant calorie rise. One which in a month of indulgence, you cannot afford.

3. Fast

Got a heavy week of nights out? Well then include periods of fasting to limit over consuming foods. This could either be by adopting a low calorie day either side of these meals or fasting in the lead up to the night out. For example, if your work Xmas do is on the Thursday and night out with friends is on the Saturday then adopt a 1000kcals limit on the Wednesday and Friday. The total across the four days may still be 10000kcals which may be slightly excessive depending on your activity levels, but it won’t be 120000kcals because of the fasting.

4. Walk

Instead of sticking to a step count, try this for the month of December. Turn on the stopwatch on your phone or watch and walk for a brisk 30-minutes. Perform at a suitable speed so that you are a little out of breath, that you can feel your lungs expanding and your heart beating. On the party days, make that 45-minutes. It’s only a walk and can and should be integrated into your daily commute or replace the use of a car for a journey. The result, healthier body and healthier mind – this will often lead to healthier choices. Try it!

5. Drink sensibly

No, this isn’t a government warning on units – you’re all grown-ups! But it is a nod to making wiser choices of consumption. Don’t spend the nights on beers and wines if the option for a slim line gin and tonic presents itself! Love a whisky and coke? I’m sure you’ll be fine with a whisky and diet coke!

Follow these top tips and it’ll make for a more enjoyable month. Plus, your January self will definitely thank you for it.

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