Don’t Drink, Drive.
Let’s tackle the big one first, December is full of night’s out, friends, family and work colleagues. Without trying to be a complete killjoy, a night’s drinking has several ill effects on your waistline, here’s just the practical points…
- 1. The alcohol itself can clock up plenty of calories depending on your poison. (8 pints of Guinness clock in at 1680kcals)
- 2. If you’re over your calories and you make the trip to the chipper on the way home, all that is going directly to fat storage (large chips and cod 1452kcals)
- 3. You don’t wake up the next day licking your lips at the thoughts of a kale smoothie for breakfast.
Let’s take a closer look at those figures, the drink and chipper total roughly 3,132kcals. Extrapolate that over the course of the week and it’s the equivalent of over-eating by over 440kcals per day. That’s one night out, and a fairly conservative estimate, at least if you’re the average Irish guy.
Don’t go full Glutton
Just because it’s that time of year, doesn’t mean you should just pull on your goggles and speedos and jump directly into the gravy. You can enjoy yourself without eating and drinking to levels of self loathing.
There’s a general phenomenon when people are dieting whereby they’ll eat a few chocolates, convince themselves they’ve screwed up, so may aswell finish the lot. What was just a small dent is now a bigger issue, don’t be that person.
A typical balanced breakfast at Christmas
As you probably know if you’ve read any of our other articles, protein is quite an important nutrient for several reasons. It’s touted as the most satiating nutrient, so getting as much into with keep you feeling fuller and therefore eating less. More turkey and ham = Less hunger for the Christmas pudding and bottomless bucket of chocolates.
Up your activity
Ideally you’re reading this in early December so now is a good time to start increasing your exercise and activity. You’ll also hopefully have some time off, particularly in that ‘twilight zone’ between Christmas and New Year.
This is generally the period where we have a jolly good laugh debating what day of the week it is. Use this period to get out for some hikes, walks with family and friends or hit the gym for an hour in the morning to get it done.
Use December to get a January head start
If you’ve never been to a gym in January, most of them use this period to get a head start on their profits. This means getting as many people through the door and signed up for the year as possible, knowing that a good percentage of those will not be seen past mid-January.
It’s not really a surprise people don’t stick with it either, the gym is usually not the most welcoming environment at the best of times, let alone when you’re crammed in to them like sweaty sardines. It's not conducive to learning effective ways to exercise, it’s simply trying to find a machine that’s free and hoping you won’t get stuck in, under or on top of it, ending up on youtube.
Get in while the gyms are relatively quiet, pick the brains of the staff, hire a trainer and learn what you need to, you’ll limit some of the Christmas damage and you’ll be set up well for the new year.