Planning to over-indulge on Christmas Day?

We have all read the articles about how many calories we are likely to consume on Christmas Day and with the average Christmas lunch landing on our plate with a whopping approximate 1000 calories it is not surprising that many people gain weight at Christmas.

So, what is the answer? To simply deny ourselves of the annual Christmas lunch is a tad on the glum side so perhaps looking at ways to limit the potential damage is preferable.

Tip 1: Exercise before the meal. Even just a long walk before lunch is enough to boost the function of blood vessels and lower blood fat levels and this effect will last in to the next day too.

Tip 2: Yes, you guessed it, walk after the meal too. Exercise is believed to help remove harmful fatty molecules from the bloodstream. Activity can change the structure of blood fats enabling them to be more easily cleared from the body. If you throw in some resistance exercise, even just bodyweight exercises, you will have even more power against potential festive weight gain.

Tip 3: Stay hydrated with water. With a greater emphasis on alcohol and post lunch coffees we can forget to drink water. Drinking a couple of glasses before your meal should have the following effects:

1) It will fill you up slightly, lessening your ability to over eat.

2) It will dilute concentration of ingested sugars meaning you will not produce as much insulin and will therefore store less fat.

3) It will ensure that the fibre you eat with the meal can do its job optimally by binding to fats and taking them through the body.

Tip 4: Skip your evening meal. As a civilised, developed society we are ingrained in a 3 meals a day culture, regardless of how big or small each meal is. On Christmas Day, even after a massive lunch, many people will sit down to an evening meal too, regardless of hunger levels. If, and the chances are you have, you have already consumed your daily calorie intake by 4pm, there is no harm in skipping your evening meal. Your body will actually thank you for this decision; your digestive system will have a chance to finish processing your lunch, catch up with all the other metabolic activities and have a rest…ready for you to do it all over again on Boxing Day!

Happy Christmas. Go easy on the food and if you can’t go easy, then go running. A lot.