This article on building the perfect Christmas diet was initially going to inform you how to not fall off the rails (potentially bending them permanently, depending on how much weight you manage to gain) and begin to resemble that 6ft tall, 3ft wide snowman you’ve built outside.
Unfortunately, I’m not exactly going to do that. We’re all human, and we need a break from time to time. I’ve read tonnes of other blogs which urge the reader, in times of difficulty, to ask themselves: “look, do you really want to eat this?” My response? Hell yeah. Sure, I feel sick, having just eaten four types of animal and every vegetable under the sun, but dammit I’m going to fit that After Eight mint in me somewhere, preferably the mouth.
Whether you’re putting it down to “bulking” this Christmas, or just enjoying a brief period of gluttony, you’re more than likely going to eat a little more over the coming festive period. Accept it. There’s no point in feeling guilty about it. What with the holidays focusing largely on food, and the multiple feasts and buffets that come with it, it’s a tricky time for the best of us. Telling yourself off for wanting an extra dollop of pudding will just make you miserable.
What you can do is compliment certain eating habits of the winter months with the correct training regime (yes, you are still going to train and, of course, I will be writing about this too). If done correctly, you’ll find Christmas to be an incredibly beneficial time of the year for your fitness progression.
Now, I’ve made Christmas protein cookies. Unless you are good at baking, unlike me, do NOT even try. Your bowels will thank you. Instead, remember the centrepiece for any Christmas dinner: turkey. Christmas is a time when you can overload on protein (beef, lamb, lobster, whatever), complimenting the high intensity and heavy weight training workout regimes that come with the colder months. Focus on the meats/protein intake first, vegetables second and everything else third.
Those goose fat potatoes smell amazing, don’t they? Sure, have a few. Just maybe don’t eat all 30 of them, and mix a few more brussels sprouts in there, too. I realise this approach seems a little lax, but Jesus, give yourself a break (and Happy Birthday, by the way), because this might be the one time of year you can kind of justify a tightened belt buckle. Think of it as “more fuel” for harder training, because this most certainly is NOT a month off.
Alcohol is one of the easiest ways to over-indulge. Personally, I drink very little, but I understand the pains of experiencing a conversation with Great-Gran Mary about the new addition to the china doll collection without something to ease the pain. Just keep it in moderation.
If all the above fails, and you find that you’ve gained 4.7 stone purely from sherry and chocolate coins, then steal some kid’s scooter or Nintendo Wii (do they even exist anymore?) that they got for Christmas and get burning: the twelve straight days of Christmas should do it. Otherwise, relax, be merry, keep up the training and enjoy the food. Also, exercise after you’ve eaten reduces blood sugar spikes, so maybe suggest the family go for a walk after Christmas dinner.
Merry Denchmas to all, and a healthy new year.