SHAPING UP: Limit the damage this Christmas

Christmas Day is the day most people write off any kind of dietary limitation and overindulge on festive treats.

By Graham Low
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 12:00 am

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Overindulging this Christmas could play havoc with your fitness goals.
Overindulging this Christmas could play havoc with your fitness goals.

Me included!

Bucks Fizz at breakfast, mid-morning mince pies, the big Christmas dinner followed by Christmas pudding, afternoon Quality Street and mulled wine, a turkey sandwich and - why not? - a slice of stollen cake and a glass of Baileys before bed.

We all know that we overindulge on Christmas Day, but a study by Wren Kitchens revealed the extent of the damage - the average person consumes a massive 5,323 calories on 25th December.

That’s nearly three times the recommended daily allowance for women and twice the recommended daily allowance for men… or the equivalent of 10 big macs.

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Now, I’m not going to suggest that you cut out carbs or count calories on Christmas Day because that would be hypocritical. I’m going to be enjoying the festive treats just as much as anyone else.

But, I would recommend that you follow these five tips to limit the damage…

1. Drink More Water

Drink a glass of water when you wake up, another mid-morning and then another before your lunch. Water can make you feel full meaning you may not eat as much. It also helps control cravings later in the day.

2. Start With A Good Breakfast

If you have something like eggs or Greek yoghurt for breakfast you will help keep your blood sugar levels under control and you’re much less likely to start snacking later in the day. Most people have their Christmas dinner in the late afternoon, so if you eat a good breakfast that will fill you for a few hours it will put you off snacking during the day.

3. Fill Up On Veg

Most of the extra calories come from the after-dinner treats (puddings, leftover sandwiches, alcohol). If you fill up on veg when you’re eating dinner you’ll be less likely to have second helpings of pudding. The fibre in the veg induces fullness.

4. Eat Slowly

A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that wolfing down food hinders the release of hormones that induce feelings of feeling full. Put simply, the slower you eat, the less you’ll pack away

5. Boxing Day Exercise

You probably won’t fancy doing an intense workout after a day of over indulgence, but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be. A light jog, family walk or quick 10-minute home workout can burn some of the excess calories and get you back into a healthy frame of mind.

Stick to those five simple tips and you can limit the damage of the excess calories on Christmas Day without depriving yourself of the festivities.

Merry Christmas!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus


TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes



450g asparagus spears1 1/2 tbsp olive oil2 tsp balsamic vinegarSea salt & cracked pepper10-12 slices prosciutto


Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Toss asparagus in olive oil, balsamic vinegar salt & pepper.

Wrap each spear in a piece of prosciutto and pierce with a toothpick.

Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until everything is starting to crisp.

Transfer to a large serving plate and season with a little extra salt & pepper.

10-Minute Home HIIT WorkoutThis 10-minute home HIIT workout is ideal for Boxing Day to get you moving again after an indulgent Christmas Day. The aim is to move for 10-minutes without stopping. It will get your heart rate up, burn calories and get you back in to a healthy routine.

30 seconds STAR JUMPS

30 seconds SIDE STEPS

30 seconds 1-STEP SHUTTLES

30 seconds TOUCH DOWNS

30 seconds GET UP JABS