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Christmas calories and damage limitation

It’s that time of year…Christmas. Work parties, time off, drink, food and copious amounts of chocolate boxes. What do you do? Stick to plan be a Scrooge and be a social outcast for the following year? Or do you think “it’s christmas” and let loose?


I would say a happy medium is your best answer and here we give you some pointers as to how to do this. 


1. DIET

A) MACRO MANIPULATION

It’s actually simple math, you’re using a macro diet, then now is the time to benefit from it. Start with the ‘problem’ meal, using myfitnesspal here works wonders. Be it food you wouldn’t usually eat or just a lot of food, and plan other meals around that.

If you don’t know your macros just track a typical day of yours in normal routine, look at how many calories and carbs you consume and go off of that.

If you know you’re going to be eating so many carbs, then lower how many you consume throughout the rest of the day. You can do the same for all your macros depending on what you are planning on eating. Alternatively reduce the amount of all macros (meal size) at other meals so that you have plenty to play with when needed. It’s much better playing catch up than overindulging all day and all night.

B) KEEP FLUIDS HIGH

You want to ensure it is hunger you are feeling as a direct cause of food not because you are thirsty. Also if you want to encourage yourself to eat less make sure you drink 1/2 to full pint of water just before your meal.

C) FILL YOUR BOOTS WITH VEG

plain and simple really, christmas dinner, meals out whatever you doing go for broke on your salads or vegetables.

2. IF YOU ARE DRINKING, DRINK SMART 

I’m not going to tell you not to drink, I am going to tell you how to make better choices. Obviously moderation is key but you knew that and when you don’t drink in moderation you should at least make better choices

Stay away from high carb drinks such as beer, stouts, cider and alcopops (hopefully this one isn’t a factor) and if drinking spirits, stay away from sugary mixers, even fruit juice. These count towards your carb intake for the day and lend themselves nicely to a sugar crash at the end of the night with all signs leading to the kebab shop.

Stick to these simple drinks

  • Clear spirits
  • Red and white wine
  • Dark spirits such as cognac or brandy
  • “Clean” mixers such as tonic and soda
If you are wanting to eat more calories and carbs you need to not drink high calories and carbs.

3. TRAINING

I am a big advocate of planning your training around your life, not the other way, and it works perfectly here. Move your sessions around so they fall on the days when you’re going to be indulging. Put the harder workouts here too. Don’t put an arm session before you head out to eat a feast even if you think the pump will make you look better.  Train legs for example in the morning if your out in the evening lift hard and lift heavy.

REMEMBER THIS IS A PREEMPTIVE STRIKE.

This is not the mentally of “I just did like 30 mins on the X trainer so now I can go chill in Starbucks and gossip while eating cake because I earned it”.

If you have a hectic schedule, then it may be worth switching up your program into a counter Christmas one. You would benefit more from some full body workouts prior to indulging rather than a half assed body part split on a hangover a few times a week. If your calendar isn’t as busy, then you can stick to a split, just move the larger body parts to party days.


So there you go a damage limitation plan, whatever you do though be sure to enjoy your family, friends and loved ones as life really is too short to get caught up on your food and drink. This doesn’t mean do whatever though implying you will only enjoy yourself when you do. If you aren’t bothered about drinking lots or eating lots always do what makes YOU happy. Have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy prosperous New Year!