Eating your way through Christmas

Feeling brave? Go into a supermarket in the run up to Christmas. It would appear that we have been invaded by a population of people who live off a diet of high sugar foods. And somewhere along the line, we have become accustomed to double filling our trollies and forgetting that there are some foods that really are best taken in small quantities.

Now, before you say ‘bah humbug’ let me confess that it was my birthday this weekend and I have eaten my bodyweight in cake. But from tomorrow I will be back to my healthy eating routine.  It’s made me wonder just how much we need to over indulge at Christmas.

The trouble is, once all that shopping gets home and we find that there is no invasion, just clever advertising, it’s all there for the eating. Combine that with at least a couple of days off work and you have a recipe for a real binge. In fact, I have heard more than one person declare that the whole of December is a wipe out for them, they have a couple of work ‘dos’ planned and then, ‘well then it’s Christmas so it’s just not worth bothering to be healthy until about the second week of January is it?’

Let me tell you something – it is worth bothering!  

Research published in The Independent in 2016 tells us that the average Brit consumes about 6,000 calories on Christmas Day – my daily calorie need is less than a third of that! I would have to walk most of Boxing Day to shift that lot.  

So, is it lettuce leaves and abstinence or is it a blow out? There is a middle way you know! How about bearing in mind all the principles that you (and your clients) have been discussing all year? Eat special things but don’t start eating things that you would never ever touch. There is nothing wrong with salmon and poached egg for breakfast and some fruit – that’s a treat but manageable. 

And as for Christmas lunch? Would you normally eat a pile of roast potatoes, maybe some mash, a few Yorkshire puds? No, of course you don’t, you know all about simple carbs. But you do eat copious amounts of veg so just carry on. 

Then there is the pudding. You might crave trifle or Christmas pud and brandy cream but I guess that that’s not your every day fayre? I recommend you go for one extra special treat – so it might be a small helping of dessert or a mince pie – but not both!  

Your poor over-worked pancreas will keep pumping out insulin if you’re lucky, but there’s a reason we all fall asleep after lunch. Too much food to process and swinging blood sugars. The answer is not a handful of Quality Street to keep you topped up!  

Pause, give your digestive system a rest. Go for a walk, get some fresh air and when you get back, resist the temptation to start all over again (even if your mum is insistent that she doesn’t want ‘to see it all go to waste’).

You can get through this – just stick to your principles!


This blog was written by Marion Foreman

Marion is a nurse with many years’ experience and a personal trainer. Her two specialist areas are training older people and training people on their cancer journey. Marion sometimes works with very elderly people in care homes, helping them to remain mobile and independent.

Marion and her husband own two gyms and are passionate about helping people to be their best. Marion is always keen to make sure that their members are given up to date and relevant advice about living a healthy lifestyle.