We all know that Christmas Day is the day we indulge, we forget calories and fats and eat a lot there is on offer, but new research shows that this in fact isn’t our fattest day of the year.
A new survey has indicated that a quarter of people will consume more calories at their work Christmas party than on Christmas Day.
Today (Thursday 12 December) is predicted to be a popular night for workers nationwide to celebrate the seasonal festivities. Les Mills, who conducted the research, is encouraging workers to sacrifice bacon sandwiches usually eaten the morning after and take part in ‘hair-obics of the dog’ to help burn those additional calories consumed the night before. Astonishingly 1 in 6 admitted to consuming up to double the amount of calories than they do on Christmas day, the day most people would associate with being the fattest day of the year.
Colleagues may think they can get away without showing themselves up in front of their boss but one thing they won’t get away with is the damage they are doing to their health by overindulging on festive food and booze. Interestingly, almost half admitted to consuming roughly the same amount or more calories at their work party than on Christmas day.
Dave Kyle, Head Trainer at Les Mills, says: “Typical work party revelries involve drinking copious amounts of alcohol, feasting on Christmas turkey lunches and mince pies and stopping off for a greasy kebab on the way home. The Christmas period is a time where a dangerously high amount of calories are being consumed and although people may be having a great time doing it, ultimately they are risking their health. Eating way beyond the recommended daily calorie intake regularly and drinking over the recommended units of alcohol can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease”.
Lucy Walker, aged 28 from Essex says: “My work Christmas party is when I let loose after working hard all year. I usually go out for a Christmas meal with my colleagues and then go on to a club and with the free alcohol flowing I often drink to excess. The next day is usually pretty shameful and we often order in a take away. I’ve never thought too much about the damage I could be doing to my health although my weight definitely goes up in December and I generally feel more tired and de-motivated”.
Dave Kyle continues: “Exercising the following day is a great way for people to combat overindulging the night before and limit the implications to their health. As long as they keep hydrated, high intensity, fat-burning workouts will blast those calories and release endorphins to boost their mood and help relieve them of that horrible hangover feeling.
“There’s plenty of other ways people can ease the damage to their health and consume less calories by making better informed choices and still have fun at their work party. We’ve compiled a few simple suggestions to make workers feel less guilty about the night before and ultimately feel in better shape for the rest of the Christmas period”.
Dave Kyle, Head Trainer at LES MILLS™ with over 15 years in the fitness industry suggests 10 top tips to help you stay healthier over the Christmas period:
You may have been working hard all year but drink sensibly and set a limit! Pace yourself, don’t drink to keep up with others.
If your tipple is cocktails, opt for a Cosmopolitan (213 calories) over the sugary alternatives that can be anything up to 850 calories.
Drink champagne over wine, it has only 106 calories per champagne glass compared to 228 calories that a typical large glass of red or white wine. Another option is a gin and slimline tonic which contains just 56 calories.
Don’t deprive yourself of your favourite Christmas treat but limit yourself. A mince pie may seem small but can contain up to 350 calories.
Eat a meal consisting of lean white or red meat or fish with a fistful of slow release carbohydrates before a night of drinking, it will fill you up and make you less likely to stop off for a kebab on the way home saving yourself up to 600 calories.
Nuts are a festive favourite; but most Christmas varieties are high in salt and fat, swap a handful of salted nuts (400 calories) for olives (5 calories) or unsalted nuts.
Avoid gorging on fast food when you’re hungover. It does nothing to make you feel better. The added preservatives and additives in the fast food will only make you feel worse when it hits the stomach and our body battles to digest them. You could also end up consuming thousands of unneeded calories.
Don’t rely on energy or fizzy drinks to get you through the day. A can of coke may be your go to hangover drink but it contains 140 calories and 39g of sugar whilst a can of Red Bull contains 116 calories and 27g of sugar. You will only suffer a sugar slump an hour after drinking it anyway.
Keep hydrated. Drink a glass of water in between drinks and a full pint when you get home – it will ease the hangover the next morning.
Try not to burn too much of the midnight oil! Too many late nights will throw your body’s clock out of sync. This will then make it harder to burn calories and will lead to a feeling of constant fatigue. Try to stick to your normal sleeping pattern.
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