Thursday, 24 November 2016

Does The Christmas Diet Work?

Christmas is a time of the year where many people overindulge in fatty foods, fizzy drinks and alcohol. Considering millions of people start the new year with the ‘lose weight’ resolution, the Christmas diet is based around the idea of losing some weight leading up to the festive holiday. However, does it work? And do people tend to do it the correct way?



It makes perfect sense to diet before Christmas, to help counteract the potential weight gain over Xmas and New Year. In order for it to be effective, you need to start before December, otherwise you won’t have enough time to shift the pounds before your Christmas celebrations begin (which is usually a week or two before Xmas day). Obviously, the speed of the weight loss will depend on how strict you are with your diet and how hard you train in (or out) of the gym.

The correct way of utilising the ‘Christmas Diet’ is to go down the ‘healthy route’. By this I mean a healthy diet and regular fitness routine. Cutting out the booze, fatty foods, fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolate etc, and training hard will burn unwanted fat at a safe and reasonable pace. You’re most likely going to be having enough of those foods and drinks over the festive period, so you can go without them for now.

Now, the ‘bad approach’ to the Christmas Diet is to starve yourself. Starving your body is not a good thing to do anyway, as it’s unhealthy, not sustainable, and the ‘weight’ (water and muscle tissue, with a little fat) that you lose, will come back on, sometimes even more. So instead of the idea of dropping some body fat to counteract the festivities, you’re more likely going to start the new year weighing more than you did before starting the ‘diet’.

I would say the main reason for the Christmas Diet is so that you don’t have to worry about ‘watching what you eat’ over Xmas, as that’s not any fun. It is perfectly fine to enjoy yourself at Xmas, have a few drinks and eat some chocolate. However, if your day to day diet is pretty poor, and you rarely exercise, then consuming even more for a couple of weeks at Xmas and New Year, is a really bad idea.

Starting your ‘Christmas Diet’ around the middle of November will give you about 4 weeks worth of healthy eating and exercise, which is enough time to make a difference to your weight. If you leave it until the first week of December, you will most likely give up after a few days as you will think “It’s nearly Xmas, it’s not worth it”.