If you follow a strict regime of leg days and grilled chicken dinners, Christmas can be that one time of the year you scream “soiya, cunce” and really let your hair down.
It’s a celebration; a time to open pressies, wear stupid paper hats, argue with your racist uncle Steve and eat inhumane quantities of Aldi prawns.
And while half the fun of Xmas day is the feasting, you might wake up on December 26th feeling like a stuffed turkey yourself. Studies show weight gained over the holiday season can take up to five months to lose. Is that depressing? Yes. Does it have to go down like that? No.
Here’s how to enjoy every morsel of the merry season without completely sabotaging your sweet, hard-earned gainz.
1. YOU DON’T HAVE TO MATCH WHAT YA RELATIVES ARE CHOWING
I come from a family of big people.
Every relative on my Dad’s side of the family is over 6 foot. They make for fantastic ladder-substitutes, but boy they can eat.
Research that suggests that when we eat in group settings, we tend to match how much our companions are eating.
Come Sunday lunch, their plates will be full to the brim with turkey, crispy potatoes, butterfly lamb and bread rolls. They’ll comfortably finish this and it’ll be within their calorific limits. Chances are, I’ll see what they’re eating and match it; a real problem for a smaller, 5’7 lady.
You can avoid this by starting with a smaller, considered plate. Pick what you really want to eat, and take a rationed portion of it.
Bonus is, if you lick the china clean and you’re still hungry, you can go back for seconds and enjoy the luxuriousness of it.
2. DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST ON CHRISTMAS MORNING
Christmas morning is so fucken exciting. It’s the one day of the year where waking up is not a chore, but a spiritually invigorating experience.
Presents! Half eaten carrots littered across the floor by Santa’s reindeers that definitely delivered those Kmart presents! More presents!
It’s easy to forget eating breakfast when you’re busy locating batteries for your new toy, but you should try and squeeze it in. If you skip breakfast in anticipation of the festive lunch, you’re more likely to overeat.
Pick something light – a banana and a coffee would suffice. That way, when you do turn up to the jamboree, you’re not starving and will have less incentive to go full Bruce Bogtrotter.
3. PLOT TWIST: YOU AREN’T OBLIGED TO EAT SOMETHING SOMEONE PUT A LOT OF EFFORT INTO
Maybe at your Christmas lunch, all the guests bring a plate – or maybe your family is like my family, where my mum slaves away in the kitchen for the week prior, kneeding her blood, sweat and tears into almond-crescent biscuits.
Either way, you’ll probably feeling obliged on the day to eat and really enjoy every meal presented to you.
It feels almost disrespectful to not go for seconds of Aunt Lillian’s passionfruit-topped pavlova, but it isn’t. Nothing tastes as good the second time around. Think about why you want seconds, especially if you’re full. Are you chasing the dragon?
You can give your thanks and appreciation to everyone who put the effort into cooking without eating. Say you like the way they iced the cake, or something.
4. THINK OF CALORIES LIKE HABBO HOTEL COINS YOU HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF
Okay, so do you remember in mid-2000s online community Habbo Hotel how you could have little coins you had to earn (or buy with your parents credit card), and with them you could buy furniture / pets / miscellaneous things for your rooms?
They were hard to acquire, easy to squirrel away mindlessly and when you ran out of them, you were sad. This is the same as calories.
Here’s an estimation of how many kilojoules (1 kJ = 0.2 Calories) you need to consume a day to be firing in optimum range:
(For a more accurate, tailored guide, check out this eat for health calculator)
With that in mind, don’t waste your calories on crap like chips and crackers when you know pork belly is about to be served.
5. DRINK UP
Not stubbies, but water.
Water fills you up, meaning you’ll eat less. It’s also important to drink H20 between alcoholic bevvies to keep your liver functioning good and proper. It’s boring as shit but it’s true.
Remember – if you do end up ravaging the potato salad like an unhinged, beastly creature, don’t kick yourself. You did it, it’s done; you probably really enjoyed it. Just go for a little Boxing Day stroll around the neighbourhood and soak up ‘Straya’s most beaut summer.
Merry Christmas, readers.
Photo: The Grinch.