Thursday, 24th December 2020


Eating at Christmas

In 2018 The Tax Payers’ Alliance released its ‘Nanny State approved Christmas lunch’. The Alliance claimed to have followed NHS nutritional guidelines to calculate “what a public health puritan approved Christmas lunch would look like”. Here is the main course:

125 grams of turkey
Half a serving of boiled potatoes
25 grams of sprouts

Dessert was equally generous:

One-tenth of a serving of Christmas pudding
15 ml of brandy cream
45 grams of cheese
30 grams of pate

Alcohol (yes that was allowed):

Three-quarters of a glass of wine
A quarter of a glass of Champagne, gin and tonic, port or brandy.

The mitigation

You will be hugely relieved to hear that it may be possible to offset the complications of failing to stick to these recommendations. A paper in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (every health-conscious household should subscribe) notes that there are periods in the year when exercise programs may be discontinued and improper dietary habits appear.

The investigators tested the effects of exercise (without a change in diet) on the ill effects of Christmas. They performed a randomised controlled trial of exercise compliance against exercise avoidance during the Christmas period. 38 obese men were included.

The avoidance group showed an increase in weight averaging 0.7kg, an increase in blood pressure of three points, and a significant reduction in fitness. The exercise group however maintained their body weight, blood fat levels, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

On that evidence, you can certainly afford to enjoy a lazy day or two. However, if you are determined to keep going try the regime below.

A seasonal exercise approach

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, with plenty of space on each side

With a 5 lb (2.27kg) potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute then relax.

Each day you will find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After two weeks move up to 10 lb (4.54kg) potato bags. Then try 50 lb (22.7kg) potato bags and eventually try to increase to lifting a 100 lb (45.4 kg) potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute (I’m at this level).

After you feel confident at this level, put a potato in each bag.


4 responses to “CHRISTMAS”

  1. Barbara says:

    HAHAHAHAHA! that’s a great one –thanks Hugh, and Merry Christmas from California!!

    • Grahame Fearn says:

      The old ones are the best but still funny. Thanks Hugh.🤸‍♀️🏊🏻🏃‍♀️🍺🍷🎄
      Happy New Year

  2. Ben says:

    Very good, Hugh. Very good!

  3. Jean says:

    Excellent exercise!

    Happy and healthy Christmas to you.

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