Fighting festive indulgence

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I’m not pigging out this Christmas. I’m keeping an eye on my health.

WITH The I reporting on a chef concocting a Christmas dinner that’s rather easy on the calories, and colleagues of mine also weighing in on healthy festive eating, I got thinking about how I’m going to keep the pounds off between now and January.

Gurpareet Bains’s Guilt-free Gala, as he calls it, contains 71 per cent less calories than a traditional 3,000-calorie Christmas lunch and boasts a measly 19 grams of fat. He said he swapped oily ingredients for superfoods so that those partaking in his three-course meal shouldn’t worry about piling on the pounds come December 25.

I love a roast dinner, especially a Christmas one, just as much as than the next man. Meat, vegetables, roast potatoes, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and my personal favourites, pigs in blankets, don’t stand a chance against my appetite when I sit down to eat on Christmas Day. I often go for seconds, wash it all down with various festive tipples and then have dessert. The next day I feel quite guilty, go for a run but then do it all again on New Year’s Eve, where it’s less about dinner and more about party snacks and a bit more alcohol.

This year, it’s different. The fact I’ve started training mixed martial arts, and in particular Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has made me want to watch the waistline. I want to compete in grappling competitions in the new year and to do that I need to stay on or around a certain weight. It’s safe to say, then, that Christmas poses a big threat to those aspirations with its air of excess. I’ve even gone to the lengths of downloading a PDF written by Liverpool-based gym No Limits titled ‘Keeping off the Festive Fat’ in an attempt to do just what the leaflet says.

Thanks to its recommendations, I’m probably going to swap normal potatoes for sweet potatoes, prawn cocktail or pâté for soup, and even beer for low-calorie spirits and sugar-free mixers. I’ll pop in to the gym next door to where I work as much as possible as well.

Many will call me boring or obsessive, but I don’t care. I’ll still have a good Christmas and I won’t feel as guilty as the majority of people who will surround me in the gym will, as they intend to keep to a New Years resolution of losing weight, probably fuelled by feeling bad for being too lenient with their diets this Christmas.

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