The Christmas pretox isn’t something you hear about much, but new research commissioned by Currys PC World has found it to be a growing regime adopted in the run-up to Christmas. And – here’s a surprise – it’s not just the ladies who’re looking to fit into sparkly LBDs: nearly a quarter of UK men are embracing a healthy regime in preparation for the festivities.
The survey found that 22% of men are pretoxing, and looking good at the office Christmas party is one of their main motivators. But – perhaps not a surprise – only 15% are good enough to maintain their diet and fitness regime through the winter. Around 47% of those men surveyed began their pretox in the final week in November. Currys saw sales of health-boosting gadgets such as juicers and step counters begin to spike during that month.
But it’s the post-Christmas regime where the figures fall short, with 93% of the men surveyed expecting a weight gain of around 8lb. Fitness and nutrition expert Lucy Wyndham-Read offers her tips on staying on track in the run-up to the holidays:
- Speed it up. Walking a little faster is a great way to burn off extra calories. Aim to walk at a speed of 4 miles per hour, as this helps you burn fat. Use a wearable fitness product to measure, or count how many steps you take in 20 seconds at a speed of 4 mph then multiply by 3 – it should be 135 steps per minute.
- Stand up. In the office, set a timer on your watch or phone for every 20 minutes. When it goes off, stand up and move if even for a few seconds. After 20 minutes of sitting, the body starts to slow down the amount of calories you burn, so move every 20 minutes to keep it fully active.
- Swap biscuits for a smoothie. Save calories and get your vitamins at the same time.
- Calorie challenge. Every day, challenge yourself to burn off an extra 100 calories over the build-up to Christmas.
- Skip. Skipping for 10 minutes can burn up to 135 calories and it sculpts and tones your lower body.
- Add oats to your smoothies. Throwing these into your blender will help stabilise your blood sugar levels so you’ll be less tempted to snack on mince pies.
- Take the stairs. Taking the stairs two at a time works your thighs and bottom harder. If you avoid the handrails, you’ll contract your abs more for balance.
- Create a playlist. Music is a great motivator, so draw up your list, name it ‘My Pretox Christmas Playlist’ and listen to it when you work out.
- Keep gym kit in sight. Put your workout gear on the radiator – this way you’re more likely to slip into it and head for a quick workout.
- Apply determination and discipline and you’ll get the desired results.
For more advice about enjoying this year’s festivities without sacrifice, pick up a copy of December’s HFG for tips on keeping a smart festive party strategy, see our choice of savvy drink swaps and cook up the best healthy versions of Christmas favourites.