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PBK Christmas survival:

Christmas is a time of celebration, socialising, and families, generally brightening up the darkest winter days. It is a time of food, drinks and little exercise, which is not conducive to riding quickly.

PBK have put together a four part survival guide to help you through this period, allowing you to enjoy the festivities without the headache of a fatter and slower you on January the first.

Part 1 focuses on food:

Christmas means eating and drinking in excess. An average person eats 4 times their normal amount of calories on Christmas day. Sure it is nice to sample everything, but this is not good for those of us working towards a riding goal in 2013 and on a wider scale really not good for our long term health. It is easy to overeat at Christmas because everything which temps our taste buds is packed full of hidden calories. For example, a normal Christmas roast can be upwards of 3,000 calories!

It is a sad fact that excess weight on a cyclist’s body is the ultimate enemy, no more use than attaching weights to drag around – the Christmas bulge will make any ride in January that much more hard work! The key is to find balance with your Christmas excesses – we are not prescribing that you disappear into the mountains to your hermit retreat to ride the trainer and eat salad, but what we recommend is some thought about what you put into your mouth.

It is easy to lose track of what we eat during the festive period, with one more mince pie, another chocolate or a slice of Christmas cake always on offer. Here are some plain facts for you which should make you think the next time you feel tempted with that next treat.

Mince Pie: – 200 to 300 calories each! Packed with high calorie dried fruit and full fat pastry, these small treats are loaded with calories.

Christmas Cake: – a 100 gram slice can be upwards of 300 calories. As with Mince Pies the combination of fats and sugars adding to the calories hidden within.

Christmas Pudding: – Another calorie loaded treat, with a serving hitting around 300 calories without the added cream and brandy butter. With this you are looking at over 500 calories!

Peanuts: – 100 grams are 660 calories.

Crisps: – One bag is around 130 calories.

So what is the answer? As with everything, moderation; make sure that you sample some of your favourite Christmas treats, but not all at once. Allow yourself 1 treat each day. Note what it will be and how much. Also be mindful of what else you have eaten in the day. If you are snacking on these calorie-laden delights between meals you will soon be feeling your Lycra getting tighter.

Make sure that all your meals are made up mainly of fruits and vegetables, use these to fill yourself up, limiting the amount of calorie-rich animal fats and sweets. You can sample these but again only in moderation. If you make sure that you have filled up on foods which are lower in calories then you will not feel the need to pig out on the bad stuff.

Also limit your snacking between meals. This is where the excessive calories can add up quickly. Save your mince pies, Christmas cake etc. for the days when you have eaten less, or even use them to replace a meal. Unbalanced yes, but with the number of calories hidden within these delights you will have more than enough energy to sustain you!

Finally on the big day itself you can replace foods to reduce your calorie intake. Steer away from the higher calorie Goose or red meat and aim for Turkey as your meat of choice. Or if you are really thinking about your waist line then you can head for something like a nut roast for your Christmas dinner. Full of great natural fats and plenty of veggies it is a much more health-conscious option for the big day.

Christmas is a time to kick back and celebrate, but there is no need to get slower and heavier in the process. By limiting what  you’re eating, thinking about what foods you are eating and replacing some bad choices with healthier options you will make sure that your January the first is only filled with a hangover and not the realisation that you have a long road ahead to shed the extra kilos you put on over Christmas.

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