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PBK Christmas survival Part 3:

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 3 Drinks:

“Eat, drink and be merry!” It is a Christmas motto. Having dealt with the food and dinner parties issue, PBK now will get onto the drinks.

Alcohol is a part of Christmas – wine, beer, spirits and even champagne. All alcoholic drinks are packed full of calories – per 100 grams alcohol only has a few less calories than fat! So with the extra calories due to your increased eating at Christmas, there are also the extra calories from the drink.

As with the eating we are not recommending that you give up the festivities completely, but again with some forward planning you can enjoy the celebrations without increasing your post-Christmas waistline.

The first thing that you need to know is which drinks are the ones with the highest calories. Why is it that you rarely see top cyclist drinking beer: simple because it is packed with calories, when compared to wine or spirits.

If you are going to drink this Christmas then go for the spirits or wine. These are lower in calories (per serving) and their increased alcohol content will see you drink them slower.

Another tip, whilst out at parties is to make sure that you alternate your drinks. Follow every alcoholic one with a soft drink. Not only will this reduce you calorie intake, it will also, reduce your risk of drinking too much.

Why is drinking too much a risk: because it will tempt you to eat high-calorie foods as the alcohol impedes your judgement and your ability to control what you eat. When drunk, people tend to head for the high-calorie foods, because the alcohol affects our blood sugar, making us crave fats. This is a sure way to put your lighter Christmas plans to waste.

To reduce your calorie intake you can also go for the lighter option. A spirit with a low calorie mixer will give you the buzz, without the added calories. Gin and low-calorie tonic is around 54 calories per serving as opposed to 94 calories for the non-low calorie option.

Another issue with alcoholic drinks comes the dreaded morning after. If we have had a little too much Christmas spirit, then as we know many of us will have to deal with the dreaded hangover. Basically this is a combination of toxins, decreased blood sugar and dehydration; all the reasons for a hangover. Not only are these unpleasant, but they can have an effect on our ability to train the following day. That is why, if you are going to drink in excess, you should aim for clear drinks. These are more pure and tend to leave us with fewer toxins to deal with; unfortunately the low blood sugar and dehydration are par for the course.

As the saying goes prevention is better than cure, and PBK recommends that you drink responsibly. Though we also understand that it is Christmas, a time of celebration and letting your hair down, which drinking is normally a part of. As with eating, moderation is the key; enjoy the treats of the Christmas festivities, but try not to overindulge. Excessive eating and drinking, means excessive calorie intake, which will throw you off track of your goals for 2013.

Here is a short list of the calories in different Christmas tipples:

Baileys Irish cream: 3 large glasses – 1000 calories

Beer:  4 pints – 1000 calories

Mulled wine:  1 large glass – 550 calories

Red wine: Medium (175ml) glass – 119 calories

Whisky and coke: 1 serving – 120 calories

Whisky and diet coke: 1 serving – 56 calories

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