We all know December isn’t the healthiest month, but there’s no need to abstain from festivities completely to stay in shape. We asked Myles Hopper, who has the dual advantage of being a chef and a personal trainer, to give us some advice on coping with the instances of overindulgence that we’re all bound to face this month. Here’s how to repair the damage the healthy way.
Scenario A: You had a couple of drinks, and scoffed a tray full of hors d’oeuvres
What to eat Eggs. Alcohol suppresses fat metabolism, making you store it around your midriff. Eggs are rich in iron, which helps reboot it.
Recommended exercise Rowing intervals. High-intensity interval training is a guaranteed way to burn off the empty calories you’ve stored from that booze. Row flat-out for 20 seconds, followed by ten seconds’ rest, and repeat eight times. Rest for two minutes and repeat. Bon voyage, beer belly.
Scenario B: Mixed bubbly and beers, then raided the snacks cupboard at home
What to drink Coconut water. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, leaving you completely parched. Coconut water replaces lost electrolytes and potassium, which are integral to nerve and cell function.
Recommended exercise A full-body complex will get your blood pumping to flush toxins from your system and boost your metabolism to neutralise them faster. Do six reps of clean and presses, bent-over rows, racked squats, push presses and lunges. Repeat for three rounds.
Scenario C: Smashed your boss in a tequila slam-off and devoured an elephant leg in the local kebab shop
What to eat A fruit punch porridge. Alcohol dumps toxins on you that need evicting. Oats and yogurt contain cysteine, an amino acid that helps your liver perform the clean-up process, while the fructose in fruit will boost your energy and fight off a lingering headache.
Recommended exercise Use your bodyweight. When just hitting the snooze button feels like an uncrackable Crystal Maze mission, you’ve got to keep exercise simple. You needn’t even leave the house for this four-minute drill. Start with squats, alternating 30 seconds of effort and rest. Managed to hold your breakfast down? Then step it up with press-ups and lunges.
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Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.