Who ate all the mince pies?

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Photo by Phillip Ingham

*Sighs* Yes, its that time of year again, you feel bloated, bulging and unattractive. You’ve had one too many mince pies and a sip too many of the mulled wine and the prospect of slipping into that little black number for Elements Monday is ever-daunting. The January fat blues can be depressing, even for the best of us. The answer? Do something about it!

This might be easier said than done but shaping up after Christmas can be achieved. Even by a student who is faced with the ever tempting trip to Pizzetta after a night out or an “innocent pint at the bar.” Its all about determination and perseverance.

To begin, you need the mindset. You need to really want to shape up and get a grip of your eating habits, in order to see any real results. If you’ve got the head for a diet, the body will come in time. You must be dedicated and consistency is a priority.

Next, its all about food. Even though you feel as though you’ve had enough nosh in the last month and that starving yourself on a lettuce leaf is the only way – this will not work in the long run. Eating little and often (of the right things) will do wonders for your figure. Contrary to common beliefs 80% of losing weight comes from what you eat. Get rid of those christmas choccies, throw away the rest of the fruit cake and get on it! Cutting out carbs in the evening can make a huge difference, its all about the meat and veg guys.

Third, exercise! What’s that you say? Yes, it can be forgotten about when all you have done is slob for a month. But getting back into the cardio not only does wonders for beating the christmas bulge but also for your health in general. Exercise increases your metabolism and makes you feel happy and healthy. Particularly at university when high workloads (yeah right!) can cause huge stress, exercise can dispel the panic and release pent up anxiety.

Now the problem for us students is alcohol. Unfortunately, like all the employed out there who go back to work and vow not to drink for a month, it is not quite so easy for us. Especially when your friends are yelling, “down it!” or “funnel!” and inevitably all those shots and pints are just empty calories falling onto our bodies along with the rest of the christmas indulgences. But results can still be achieved even with the odd night of bingeing. Keeping these nights to a minimum or drinking less on some nights (an absurd suggestion I know) will help.

So long as you keep eating and exercising well you should keep the beer bellies/alcopop flab at bay. Telling the drunk you that you do not need a pizza at 3am will also help. Although a seemingly impossible task at 2:59am!

But don’t forget to always keep the end result in sight – a slimmer, happier you! Hit the gym, eat well and go for it!

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