The Runner’s Holiday Weight-loss Plan

Don't sweat your next big feast - we can show you how to get back on track after any holiday splurge.

Sally Wadyka |

Christmas Dinner

Food For Thought: Eat a Hearty Breakfast

Strange but true: you go to bed feeling like a front row prop yet still wake up ravenous the next day. According to Gidus, that phenomenon happens after a huge meal because your body is so busy digesting that it enters your normal nighttime “hunger phase” in the morning.

And the worst thing you can do is try to starve yourself in a vain attempt to make up for overeating. Instead, she recommends you get back on track by grabbing a smart breakfast, one that energizes your body with 1255 to 1670 kilojoules and includes high-quality carbohydrates, low-fat dairy, and fruit.

Gidus’s perfect pairings include yogurt with granola and berries; or whole-grain toast with cottage cheese and fruit.

Fitness Solution: Hit the road for a long, slow run

Alas, you really did get intimate with a gravy boat yesterday. On the bright side, however, your body is perfectly primed for a workout that can burn off a chunk of last night’s meal.

“With all the potatoes and stuffing, Christmas dinner is a big carbo-load,” says McMillan. “That means the glycogen stores that fuel your muscles are full to capacity.” In addition to lots of muscle fuelling carbs, your feast contained a good amount of protein, essential for rebuilding muscles that break down during a long run.

Even better, you have the day off work, an invitation to hit the great outdoors for an hour on the move. Go slowly, enjoy the scenery, and keep moving for as long as you’re able. “This is all about time on your feet, because you’ll burn more kilojoules the longer you go,” says McMillan.

The reward: 3300-plus kilojoules burned and an invigorating start to the day.

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