With a new year upon us, just about everybody is on a diet after the holiday binge. Here’s a stomach-churner: the average person consumes around 7000 kilocalories on Christmas day alone. How on earth did you manage all that? Well, a regular serving of turkey contains 240kcal – and leaving on the skin can increase that figure by 50%. Sausages wrapped in bacon pack 160kcal per ‘pig in blanket’, a gravy dousing adds 60kcal, a slice of Christmas pud comes in at 330kcal, and a single mince pie contains 200. Sickened by you own gluttony yet? Well, bring on the alcohol! Each small glass of wine adds 68kcal and a measure of Baileys contains 129. You’ll be glad to hear that the brussel sprout is useless as a source of energy, contributing a measly (and bad tasting) 10kcal – but as a source of vitamin C, it’ll keep the scurvy at bay as you munch through tins of selection biscuits. Even with all this, the energy you get from your average Christmas day food binge would still only power a basic 100-Watt lightbulb for 19 hours. (If you were buying that much Energy direct as electricity from Npower, it would only cost you 26p – much cheaper than Christmas dinner…)

Sucking your belly in yet? Well, there are countless diets to help you lose that post-Christmas bulge. Atkins’ carb-slashing regimen enables quick weight loss, but only at the risk of putting it straight back on in six months’ time – along with the increased risk of heart disease, renal failure, and osteoporosis. The low GI diet involves eating carbs that are digested slowly, keeping you feeling full and energetic, as well a promoting an even blood sugar level. However, it can give the impression that some unhealthy foods that happen to have a low GI can be eaten freely, such as chocolate. Impact Science would like to offer you the only scientifically proven method of weight loss: eating fewer calories than you burn. Every gram of fat contains 9 kcal. For every 9 non-essential calories you eat, you’ll put on a gram of fat; but the opposite is true as well – for every 9 you burn, you’ll lose a gram of fat. So get thee to a gym!

Francesca Cash

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