Humans are mammals and, in order to cope better with cold winters, our cultures have helpfully ensured that, with traditions such as Christmas, we pad ourselves with a bit more body fat, which helps us keep a bit warmer. I have no idea whether the preceding sentence, in particular the bit about additional fat helping us keep warmer, has any scientific validity, but on the other hand, I feel as qualified in writing this as most of the people who start bombarding us with detox diets in January.
It is bad enough to have to take down the Christmas decorations, which make the house suddenly feel so bare and even gloomy, while it is still so cold and dark outside. The last thing we need is to add to the misery by starving ourselves and punish our hibernating bodies with a sudden burst of exercise. It seems to me that it makes a lot more sense to remain in hibernation, continue to eat comfort food and sit by the fire (if you have one).
As the days become longer and warmer we will naturally spend more time outside being active and the new season fruit and vegetables will also encourage to eat lighter meals. And our culture has even helpfully put Lent in the calendar in case we need a bit more prompting.
And now perhaps is time to start that box of Christmas chocolates that we didn’t even have time to open…
Happy new year and happy hibernation!