‘Tis the season to be jolly and a time when we indulge in, but as Sports Kinesiologist and Nutrition Specialist Lance Geringer explains, you can help prevent weight gain.


‘Tis the season to be jolly and a time when we indulge in, but as Sports Kinesiologist and Nutrition Specialist Lance Geringer explains, you can help prevent weight gain.

With Christmas and the New Year approaching, and the winter weather unfolding, golfers normally take some time off from the game and relax through the festive season. We get together with our family and friends during this time and usually eat and drink more than we normally would. If you continue eating your normal daily foods but do not continue with your current activity (i.e., golf) you will gain weight! You will gain even more weight if you consume the extra Christmas foods and drinks! It’s crucial that you take measures to minimise [or even better prevent] weight gain.

I haven’t met too many people who can avoid these temptations - but guess what? We don’t have to!


My mum used to tell me that it’s okay to indulge a bit but that I was the one who would ultimately have to recognise when to stop. Easier said than done I’d say – especially during the Christmas season! But, mum was right. Have an additional glass of wine or two, an extra helping of Christmas pudding or some chocolates and sweets, but make sure you do some extra activities to burn off those calories. The amount of activity required is based on what you consume:

A glass of wine = 1 hour at the driving range

Christmas pudding with custard = 1 hour at the range + 1 hour of slow walking

If you consume a bit more, you need to expend a bit more. It’s that simple!


Drinking and Christmas go hand in hand. We sit down and have long chats with family and friends and before you know it two or three bottles of wine are gone. This can be potentially 750+ extra calories in a matter of hours; almost ¼ pound of body fat. These numbers increase if we include the extra foods we’ll also indulge in!

Would we drink alcohol if it didn’t give us that nice sensation? Probably not, since I don’t see too many people reaching for the grape juice instead.

So, let me show you how to maintain that feeling while minimising calories:

Depending on how much food is in your system, it takes about 30 minutes to start feeling the effects of alcohol. Once these effects begin, slow down the consumption of alcohol. Sip your drink only once every 5-10 minutes (you must base this on how much you’ve eaten and how much you normally drink). Sipping slowly helps maintain the effect but reduces the total amount of calories that are converted to weight gain.

FACT: Once that nice sensation is reached it will not increase no matter how much more you drink.


The Christmas dinner is a glorious sight and it’s very easy to overeat when all the delicious food is laid out in front of us. How are we not supposed to overindulge? Here are two things you can do to minimise hunger at a dinner table full of goodies:

1- Make sure you eat a proper breakfast and lunch before your Christmas dinner. Most people, knowing that they will be eating a large meal, will only snack during the day which causes the body to compensate for those missed calories by overeating at the main meal.

2- Snack before your Christmas dinner! Having a snack 15-25 minutes before the main meal minimises hunger and the amount of food you would normally eat. Try it, it works! I normally recommend 1-2 roast potatoes, a couple of brussel sprouts and a slice of turkey. This snack lets the stomach signal the brain that food is coming in and it’s filling up, which then triggers the brain to start suppressing hunger.


You’ve just had dinner and you’re feeling full. This doesn’t mean you won’t get a craving for something sweet, since hunger and cravings are two very different things. This is the right time to give in to that craving, since having a small slice of cake [or whatever you’re craving] is better than avoiding it and then having a larger slice later. The longer you put off a craving the greater it becomes, and this generally causes people to overindulge when they do give in! I’ve seen this happen time and time again.

By applying my suggestions, you can minimise or prevent weight gain during this festive season and still enjoy the extra foods and drinks. So, raise your glass and indulge in those desserts, but make sure to get out to the golf range or do some other activities you enjoy. Let’s start the New Year thinking about the new golf season and not the pounds you’ve put on over Christmas!