Over-indulgence during the holiday season poses a threat to both mental wellbeing and waist bands everywhere. After weeks of turkey, puddings, cheese, hams and booze, it can be easy to view January as essential detoxing time. With so much of modern life geared towards the “necessity” of a New Year cleanse, the period can cause a real crisis of conscience for any true foodie. Fortunately, Twisted are here to give you the reassurances that you need that dieting after Christmas is actually a terrible idea and the last thing you should be doing. Here's why.
You’ll get angry
January is already the most miserable month of the year. It’s cold, it’s grey and it’s wet. The relentless gloom of winter is already a potent irritant. “Blue Monday”, famously the most depressing day of the year, occurs in the weeks after Christmas for a reason, so anything that will darken your mood still further should be avoided. Some studies have claimed that restricting calorific intake can alter the chemical composition of the brain, leading to excessive crabbiness. This is all the tenuous information you should need. Obviously, food makes foodies happy, so now is not the time to deprive yourself of what gives you joy. See off the January blues with carbonara, not kale. Waistlines be damned.
You need food during winter
Beyond mental well-being, there are more pragmatic reasons for continuing to eat yummy things throughout winter. Cold weather naturally stokes the appetite by causing body temperature to drop. Eating is essential in stimulating your metabolism and helping the body maintain a stable temperature. If you don’t eat a proper diet, you will feel colder and undoubtedly grumpier. For the sake of co-workers, friends and family, stay warm and keep eating.
Winter food is the best
Classic winter comfort food is in an indulgent category all on its own. From a hearty stew to a fully-fledged roast, wintery fare is impossible to top. Carby, flavourful and bold, seasonal staples have the capacity to restore and placate like no other food. Just picturing a steaming, gooey pile of mac and cheese should make you feel immeasurably more positive about relentless, lashing rain. These dishes are some of the highlights of the culinary year. Don’t deprive yourself of life’s greatest and most delicious joys. If you must diet, at least do it when everyone else is eating salad.
You will be bored
The northern hemisphere’s winter diet is typically varied and full of invention. Curries, soups and pies - all have a unique and individual warming ability that work wonders in different situations. Restrictive diets on the other hand are, obviously, restrictive. Watching everyone around you experiment with rafts of new dishes and creative ways to remain warm with food while you nibble at your umpteenth stick of sorry looking celery is enough to send anyone mad. Whatever else you think about diets, they are clearly extremely boring. Don’t be bored. Have a big bowl of chilli.
Diets don’t work
We are incessantly bombarded with stories of the latest miracle diet, whether it be losing two stone in three days by eating only raw chocolate, or liquefying everything and becoming immune to cancer. While some diets definitely work for some people, it’s equally true that many are based on dubious science. They can deprive the body of essential nutrients, act as a temporary solution or just fail to work altogether, making the dieter even more miserable than they were before. Don’t set yourself up for a fall - there are other, less soul destroying ways to lose that Christmas paunch.
Avoiding a January diet doesn’t mean eating whatever you like all the time. You don’t want to welcome in Spring 2018 wider than you are tall. But as long as you’re balanced in your approach, your winter will end up being a whole lot more enjoyable than it otherwise would be. It’s ok to munch some extra crispy goose fat potatoes. This year, damn the diet and celebrate the wonders that winter food has to offer.