What's the best workout to burn off the calories from a Christmas meal?

After gorging yourself on roast, gravy and Yorkshire pudding, it's time to think about burning off the calories with this workout

Christmas meal calories
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Christmas is the best time to let ourselves go, which most usually include having at least one very calorific meal. If you are in the Uk, a typical Christmas meal will include some sort of roast, gravy, baked goods, cheese boards and a few bottles of alcohol. After the all the festivities, you might wonder: what's the best workout to burn of the calories from a Christmas meal?

At least to some degree, this depends on your fitness level, your age, the time you've got for exercising and more. But before we get into the the nitty-gritty of the best Christmas workouts, we would like to point out that the best way to lose weight after Christmas is not to put on weight during in the first place. A bit of moderation can save you a lot of effort later on.

christmas meal calories workout

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Assuming that you didn't practice moderation, how many calories do people eat during Christmas? The aforementioned Christmas meal, which probably includes a roast meal, snacks, appetizer and alcohol, contains anywhere between 4-5,000 calories. Of this amount, we need to discount everyone's basal metabolic rate to get the amount that's extra on top.

Basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories the body requires to sustain itself, without moving a muscle. This decreases over time and also very different for men and women. Women tend to have a significantly lower BMR but for both sexes, BMR can be increased by exercising regularly.

christmas meal calories workout

(Image credit: Getty Images)

An average person's BMR in their mid-30s is around 1,400-1,750. We need to discount this amount from the 5,000 calories we ate and we'll get the following number: women need to exercise off roughly 3,600 and men approximately 3,250 calories. These are estimates and by no means true to everyone.

The questions is: what's the best workout to burn all this calorie surplus off? You can always do the Mike Tyson bodyweight workout that'll burn those calories off in no time. Chris Hemsworth full body workout is also intense and will get you ripped, not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger's 8-week muscle building plan. None of these are ideal for the average Joe, however.

best exercise for weight loss

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ocean Finance went ahead and did the calculations for us. According to its research, the best exercise to burn off excess calories is running on a treadmill, it being set to 10 mph speed. Looking at the charts, a 9-stone person burns approx. 500 calories in half an hour running on a treadmill at that speed, meaning would need to run for a whopping seven hours to burn off the surplus calories from a Christmas meal.

The truth is, not all calories will automatically get stored away as fat in your body so you can probably get away with doing a little bit less exercise than that. If you are pressed on time, HIIT workouts could be a good way to burn calories, not to mention resistance training. Resistance training such as weight lifting can not only burn calories but also build muscle which increases the BMR and can help maintain weight loss and overall health. 

Get Fit for 2021!

This is part of T3's Fit for 2021 programme, which will be running throughout January. We aim to bring you tips on diet, lifestyle and exercise that will help you shape up for what is certain to be a difficult year. One thing we can guarantee: it WILL be better than last year. And hopefully we'll help you get the most out of it. 

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.