Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Our health: December versus January 

Written by Fiona

February 14 2015

It’s a common belief that people over-indulge over Christmas and then spend the New Year trying to get back into shape, but just how different are our eating, drinking and exercise habits across the two months?

To find out, Holland & Barrett asked 100 people to answer a series of questions about their lifestyle in December and January, and the difference is startling.

When asked about their alcohol consumption in December more than 25% of people said they consumed more than 25 units per week. The guideline maximum number of units is 21 for men and 14 for women.

In December, 60% of respondents also admitted to consuming an average of 3000 calories per day, 1000 more than the daily guideline amount for women and 500 more than the advised amount for men. The extra calories amount to the equivalent of a Big Mac a day.

With all the eating and drinking they were doing, it’s unsurprising that 20% of those polled did no exercise in December.

In contrast, when polled in January, 90% had exercised at least once a week and 18% had exercised more than three times a week.

One in 10 had chosen to have a dry January by avoiding alcohol all together and more than half (55%) were consuming less than 2,000 calories a day.

Emma Hobbs, head of brand and PR at Holland & Barrett, said: “The contrast between December and January is pretty stark. With all those calories and alcohol units consumed it’s no wonder that people feel the need to completely detox in the New Year.”

See Holland & Barrett.

More Like This


5 fantastic reasons to vIsit Guatemala – and 4 things to do there 


How cold water swimming can help with managing depression


Corbett bagging: Morven, near Ballater


Free beginner’s guide to navigation by Ramblers Scotland


Corbett bagging: Meall Dubh, Glen Moriston


Tips for first time traveller’s guide | Greenbrier WV