There is not one of us lovely ladies who doesn’t want to look and feel amazing in our Christmas party dresses this season. It’s hard to believe we’re in November already so don’t put it on the long finger…Now is the time to make changes so that in six weeks you really can enjoy the reward of looking and feeling on top form about your body.  So now all the Christmas party dresses are available, start motivating yourself by browsing online or instore and visualise how good your dream dress will look when you’re slimmer, toned and beautifully made up.

Now that you’ve chosen the guna, don’t delay in sorting out the body that’s going to wear it. View this as a project, NOT a diet. It’s a self-enhancement project that will not only make you Christmas party dresses ready, but will have you in tip top mental and physical shape for ultimate festive enjoyment.

So many people run themselves ragged in the run up to Christmas simply because they don’t start preparations in time.  So before I give you my top tips to lose a stone for Christmas it is important that you get organised so as to avoid stress, a major trigger for overeating. Make a list now, one for presents and one for cards. Aim to have the majority of shopping and card writing completed by the first week in December (or before if possible). Also do a mini spring clean now, try to fill one black bag with no longer needed clothes, toys etc. bearing in mind all the extra stuff that will be coming into your home on the big day. Get any DIY jobs done so that the house looks well and everything is working e.g. electrical items, painting jobs, carpet cleaning etc.

NOW that your environment is clean and clutter free you can start the self-enhancement weight loss project and enjoy taking control of your health, energy and well-being not to mention turning heads in those Christmas party dresses on the dance floor!

TIP 1 – WATER, WATER, WATER: 2 litres a day is essential for general hydration, then extra for any physical exercise carried out. Aim for an extra litre per 60 minutes of activity to compensate for perspiration. The key is to spread water drinking throughout the day and ideally to drink 2 glasses before each meal to trick the brain into feeling full by receptors sent from the stomach.  Water helps to metabolize fat and flushes toxins out. Often people can lose up to 5lbs just by drinking water as they were so dehydrated before. So tip one is start the day with water, every day. No exceptions.

TIP 2 – GREEN IS GOOD: Fitting into your beautiful Christmas party dresses comes down mainly to what you eat. Greens are full of goodness with little or no calories and should be eaten in abundance. I recommend 3-4 portions of green vegetables every day. Maybe start the day with a spinach based smoothie, add some cucumber, water and any type of berries (I use strawberries) or half a banana. Bear in mind the natural sugar in fruit so avoid adding more than 2 teacups to your blender. This is pure goodness in a glass and will provide fantastic energy for the day. Then at lunch aim for a green salad with chicken or fish, or make a pot of soup with pre-cut veg (Dunnes or Tesco), split lentils (little orange ones) and 2 chicken stock cubes. For dinner a stir-fry with green peppers, broccoli, mange tout, asparagus or an omelette with some spinach, mushrooms, courgette would ensure you’re consuming a tasty, nutritious diet. Other vegetables are good too, just limit to one serving as they are a little higher in carbohydrate. These include onions, carrots, parsnips and turnip.

TIP 3 – STAY REGULAR: In order to lose weight it is crucial that you eat regularly. By this I mean you should never ever let yourself get too hungry. As blood sugars fall they reach a point where you are beyond thinking rationally, so strong are the hunger pangs. This is when you will eat the wrong thing and too much of it. The key is to eat every 3 to 4 hours and aim to have some protein at every meal and snack. Protein will keep hunger at bay, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and protect lean muscle so fat is burned instead (the secret to getting smaller). Develop a little routine and aim to eat at the same times each day. For example, breakfast at 8 (smoothie and boiled egg on wholemeal toast), snack at 11 (protein snack or apple and 6 Brazil nuts), lunch at 2 (soup or salad and a low fat yoghurt), dinner at 5.30 and another snack at 8.30. Carry snacks and a bottle of water at all times.

TIP 4 – START MOVING: I recommend starting a daily walking routine for the next 6 weeks. Fresh air, endorphin release, toned legs and bum, and burning belly fat…It’s a no brainer! Make the time, don’t wait for it. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes, an hour is ideal. Find a friend for company, either a real one or one on you tube! I listen to motivational speakers like Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins or Louise Hay and come back feeling inspired, energised and happy. If you prefer music, go for it. Walk fast, walk tall and remember just how brilliant you’re going to look and feel in a very short time. (We recommend checking out our tips for a healthy heart.)

TIP 5 – WATCH THE WHITE STUFF: Bland coloured foods are generally void of any goodness and will not do any good in the party dress plan. Aim to minimize white bread, rolls, baguettes, even white rice and pasta as much as possible. Obviously biscuits are a poor choice as are crisps and chips. These refined carbohydrates will play havoc with blood sugars and offer no real nutrition. Aim for wholemeal or wholegrain varieties, and overall try to keep bread down to 1-2 slices per day. If eating potato, stick to one, and for rice or pasta just half a cup.

TIP 6 – MEAT, FISH, and FOWL: Protein foods should be eaten regularly but not all are equal. The best choices are fish, especially white fish which is very low in fat, oily fish about twice per week, and chicken or turkey. Lamb and pork are not as good and should be limited to approximately once per week. Lean cuts of red meat are fine in moderation, and for fibre try to include some beans or pulses at least twice per week. For portion control aim for the size of a deck of playing cards or 2-3 ounces per meal.

So there you go…Eat regularly, drink water, eat greens at every meal, reduce the carbs to a half cup per meal, protein is essential, keep fruit down to 4 and get moving.

For more information on how you can lose weight for the festive season and slip into your Christmas party dresses, contact your local clinic here.

Blog Post by Claire Jackson