I can feel Christmas is going to swoop in quickly this year. And, as a consultant, I often notice that this is one of the times when many people panic about their weight and seriously consider a quick-fix solution or a fad diet. Instead, we urge you to stay calm and avoid the temptation of a quick-fix fad diet.

As they say, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’! Instead, follow a sensible, well researched and proven weight loss programme like the ones you’ll find here at Motivation. These programmes work and we have the success stories and the evidence to prove it.

Fad diets or quick fixes simply don’t work in the long term; their focus is all about fitting into a dress next week but, unfortunately, that weight is often regained (and even some more). The research continually backs this finding up. Read my blog on how to avoid the quick-fix mentality here.

I learnt this myself the hard way – after years of trying fix-quick ‘emergency’ and fad diets in the lead up to Christmas, I finally discovered that slow and steady changes to my habits is what works. These days I know that a series of healthy choices add up to a healthier and slimmer body. Of course, I do go off track sometimes, but then I pull myself back and get back to basics. That’s the only ‘secret’ to weight loss that I know for sure.

How Are Things Going ?
It’s important to take stock of where you’re at with your weight and health right now. Do you feel well? Are you sleeping okay? How are your stress levels?

Make sure you’re doing something active each day if possible, whether it’s a brisk walk, a session at the gym or even a fitness DVD at home – it doesn’t matter what it is, and don’t worry about the length of time – as long as it gets your heart pumping, that means you’re on the right track!

Tips For The Next Few Weeks
Be disciplined for the next few weeks – with your food and your exercise (and don’t use the weather as an excuse! Read my 6 reasons to introduce HIIT sessions here – which are perfect for the indoor exercisers.

Another tip is to ban junk food in the house – that includes biscuits, sweets, crisps and frozen, ready meals. Instead, have people over for dinner and serve up the finest filet steaks with tons of green vegetables – delicious! Or try some lovely fresh tuna steaks or lemon sole served with some green lentils or a side salad. Remember food doesn’t need to be complicated to be healthy or tasty. Have you tried our Deliciously Healthy recipe book? Try a new recipe every week if you can.

Boozing Won’t Help Your Losing!
Besides sabotaging your weight loss efforts, research shows that alcohol could increase the risk of some cancers. Try to swallow on these sobering facts: those who drink two drinks a day are up to 30 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer than non-drinkers. Shocked? We were (and notice that it’s just two drinks, not a lot!). You’ll probably list off the potential heart-health benefits that you’ve heard about…however…did you know that those cited benefits of two drinks a day actually tend to apply to men over 40 and post-menopausal women? So, for the rest of us, time to stop using those red wine studies as an excuse to over-indulge!

Use Visualistion for Success
Keep motivated by visualising yourself on Christmas day looking the best you can look, and feeling amazing. Be specific when you do this: what exactly are you wearing? Where are you? And who are you with?

Aim to use all five of your senses – smell, sight, touch, taste and hearing. Imagine yourself feeling fitter, lighter and healthier. What is the feeling that goes with this? Is it more confidence, happiness or a sense of wellbeing that you didn’t have previously? Many of us working at Motivation agree that nothing really beats this feeling; I fact, it makes holidays and events like Christmas about a million times more enjoyable.

Goodby fad diets, hello Christmas!

Blog Post by Maebh Coyle