On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a trimmer bod for my little black dress! With Cook + Cure’s pre-Christmas weight loss tips there’s still time to shed those few extra pounds before the year is out! So go on and dust off that little black dress for the office Christmas party—just follow our two-week protocol and those pounds will melt away just like Frosty on that sunny day, only less depressing.

  • Get into a winning frame of mind. Set yourself a goal of losing 3lbs a week for next 2 weeks. Visualize yourself fitting perfectly into that little black dress and keep that picture in your mind. It will keep you motivated to make it a reality!
  • Cut down on carbohydrate intake, just for the next 2 weeks. Replace pasta, rice, and potatoes with extra helpings of vegetables. Reducing carb intake will aid weight loss, and curbing your hunger with extra vegetables will benefit your overall health. If you just can’t do without carbs, try to reduce portion size to 40g per serving and switch to the whole grain variety. They release energy more slowly and balance blood sugar levels.
  • Cut out alcohol for the next 2 weeks. Alcohol is high in calories, and it saps your willpower, making it easier to give in to the temptation to reach for those fattening snacks like crisps, cheese and crackers, chocolates— you know the usual culprits. Believe it or not, cutting out alcohol will equate to weight loss. Go on and abstain for a bit leading up to the party season, it’ll be worth it!
  • Increase your exercise regime, or if you don’t have one start one now!! Exercise is the best way to burn excess fat. Start with a brisk 30-minute walk every day. Aim to do this before work or during your lunch hour if you are too tired at the end of the day. Do as much incidental exercise as possible; use the stairs instead of the lift, leave your desk and walk around the office every so often, get a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day. You can even do hand weights while watching tv. Every little bit adds up!
  • Try to get at least 7 hours sleep a night. Your body needs regular, good quality sleep to repair itself. Research has shown that poor sleep patterns place stress on the body and can hinder weight loss and overall health.
  • Drink 2 litres of filtered water each day. Water hydrates and detoxifies. People often confuse thirst for hunger and reach for a snack when all they really need is a glass of water. Ensuring that you’re properly hydrated throughout the day can decrease the urge to eat when you don’t really need to, and it’s important for maintaining good health even when you’re not trying to lose weight. Just do it!
  • Keep a food diary. Research has shown that keeping a track of the food we eat on a daily basis really helps with portion control. We often forget about those between-meal snacks and can more easily overlook poor eating habits when we don’t hold ourselves accountable. Get into the habit of keeping a food diary, you may be surprised to discover some glaringly obvious habits keeping you from achieving that ideal weight.
  • Steer clear of takeaways and processed food over the next 2 weeks. Try to eat plenty of fresh foods— fruits and vegetables, lean protein and small amounts of whole carbohydrates. A good rule of thumb? Eat only the foods that your grandmother would have eaten.
  • Never miss breakfast! It is the most important meal of the day and eating a good breakfast— like porridge, sweetened with dried fruit, sprinkled with milled flax seeds and topped with natural yoghurt— will set you up for the day ahead and will prevent you reaching for that latte and mid-morning muffin!
  • Try to minimize stress. Christmas is a stressful time for a lot of people. Getting all the shopping done, deadlines at work before the holidays, traffic, parties, relatives… If you feel Holiday madness setting in, give yourself some time to relax! Do some deep breathing exercises, treat yourself to a calming massage, try meditation and mindfulness to keep yourself in the moment. Being in a constant state of stress raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can lead to weight gain, especially in that stubborn roll of fat around the middle!

Following our two-week pre-Christmas game plan will not only benefit your waistline, but will get you into the right frame of mind to really enjoy your Holiday season and ring in the New Year a healthier, more confident you.

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year!