Drop a dress size for Christmas

Woman in posh dress

There’s a chill in the air, 'Strictly' and 'X-Factor' are back on TV and the shops are full of cards and wrapping paper. Yes, Christmas is around the corner and the pressure’s on to fit into – and look good in – our party dresses. But, according to research, while more than half of us plan to lose weight in time for Christmas, only a fifth start dieting early enough to achieve our goals and, as a result, end up resorting to a quick-fix to shift the pounds.

That’s not the way to do it, say nutrition experts. Embarking on extreme or fad diets that involve cutting carbs, slurping baby food or skipping breakfast (one new diet actually recommends this!) will simply leave you starving, miserable and short of nutrients. The outcome might be a few pounds off your tummy but also a lack of energy, dry skin, weak nails, dark circles under your eyes and dull hair – not exactly a great party look.  

Instead, if you want to drop a dress size safely and sensibly in time for Christmas – and sparkle and shine throughout the festivities – you should start your diet at the beginning of November. That way, all you’ll need to do is cut down slightly on the amount of calories you get from food and drink and burn some more up through being extra active. So what are you waiting for? Your party perfect body is just one month away!

How much do I need to lose to drop a dress size?

It depends on your body shape and size and where you buy your frock but, as a rule, losing two inches from each of your vital statistics will be enough to drop a dress size. Most people find losing around 10lb does the trick. Our plan is designed to help you lose around 2lb a week – plus most people lose an extra couple of lbs when they start as their bodies get used to a new way of eating, so you should be able to drop a size in a month.

Getting started

Over the next month, make some easy swaps at meal and snack times to cut out excess calories. As a guide, stick to 1,300 calories each day. Be more active, too, aiming to burn off 300 calories. Kick off with this one week diet plan which contains 1300 calories a day. If you’re veggie, just follow our food swaps.

Don’t ditch the dairy

Every day have 300ml/1⁄2pt skimmed milk to use in tea and coffee or to make into fruity milkshakes. As well as being good for your bones, the calcium in low-fat dairy products helps reduce body fat, especially from your tummy – great news for dropping a dress size!

 

See page 2 for a seven-day meal plan

See page 3 for healthy high-street meal swaps

See page 4 for fantastic meal ideas

See page 5 for perfect portion sizes

See page 6 for a 100-calorie workout

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No time? Try the last-minute anti-bloat diet

Find the right diet for you: the diets directory 

Stay well this winter

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