It’s getting to that festive time of year where we feel the need to lose a few pounds to fit into that party dress, and pretty much every magazine on the high street will advertise how to lose weight and look good at Christmas parties.

I’m a newly qualified personal trainer and it drives me mad when I see all the ‘fad diets’. I have struggled with my weight all my teenage and early adult years. At my biggest I was 20 stone, until one day decided to change this road I was on. I have now lost 10 stone!

I can tell you first hand, nothing works better than eating a healthy wholesome diet and exercising a few times a week.

When it comes to weight loss, we automatically start to think of what we need to cut out of our diet. However, I think it’s about adding things in, eating more veggies. Fruit helps a lot and eating more whole foods rather than processed foods.

If we add more nutrients in, we naturally have less room for the less nutrient – dense foods.

I don’t believe in cutting foods you love out of your life, as food is a huge part of our happiness and this is no quick fix. We need to find something that we can stick to for life, as it’s all about moderation and portion control.

We can have a slice of cake, just not the whole cake. Remember, some foods feed the body and some foods feed the soul. The last thing you want is to miss out on social occasions, because of your ‘diet’ that attitude just won’t last in the long run.

I’m often asked what type of exercise someone should do and my answer is simple ‘What do you enjoy doing?’ Exercise isn’t punishment, it should be something you look forward to.

Don’t get me wrong, even I have days where I feel less motivated and that’s normal, but if you ever find yourself hating your workout you need to change it. If I’m writing a training plan for someone, I will always make sure it suits their needs in health and happiness.

We must remember we are all individual, so what worked for me won’t always work for you.

When it comes to weight loss it’s about eating in a deficit, but that number is different for all of us.

So many people pluck a number from thin air or copy their friends plan and then they wonder why it doesn’t work for them.

My biggest advice this festive period is enjoy your social occasions and make healthy choices in between.

Don’t crash diet for 8 weeks, then go off plan for 3 weeks, to end up back at square one. You’ll then want to jump on the fad New Year diets. My motto is eat good, move more and feel great.

It’s also a busy time of year and we often find ourselves going a million miles an hour trying to fit so much in our schedules.

So you have to make sure you give yourself some ‘me time’, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day or 1 hour a week, where you can sit and just take some time to clear your mind, after all, health comes as a package in mind and body.

Make sure you get good sleep and rest when your body tells you to, as we often neglect these things more than our diet, yet they are the crucial foundations to living a healthy happy life.

For more advice on fitness tips and meal ideas, email me at Healthy_Happy_Me@outlook.com