As soon as the holidays are over, companies are hurriedly getting their commercials to air for their fast-fix weight loss gimmicks. Diet books, DVDS, silly tools (have you heard of the Shake Weight yet?) and weight-loss centres are now competing on the tv screen, trying to interrupt people's holiday remorse with a glimmer of hope. This is the time of year that I become a little irritated. Because, in my humble opinion, I think it's wrong to take advantage of one's discouragement and ill feelings toward themselves to sell an impractical service or product. And chances are, if you gained a little weight over the holidays, simply by resuming your lifestyle plan that existed BEFORE December 1st, it will come off again quite quickly. No desperation needed. Weight loss requires three things: the correct mindset (one of confidence in the plan and of excited motivation), clean, balanced eating and correct, all-encompassing exercise. All-encompassing means functional - that which trains every body part as well as the cardiovascular system. Hence, the Shake Weight is useless (no range of motion, not enough load… a product who's CEO is probably laughing hysterically at his own joke as sales increase). As for Herbal Magic and Dr Bernstein - I have a major, major beef with these companies. Mostly because I've had to pick up the pieces after their former clients have come to me, having gained all of their weight back PLUS some. First of all, no one should ever consume less than 1200 calories. We are human, we need food to operate - we just need to LEARN, using REAL food, what balance is. And teetering to the lower end of the spectrum, after being at the higher, is a negative stress on the body and really screws us up later on. These companies tend to provide a plan that is not personalized, and therefore doesn't teach the individual to create a new relationship with food. Fat loss is all about metabolic support. Keeping things stable. What is stable about a restrictive diet taking over our lives? Cutting out carbs? Cutting out ANYTHING desirable brings the emotions to the fore-ground of the process and disrupts, then, the confidence and excited motivation needed to stay on a good plan of arranging one's meals. Stability is getting the foods that you need, in the right balance, so your body doesn't bug you for anything else. Cravings subside. EMOTIONS, thereby, subside. Focus is on point, energy is higher than ever allowing for regular activity - which in turn helps the body to metabolize the food.

You can/will lose fat, you can/will lose your Christmas weight, simply by focusing, eating clean and exercising. I think people, in their desperation, are getting sick of hearing that it's simple. But I won't stop saying it - it's true, so long as you're NOT desperate. And that is where that right mindset comes in. Be confident. Turn off the TV, ignore the postcard advertisements you're getting in the mail… Pick up a buddy and hit the gym and get to feeling great again. There is something big (or small) to look forward to ahead.

And for good measure, here is what a balanced and clean eating day can look like:

Meal One: 3/4 cup cooked large flake oatmeal, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, cinnamon and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts - coffee, no sugar

Meal Two: an apple and a hard boiled egg

Meal Three: 1/2 cup vermicelli noodles, 1/2 cup shrimp and 1 cup of vegetables, tossed in a bit of soy sauce and natural peanut butter (lunch should be filling - we need the energy in the midday to prevent bingeing later on)

Meal Four: 1/2 cup - 1 cup raw vegetables, 2 tbsp hummus or light cottage cheese

Meal Five: Egg white omelette (4-5 egg whites), sprinkle of cheese if desired, and vegetables of your choice. 1-2 squares of dark chocolate for dessert. This way of eating provides the body with enough fibre, calcium, protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to stay satiated and avoid cravings and bingeing. If you keep it moving (your nutrition plan AND your body), which you can since it's balanced, you will attain a healthy body fat range.

So, don't be stupid. Being smart will help you reach your goals. If you need help, you can always call. xo

*featured photo found at *internal photo found at