Be honest. Wouldn't you be delighted if you woke up on the day of your office or family Christmas party to find you'd lost seven pounds? It's easier than you think to drop the weight in time for Christmas week, so follow our tips to look slinky in your glittery party outfit.
Cut out alcohol
If you're serious about fitting into your party frock, the first step to take is to stop drinking. If you're having a couple of large glasses of wine most nights, you'll be taking in at least 300 empty calories. Replace alcoholic drinks with a large glass of sparkling water with lemon or lime instead. The other benefit of cutting out booze is you may find your belly becomes flatter - drinking tends to make you store weight around your middle.
Do a dairy swap
Take a look at the types of dairy food you're eating. Replace cream with yoghurt, full-fat milk with skimmed milk, and swap high-fat cheeses such as cheddar and brie with lower-fat versions like cottage cheese.
Breakfast in style
Start off your day with a bowl of porridge, or sugar-free muesli with hot skimmed milk, adding a handful of blueberries or chopped dried apricots. On the weekend, serve up two poached eggs on a bed of wilted spinach on a wholemeal muffin instead of a fried breakfast and you'll save around 400 calories.
Instead of eating a sandwich for lunch, try lentil or minestrone soup served with a small wholemeal roll. If you're still hungry, follow with some chopped vegetables and tzatziki.
Go salad crazy
Beef up your salad intake. It may seem like a sacrifice when the weather's cold, but by swapping chips or butter-laden mash for a mixed salad you save up to 1000 calories. It's surely a small price to pay for a couple of weeks if it means your dress will fit perfectly.
To lose weight in time for your party, you should rethink your teatime treat. Having a slice of cake around 4pm will cost you anything from 250 to 600 calories. If you can bear it, substitute the stodge with a couple of jaffa cakes and you'll only be eating 90 calories instead.
Pack in protein
For dinner, think protein and vegetables, or carbs and veg. For example, make a large batch of tomato-based sauce and use it for curries and on wholemeal pasta (much healthier than the creamy variety). Protein meals can be based around chicken, lean meat or fish (tofu or quorn for veggies), served up with two different types of vegetables or a hearty salad with avocado and a sprinkling of seeds.
Serve a small portion of low-fat yoghurt with some chopped peach or pear and a sprinkling of cinnamon, or a scoop of low-fat frozen yoghurt, when you're craving pudding following a meal.
Give yourself a big pat on the back if you lose a few pounds, and if you don't, remember you can always start again in the New Year!