Forget costly gyms and class - just tweaking how you carry out everyday tasks such as shopping and walking can burn 500 calories a day. This equates to 3,500 calories a week and a lb in weight - so following the tips could see you lose 6lbs by Christmas.

Small changes can make all the difference to your lifestyle

Small changes can make all the difference to your lifestyle

What's not to like about the sound of this?

Typically, people gain half a stone over the festive season thanks to boozy nights out and gorging on hearty meals and chocolate over the Christmas holiday. But by shedding weight beforehand, revellers can indulge without worrying about their waistline in the New Year.

Iain Reitze from Prestige Boot Camp explained Christmas doesn't have to mean excess, and with new research showing the effect obesity can have on developing cancer, there's never been a better chance to start making the little changes.

He said: "People seem to slow down in November and December and resign themselves to putting on a load of weight over the holidays. "Then they vow to diet in the New Year. But you don't have to do this. You can have Christmas without going mad. And by making small changes to your lifestyle you can burn an extra 500 calories a day meaning you've put in the good work beforehand. So you can enjoy yourself, and not go into the New Year feeling you are going to have to spend months burning off those extra lbs."

Carrying shopping, walking an extra half mile to and from work, and household chores such as ironing, vacuuming and gardening all count towards fat burning.

Iain, 49, recommends trying to walk for 20 minutes twice a day too and says by following this will help people see a real difference to their health. He explained: "The excuse I hear the most about why people can't lose weight is 'I haven't got time,' or, 'I can't go to the gym.' That's just rubbish. Most people will sit and watch TV at night, all they need to do is get up and go for a walk.

"You can work bits of exercise into what you do every day and even if you just burn 100 calories at a time, you do that five times and it's the same as running for nearly an hour.

"It's not costing you any time, it's just stuff you're already doing. People are often scared of gyms and that's understandable if their weight is affecting their self-esteem. But you don't need to be forking out £50 a month for gym membership, then driving 20 minutes there and back to lose weight. Just get up 20 minutes earlier, put on your trainers and start with a walk, then alternate walking and running and soon you will see a change. Not just in your physical size and shape, but you'll feel sharper mentally too and have more energy and confidence."

Iain also stresses the effects of alcohol on the waistline and says he welcomes plans announced by the EU health commissioner to show how many calories each unit of alcohol contains.

Currently, it's recommended that women have no more than three units a day and men have four, with two days each week with none at all. He says booze is the most common reason for weight gain in the clients he works with, and has researched what a range of drinks equate to if consumed as food and how long it takes to do everyday tasks to burn them off so people can see the effect of their favourite tipple on their waistline.

To burn off a large 250ml glass of wine at 185 calories, a woman would have to walk for 35 minutes or carry shopping up stairs for 20 minutes. For a man, walking or cleaning for half an hour would burn a pint of lager.

Iain said: "I think it's a good way to show how much alcohol can contribute to weight gain by showing the energy you have to use to burn it off. At this time of year, people do go out and binge so it's all the more relevant and I hope by looking at this it makes people think about how much they drink.

"You wouldn't go out and eat five burgers in one sitting or eight chocolate doughnuts but people don't think twice about having five pints or a bottle of wine on a night out.

"Most of the women I speak to at camp say they drink between a glass of wine and a bottle a night and more at weekends. Even at the bottom of the scale, just one small glass, would see them consume an extra 3000 calories a month which equates to gaining a stone in weight in a year.

"It's not just the empty calories they consume at the time. It's the bad food choices people make while they are drinking, snacking on crisps or chocolate. Then the next day while nursing a hangover you are more likely to reach for junk food that is full of calories but lacking in nutrients."

At his camps in Marbella, Devon, Suffolk and London, Iain encourages clients to eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and to readdress the size of their portions. Eating every two and a half hours, so having a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, keeps blood sugar and energy levels steady throughout the day.

He explains: "If you ate 400 calories of vegetables, your stomach would be completely full. If you had 400 calories of chicken it would be a quarter full, or if it was fat, it would be about ten per cent full.

"I'm not anti-fat, there are good fats and oils out there in nuts, seeds and foods like guacamole that have a vital place in our diets. By ensuring that veg makes up the majority of each meal, with protein and some good fat, people soon see the results they want and an improvement to their health. So by eating the right food, you don't crave more, you feel full, but you also lose weight and have more energy too."

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