It’s the time of year for detoxes, diets and drastic measures.
However, if you usually find yourself right back where you started by the end of January, due to ingrained habits and ferocious cravings, then maybe it’s time to try a different tack altogether.
Enter Dr Marilyn Glenville’s Fat Around The Middle, a best-selling book and nutrition course that promises to help you balance blood sugars and beat cravings, all while reducing that stubborn belly fat.
Research shows it takes at least three months to replace poor diet and lifestyle habits with healthier ones and as a result, I adapted the book to run as a 12-week course providing support, sound advice, recipes and a research-led journey into the world of nutrition that could change the way you eat for ever.
Now, courses run in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kildare, and the average participant loses about 10% of their body fat, drops up to a stone in weight and shaves some four inches off the waist.
But this is not a diet; it is a way of living designed to target the toxic visceral fat around the waist that increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer.
That seemingly innocent muffin top is not just a blot on your body beautiful, it is bad for your health.
If you think you need to lose weight, try this test at home. Simply measure your height and your waist: your waist should be half of your height, or less.
The first step - and the programme’s central focus - is to help you balance your blood sugars by eating little and often — every three hours or so, with a typical day looking something like this:
Breakfast: Small smoothie and one slice of wholemeal toast with an egg.
Mid-morning snack: Pear and a handful of mixed seeds or nuts.
Lunch: Mixed vegetable frittata with green salad.
Mid-afternoon snack: Oat cakes and a third of a tub of hummus.
Dinner: Roast vegetable ratatouille with cod and butterbeans.
The key is to add protein to every meal or snack and to cut out sugar and artificial sweeteners.
A study in the Lancet found that people who used artificial sweeteners tended to gain weight, and in particular weight round the middle that is notoriously hard to shift.
Following Marilyn Glenville’s programme is the way to get to the ‘forever you’, the shape and size that will allow you to live healthily and happily for a very long time. Treat yourself to the book through Amazon, or watch out for new 12 week courses starting in March. Log onto www.glenvillenutrition.ie
for more details.