Among the people who lost five percent of their weight or more, more than half had gained it back within two years' time / Rex

You don't have to get to a gym pronto

Christmas is a season of excess – excessive spending on gifts, excessive decorating, excessive partying, and of course, excessive eating. It’s the season to be jolly, after all.

But once the plates are cleared and the leftovers are finished, the only things left stuffed are our stomachs. Belts have to be loosened, food sweats are inevitable and you may find yourself wishing you didn’t feel quite so heavy.

Then comes the New Year. At the beginning of 2015, the top two New Year’s resolutions, according to Nielsen, were related to fitness. Thirty-seven per cent of those surveyed resolved to stay fit and healthy, while 32 per cent vowed to lose weight.

Here are six simple ways to get the process going, without immediately signing up for a gym membership and buying a juicer.

Keep a food diary

According to, writing down how much you’ve eaten will help practice portion control.

Keeping a food diary helps in two ways: firstly, it’s a reminder of how much time has passed since you ate, and secondly, you become more aware of what you’re consuming.

“People who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t,” says “When they combined it with a moderate diet and exercise plan, they lost an average of 13 pounds in 6 months.”

Drink more

Water, that is. Most dieticians recommend drinking a glass of water when you feel hungry – often, people mistake thirst for hunger.

Replacing calorie-heavy drinks with water also helps. Adele recently credited her weight loss to simply cutting out sugar from her cups of tea.

She told The Sun: “I used to drink ten cups a day with two sugars in each so I was on 20 sugars a day. Now I don’t drink it and I have more energy than ever.”

Cut down on sugar

Britain’s “addiction to sugar” has been a hot topic this year, thanks to the sharp increase in obesity and diet-related diseases.

Cutting down on sugar has an overall positive effect on the body, according to author of I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson.

According to a column she wrote in Women’s Health magazine, eliminating refined sugar from your diet not only helps you lose weight, but also improves skin, stabilises moods and decreased pain in her joints.

Walk more

Downloading a fitness tracker app will help keep note of how much exercise you do in a day. Walking is one of the easiest and best ways to increase the amount of exercise you do, and many health experts recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of brisk walking a day.

One Reddit user said she used to be 21lbs overweight, and has now lost 27lbs just by keeping an eye on her calorie intake and doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Climb more stairs recommends choosing the stairs rather than the escalator to increase the amount of activity you do daily.

According to them, adding two to three minutes of stair climbing per day is not just good for your waistline, but also lowers mortality rates.

Start with a couple of flights a day, and aim to add more as you get stronger.

Sleep more

Research from the University of Pennsylvania found sleep plays an incredibly important part in weight gain or loss.

According to them, losing sleep for just a few nights can lead to almost immediate weight gain.

The study’s lead author Isaac Perron, a PhD student in Neuroscience at the university, said: “If you’re overweight and often feel tired, you may not need to lose all the weight to improve sleep, but rather just beginning to lose that excess weight may improve your sleep abnormalities."