WITH the summer holidays just around the corner, you - like many people - may have started thinking about shaping up and shedding those excess pounds you gained over the winter.

On the other hand, you may still be trying to lose the last 10 pounds, or even start a fitness journey; it’s never too late.

There is no magic pill or quick fix, its simply hard work and dedication to what you set out to accomplish.

Don’t follow a shake diet or a really low calorie diet like 800 calories a day, etc.

Have a clear plan and outline what you want to achieve, if weight loss is your goal then you need to be accountable and ensure you weigh and measure yourself once a week - preferably in the mornings and on the same day each week.

Keep a food diary. As much as it’s a pain to write everything down or you may forget what you have consumed on a daily basis, it’s the most effective way to reach your goals.

Either purchase a notebook and write a daily blog, or use the fitness app myfitnesspal - this fantastic app works out everything for you.

It will take you less than five minutes a day to jot down or add it into the app what you ate at each meal and the approximate number of calories.

Suddenly, that chocolate fudge cake, with its whopping 800 calories will be less appetising when you have to write it down!

Daily exercise is an essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle, regardless of weight loss or weight maintenance.

Even if you're tight on time, make every effort to move more daily by doing small things like taking the stairs, parking a distance away in parking lots, and schedule 10-minute power walks to re-ignite your energy.

No matter your situation, be sure to exercise often and move more in general.

Food for thought:

- Eat a high protein diet.

- Drink at least two litres of water a day.

- Include a variety of fruit and vegetables

- Avoid high sugary foods.

- Limit your alcohol intake weekly.

- Don’t be afraid of eating good carbs.

- Healthy fats are essential for giving you energy and supporting cell growth.

Exercises to do daily:

- Walk 30 minutes a day.

- Hit 10,000 steps daily.

- Introduce bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, press ups, plank.

- Work the core and engage with the abdominals.

- Try do a HIIT (high intensity interval training) three times a week for 20 minutes.

- Don’t be afraid to lift weights, the more lean muscle you have the more calories you will burn at rest.