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The last week of 2006, like every year, is going to be a time for us women to bring out our little black dresses, look great and feel even better. The question is, with just about a month to go, are you still to get into shape?

Well, it is too late to knock off 5 kg -- but you can cut off about 2 kg. And that is a good target, considering the time available. Not only will it make you look fit, but also help you feel a lot better about yourself. So, let's get going, girls!

A note before we start off -- remember to be strict with yourself, or you won't see the changes.

Walk the mile

Get your track pants on and head out for a brisk walk, 30 minutes, five days a week. Keep your tummy muscles pulled in tight, chin up and move fast.

Those of you who need to be pushed and motivated, go for aerobics classes. Drop the fat while you enjoy your favourite music. Aerobics will get your heart pumping, burning fat cells all over your body. The bonus? It will rid you of stress. The bigger bonus -- it will make your complexion glow.

Chin up

A good posture will automatically make you appear slimmer. Stand tall. Chin up. Relax your shoulders and pull them back a little bit. Lift the chest up and tighten your tummy muscles. Your hips should be neutral -- they should not swing forwards rounding the back, nor should they swing backwards arching the back.

Maintaining this posture, walk gracefully. When you sit, keep your torso tall, neck long and chin up. Don't sink all the way back into the chair. Sit on only half of it.

Food funda

Exercise alone is not going to help you lose weight. You need to watch your food habits too.


*A bowl of cereal and a fruit

*A wholegrain toast with a topping of your choice. No cheese, butter or jam.

*Roti, vegetables, dal and a salad.

*A wholegrain bread sandwich. Again, no cheese, butter or jam.

Be really careful with your dinner. Eating the wrong foods for dinner is the main culprit behind weight gain.

*A soup, salad and toast combination is your best bet. Bonus -- adds to your glowing complexion.
*Roast chicken/grilled fish/ paneer/lentils
*Salad and a very small portion (25 per cent of your meal) of roti or wholegrain bread or whole-wheat pasta.

Mid-morning and evening snacks

Make sure you eat something between meals.

*A fruit or handful of nuts is a healthy choice.
*Tea or coffee is fine, but make sure you eat as well.


Drink at least eight glasses everyday.

What you should wear


To look slimmer and taller, stick with one colour. The darker the colour, the slimmer the appearance. Your outfit should have only straight, vertical lines. Anything horizontal like belts, embroidery, pleats or even plain seams will make you appear wide and shorter.


Anything that drapes well, like heavy georgette or heavy crepe. Avoid shiny fabrics like satin or silk. Avoid stiff fabrics. The fabric should skim over your body and should not be tight-fitted. Avoid lycra.

Show off your best features. Wear a short asymmetrically hemmed dress if you have shapely legs, strapless if you have great shoulders and arms.

Last week of December

Hopefully, you have been able to shed the couple of kilos by now. Don't fret if you haven't. With some people it just takes a little longer. However, you are healthier and fitter and you should be feeling a lot better about yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back and a treat. No, not food -- get yourself a massage or a lovely New Year outfit!

New Year's Eve

Make time for the 30 minute brisk walk today. It will make you feel lighter, relaxed and fresh. Eat sensibly all day and then party hard.

Come 2007

Now that all the partying is over, don't resume old eating habits. Stick with this way of eating and exercising. It's a lifestyle change that will keep you slim and fit. Make it your new year resolution!