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By Personal Trainer life coach and Sport Scientist Adam Kelly

The period from September to December has traditionally been a key time period for goal achievement both for my clients in Pura Vida and for many others.

It's a straight run into Christmas from here with no distractions. So, if you want to work on improving your body shape and lifestyle, then now is your best chance.

The "Cleaner Lifestyle' programme is four weeks long. After that it's about maintaining those healthy habits until Christmas (and beyond).

1. Take your body weight today and record it.

2. Stop and think before placing a food/drink item in your mouth.

3. Look for help/support if you need it.

3. Eat more slowly and mindfully (taste your food - not wolf it!)

4. Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself:

I was talking / planning, with my wife Jane last week, we were in no doubt that it's going to be a challenging winter ahead of us. It's looking very doubtful that we will be travelling anywhere overseas any time soon. So, we discussed the following instead:

Prioritising your own and family's physical and mental health first. If you are in a good place, then you are more likely to be able to provide help to friends or loved ones, should they need it.

Plan regular mini breaks and activity weekends.

Get busy achieving goals and doing something positive to better ourselves


Immune System Boosting

Get to bed early to improve your chances of a better sleep. Avoid late nights. Immune system repair and building happen when you are asleep.

Keep as fit and healthy as possible, including plenty of outdoor oxygenating activities.

Eat as much fruit and veg as possible this Winter, to boost antioxidant levels.

Avoid unnecessary indoor social or live work meetings.

Take a multivitamin - just in case you are missing any essential vitamins in your diet.

Do not let down your guard in the coming months. Always wear a mask and carry a small bottle of sanitiser. 

Gym Activities

As the Winter draws closer the gym for many is the best way to keep fit. Lack of daylight and poor weather often dictate that. 


Since lockdown commenced and then the relative freedom of Summer kicked in, many of us, have lost our healthy habits, replaced them with poor ones, and maybe gained a little weight etc.  

This is your chance to regain control.


Breaking reliance on Sugar, Alcohol, junk food, white starch carbs.

Is that all?  - It's harder than it looks.

Week 1 - this weeks instructions:

1. Cut out all mid week alcohol

2. Cut out any sweet sugary snacks during the weeks days, including chocolate except 85%+.  

3. Cut out starchy and sweet carbs. Scones, buns, crisps.


If you get a headache or become irritable, it's probably a result of your reliance on that food/drink, and when you withdraw it from your diet, then you get withdrawal symptoms. Push through it. It will only last 1-3 days. Your sleep quality should improve.

If you feel like junk snacking later in the evening, either replace the snack with a savory food, or just go to bed earlier.

Instead of focusing on what you can't eat, focus on what's good and healthy to eat. This week at least, it's ok to eat fruit, it's ok to eat bread and most savoury carbs. 

Train outdoors when possible.

Use your time on weekends to do some outdoor activities with family or small groups.  You boost your chances of absorbing some winter sun, especially if you are missing out on it during week days. Sun promotes vitamin D production in your body.


Just had a healthy lunch and thought it would be lovely to have an ice cream! Often one would suggest an alternative, healthier option but... in this case, I just don’t need one. So just tell your brain to ‘shut up’ and move on with your day.

So far in the this programme:
1.Your cravings should be lessening
2.Your sleep quality should be improving.
3.You should feel lighter in the gut.

This programme is 4 weeks long. Therefore to make it sustainable, I recommend one break out/treat meal per weekend and a few glasses wine/whatever drink you fancy.

If you have stuck to the guidelines, then give yourself a ‘pat on the back.’ It’s not as easy as it sounds, and a few have abandoned the programme already for various reasons, but mainly because they can’t hack it. You may not have been following it perfectly, but keep up the good work. It will be worth it at the end of the programme.

If you eat a decent, breakfast, lunch and dinner - then your chances of straying are lessened. The meals should ideally be at the same times each day e.g 7am, 1pm and 6pm


If you want to optimise your sleep try the below. If you have poor sleep, you are more likely to crave sugar, alcohol and excess caffeine, therefore leading to a cycle of poor sleep over time.

Eat your dinner as early as possible.
No coffee after midday
Alcohol leads to a disrupted sleep
Sugary snacks in the evening lead to difficulty in getting to sleep. Don’t eat them!

Allow a little freedom over the weekend, but keep your eye on the end of month goal.

At this stage hopefully you are feeling good. Off the drink, off the bad snacks, off the starchy carbs, sleeping well, thinking clearly, most energised, more even moods. Keep up the good work,This weeks workouts:’t be that one who screws it up. Stick with it!

If finer warmer weather, means lighter food, more salads, then go with it. If you are having a salad, make sure it comes with some protein, which will make it a meal, and make
you feel ‘fuller for longer.’  Examples of Proteins which come with salad are, chicken breast, feta, halloumi, chickpeas, tuna, seared beef (my personal favourite!)


Look you are very nearly there as we commence the last week of guided eating.  However the aim if this is NOT SHORT TERM - BUT - LONG TERM. 

 I want you to have 'regained control" over your eating, drinking and lifestyle.

There is no point - boring people with theory, science and plans - because real learning is only gained by 'doing.' - as you have 'done.'

So today's message is to say - keep up the good work.  Your weight if that was your aim should be remaining steady now and at a lower weight to when you started out.


A client asked this morning, “so have we finished the clean eating now that it’s Friday of week 4?” - the truth is that it’s only just begun! Keep up the cleaner lifestyle please, going forward, especially as we may head into tougher times. Keeping your head and body clean and clear will arm you better for the potential rough ride ahead. The ‘murkiness and fuzziness in peoples heads and thinking, ’ in the last lockdown, really didn’t help positivity, and created paranoia and other nasties. Congrats to the clients in this morning who informed me of their significant weight loss. That was their aim and they achieved it. Well done all.

So as a follow on maintenance programme, I recommend using a 5:2 approach. Monday - Friday very strict,  Friday eve and Saturday relax, Sunday eve get back on the programme ready for a clean week ahead. Repeat and be consistent.




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