christmas weightloss

How To Avoid Gaining Weight At Christmas

During the Christmas holidays, many people experience weight gain, and then regret it after and spend months trying to shift the weight

The easiest thing to do is to try and not gain the weight in the first place

Here are some tips to help you through the Christmas period…..


Keep active with family and friends

Many traditions involve sitting around watching tv but try and mix this up with activities such as walking, cycling, or even playing an active game on the games console. If you don’t try and keep a balance, then being inactive combined with the overeating during Christmas will lead to weight gain

Snack wisely

Snacking is a common occurrence during the holidays, and many of them tend to be unhealthy. Try and limit these snacks as many treats contain unhealthy fats and added sugars. Aim to keep up with your fruit and veg snacks, and maybe try making your own Christmas snacks. They will definitely be healthier than buying from the supermarket

Watch Your Portion Sizes

Eating large portion sizes means you will gain weight, plus you will also feel tired and grumpy – is it really worth it?

Best way to limit portion size is to use smaller plate 

Practice Mindful Eating

Eating in front of the tv?

Eating on the way to the office?

Multi-tasking whilst eating?

You are more likely to overeat if you are not paying attention to what you are actually eating, as you won’t recognise when you are full

Take 5 minutes out of your day and enjoy your food! Also chew thoroughly and slowly and don’t rush

Get Some Sleep

Not having enough sleep can lead to weight gain

Studies have shown that those who don’t sleep enough tend to be hungrier, eat more, and exercise less. It’s also been linked to having a slower metabolism

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Christmas can be stressful, and stressed people tend to have high levels of cortisol, a hormone that’s released in response to stress – and yes you guessed it – this can cause weight gain

Try to keep your stress to a minimum, using exercise, meditation and yoga

Have Balanced Meals

Meals and snacks over the xmas period are typically high in carbohydrates but low in protein. Protein is vital as it reduces hunger and helps with weight management, and try to keep simple carbs to a minimum as they will send your insulin levels all over the place (another thing that can cause weight gain)

Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, and some plant foods like beans and quinoa.

Include Fibre

Do your best to eat fibre rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. They help to keep you full, plus eliminating the need to overeat

Limit Desserts

Most desserts are very high calorie, so pick wisely.

Enjoy your favourites but in small amounts, and not every day!

Limit Liquid Calories

Christmas is a time when everyone drinks more alcohol, and indulges in sweet drinks

Alcohol is empty calories and will cause weight gain. If you are drinking then think of low-calorie options such as gin & tonic, vodka & soda

Also be careful you also don’t indulge to much on the sweet drinks from Costa Coffee and McDonald’s, these are high calorie and are loaded with sugar

Avoid processed foods

Try and cook as much as you can from scratch. Items like boxed mash potato and stuffing have lots of excess sugar and unhealthy fats

Make it an activity and bake snacks and make mince pies, rather than buying them ready to eat. This way you will know what’s in them

Skip seconds

Calories from extra helpings can contribute quickly to weight gain. Limit yourself to just one plate, and meal prep the rest of the food – you don’t need it now!


If you are struggling and need a kickstart, then join us in 2021 for a New Year Fitness Bootcamp

These are ladies only and suitable for all ages and abilities

Our UK Bootcamps are a great weekend of fitness & relaxation where you can have a break, focus on yourself, and give yourself a kickstart

If you would like a longer experience, then check out our 7-night All-inclusive Portugal Weight Loss Camps which are designed to help you lose weight, get fit, and feel great


portugal bootcamp

What Are The Benefits Of A Weight loss Holiday in Portugal & Spain?

We have been running our fitness & weight loss holidays in Europe for the past 7 years, and have had over 1000 people joining us for the experience of a lifetime

If you have been thinking about joining us on one of our All Inclusive Retreats in Portugal or Spain but haven’t had the courage to book, then check out some of the reasons below why you should take the plunge!


You Will Have a Great Time And The Experience Of A Lifetime

Our fitness and weight loss holidays in Europe are not just about working out 24/7 and continuous exercise. We understand this is a holiday for you and we aim to make it as enjoyable as possible. Healthy living is about the mind and the body!

  • You will you make a fantastic new set of friends. We know this this as many people come back year after year with people thy have met at camp
  • Each afternoon is free time, giving you a chance to top up your tan by the pool, hit the beach in Albufeira or Puerto Del Carmen, or head into town for a bit of shopping
  • One night we arrange a restaurant in the Old Town, and there is a chance to have a dance at the live band bar that we head to after food (and maybe a cheeky cocktail)
  • On the last day we arrange an excursion, from boat trips, to a surf lesson, there’s lots of activities available

What Are The Benefits Of A Weight loss Holiday in Portugal & Spain? Motivate Bootcamp


Expert Coaching From Our Fitness Team

Our bootcamp team have a vast experience between us, and many have been in the industry for over 15 years. We have knowledge in fitness, nutrition, lifestyle and general wellbeing, and we are hand 24/7 throughout your time at our fitness retreat to help you in any way that we can. We also have an onsite chef who makes all the meals fresh throughout the week. We aren’t military instructors and we do like to have fun, and especially wind each other up 🙂

What Are The Benefits Of A Weight loss Holiday in Portugal & Spain? Motivate Bootcamp


Dedicate Your Time To Losing Weight With No Distractions

Our weightloss holiday in Spain or Portugal is 7 days, and you can really start your body transformation with us. We have had results ranging from 4lbs to over 1 stone over the course of the weight loss camp. The reason for this is everything is catered for you, all of your meals are planned to help you lose weight but give you enough energy for the days, and so are the fitness sessions. This specialised weight loss week abroad is based around helping you to lose weight and feel great

We also run numerous workshops on nutrition, goal setting, lifestyle, and meal planning for when you leave us so that you can carry on your journey and reach your goals

What Are The Benefits Of A Weight loss Holiday in Portugal & Spain? Motivate Bootcamp


Take a Break From Normal Life

It’s difficult to focus on yourself in normal life, as you have a variety of things pulling you different ways, from family, friends, work etc. The experience at our weight loss camp really is about taking some well needed time out to focus on you. A fitness camp in Spain or Portugal is the perfect break away

What Are The Benefits Of A Weight loss Holiday in Portugal & Spain? Motivate Bootcamp


Motivation and Support

Struggling with motivation? Our 7 night fitness camps in Europe definitely give you this! You will leave at the end of your stay with us feeling refreshed, motivated, and ready for anything that life throws at you. You aren’t just a number to us, and even after the bootcamp has finished we will be there for every step of the way through email and social media support.We are a bootcamp family and you will now be a part of this

What Are The Benefits Of A Weight loss Holiday in Portugal & Spain? Motivate Bootcamp


Still not sure? Then check our our reviews on SOCIAL MEDIA

We have dates available in Portugal – plus we have our new Ultimate Weight Loss Winter Retreat in Lanzarote which will be announced soon. Contact us for more details on this venue

How can physical activity help my mental health?

Exercise has so many benefits for mental health and can have a positive impact on the body and the mind.

Physical activity is all about moving our bodies more and sitting
less. It doesn’t mean you have to go to a gym or start running as
there are many ways to move your body including walking and working
out at home.

We all know exercise is good for our bodies but it can also help us
maintain good mental health either on its own, or in combination with
other treatments.

There are many benefits for the mind when we engage in regular
physical activity including:

1. Better sleep  – feeling tired towards bedtime and better sleep quality

2. Happier mood – boosting the mind with feel-good hormones that give
you a lift and more energy

3. Effective management of stress and/or anxiety –  the body releases
hormones during exercise to help us combat stress. Physical activity
also helps us focus, provides distraction and can be a positive coping
strategy against stress and/or anxiety.

4. Better self-esteem – being more active can improve how you feel
about yourself and meet your goals

5. Lower risk of depression – regular exercise can reduce the risk of
developing depression and can play a huge role in recovering from it.

6.Positive social connections – group or team activities give you more
connections to like-minded people, and create new friends

At Motivate Bootcamp, we encourage all forms of physical activity and
cater for all abilities.

You can join us for a weekend at various locations for a Ladies
Fitness retreat, looking after your mind and body. Join us for a range
of exercise classes, relax in the spa and make new friends.

Fans of walking might enjoy a long weekend away of walking in some of
the UK’s beautiful hills. You could even invite your family or friends
along for our Walking Bootcamp too.

Or if you’re looking for an extended break to invest in yourself and
your health, we’d love to see you at one of our stunning villas in
Portugal. These Ladies only Bootcamps are ideal for a full week of
fitness, fun and feel good vibes.

‘It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind
in vigor’  Marcus Tullius Cicero

healthy meals at bootcamp

Diet and Exercise- natural boosters for the Immune System

The last few months have highlighted the importance of having a strong immune system.

At Motivate Bootcamp, we offer you support and opportunities to improve your overall physical health through a healthy diet, lifestyle and regular exercise. All of these factors play significant roles in our immunity.


Physical Activity to boost immune function

Studies have made the link between physical activity and improvements in both immune markers and overall immune health. This results in lower rates and duration of infection.

Just a short burst of exercise (less than 60 minutes) has been shown to enhance the circulation of immunoglobins, natural killer (NK) cells, T cells, and other key immune cells in the body’s defense against pathogens.

Regular exercise can also affect other factors impacting immunity such as:

-improved sleep;

-maintaining a healthy weight;

-managing stress and reducing depression and anxiety;

-improving overall quality of life.


Physical activity can also reduce the risk of many common diseases which lead to weakened immune system and vulnerability to other illnesses:

-heart disease;

-certain cancers, including breast and colon cancer;

-type 2 diabetes;

-osteoporosis (weak bones).


At our Bootcamps, we offer a whole variety of different exercise sessions including cardio, resistance, core, stretch and walks. We also run Healthy Living workshops on Lifestyle, Nutrition, and Exercise at all Bootcamps to help you build healthy habits and give you tools to put them into practice back home.

Check out our typical schedule for UK Bootcamps & Portugal:


Diet and immunity

Whilst no food or supplement can protect us from disease, having a healthy diet supports the immune system to effectively function and influence the body’s ability to fight infection.

A lack of vitamins and minerals can compromise the immune system.

It is important that we have a healthy, varied diet to ensure we are getting all of the essential nutrients.

This includes eating plenty of fruit and vegetables from quality sources.


Other foods that benefit the immune system include:








-fresh herbs


We have our own chef who prepares the meals at our inclusive Bootcamp in Portugal, where results are guaranteed and all dietary requirements are accommodated. It’s the ultimate fitness retreat, giving you a break and boost to your healthy & fitness goals.


We even have a brand NEW Bootcamp in Portugal starting next year specifically for Vegan food:



yoga pose

10 Top Beginners Exercises to do at Home

Whether you’re working out at a gym or not, having home friendly workouts can help you to save time and avoid excuses to skip exercise.


These exercises are all suitable to be done at home (or in the garden!)  require no equipment and have options to increase or reduce the intensity.


Find some space and prepare to break a sweat with these bodyweight moves.

Beginners routine

These 10 beginner bodyweight exercises will give you a total body workout.

This circuit is around 15 minutes- ideal to squeeze in if you’re short on time, or repeat 2-3 times for a longer routine.

We recommend 10 – 15 reps of each of the following exercises and resting 1 minute between each move.


Lower body


Glute Bridge


  1. Lie down on your back and keep your knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor, and your arms are straight by your side.
  2. Pull in your belly button as you push through your feet to lift your bottom off the ground, squeezing your glutes until your hips are fully extended.
  3. Return to the starting position slowly and repeat.

Chair Squat


  1. Using a chair, position yourself in front of it with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out.
  2. Hinge at your hips and then bend your knees as you lower yourself down until your bottom touches the chair. You can keep your hands on your hips or extend your arms out in front of you.
  3. Drive up through your heels to stand up to the starting position.

Donkey kick


  1. Begin on all fours, facing the floor in a table-top position with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.
  2. Keep your core tight and back straight, lift your right foot up and behind you while keeping your leg straight.
  3. Your toes should point down to the floor, hips staying square to the floor and your glutes squeeze at the top.
  4. Lower the leg to the starting position and repeat.

Side lying leg raises


  1. Lie down on your left side, with both legs straight and stacked on top of each other.
  2. Keeping your hips still, core tight and your body in alignment, lift your right leg up towards the ceiling.
  3. Lower back to the start position. Repeat and then change sides.

Stationary Lunge


  1. Start standing and then step back into a split stance with your right leg in front. Your front foot stays flat on the ground but your back foot raises the heel so you are on your toes.
  2. Bend both your knees and lunge, lowering down until your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
  3. Drive up through your front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat and switch legs.


Upper body


Plank to Downward Dog


  1. Start in a high plank position, with hands directly underneath your shoulders, your feet close together and a long line through your body from your neck to your hips and to your ankles.
  2. Keeping your core tight, lift your hips up and back into a Downward Dog pose. Your body should be in a triangle shape and your gaze should be towards your feet.
  3. Hold for a second, then lower your hips to the plank. Repeat.

Kneeling Push-up


  1. Start in a high plank position on your knees.
  2. Maintain a long, straight line from your head to your knees, brace through the core and bend your elbows to lower yourself down to the ground. Your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Push yourself back up to start and repeat.




Elbow Plank


  1. Start in a plank position on your forearms, elbows underneath your shoulders. Your body is in a straight line from head to feet.
  2. Brace through your core, belly button in tight and make sure your lower back and hips don’t drop or lift up out of alignment. Hold for 30-60 seconds.



  1. Start on all fours in a table top position, keeping your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
  2. Brace through your core and keep your hips square to the ground as you extend your left arm and right leg. Pause at the top for 2 seconds.
  3. Lower to the start position. Repeat with your right arm and left leg.

Bicycle Crunches


  1. Begin on your back, bend your knees and raise them to a tabletop position. Bring your fingertips to your temples, bending at the elbows.
  2. Crunch and raise your right elbow towards your left knee, straightening your right leg.
  3. Switch sides by bending your right leg and straightening your left leg, then bring your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat.

These exercises will strengthen the whole body and give you a good cardio workout. We offer help with technique and motivation to challenge yourself at our Ladies Bootcamps.

You’ll find bodyweight workouts feature at both our weekend retreats in the UK and throughout the week at our fitness retreats in Portugal. You find out more about both at: