Don’t leave things to the last minute.

All too often, I get clients coming in two or three weeks before a trip or an event, stressed out about losing 10 or 20 or more pounds.

Unless your vacation or wedding is coming as a surprise to you, do not leave the weight loss until the last minute.

We all know that spring break, and with it spring vacations probably somewhere warm, is coming up quick. As I am writing this, spring break is less than eight weeks away, which means by the time you are reading this it is probably more like six weeks away. Get started on your weight loss regime now.

A healthy weight loss is one to two pounds per week, which means if you have 20 pounds you want to lose you should start at least 10 weeks out.

In that time period, you should also plan in barriers/road blocks to your success. Illness, family stressors, work stressors, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, weekend outings and general loss of motivation are all items that can get in your way.

For each barrier you can foresee, you should be adding an extra week of working out and eating clean. This means by now I am hoping you are only struggling to lose that last 10 pounds before spring break.

If you are planning to look good in the summer, start now.

Yup, now.

Especially if you are new to training, give yourself a few weeks of buildup to get into a good weekly fitness schedule. There will be days of soreness, sleeping in or mis-planning, so let’s plan for that.

Plan your first three weeks of only exercising three times a week and eating clean 70 per cent of the time. This leaves room for slip-ups.

As you barrel through these three weeks, and you start seeing results and reaching your short-term goals, you will start to feel more successful and increase your motivation to move into Weeks 4 to 6.

After these initial three weeks, you will get a better hold on what your schedule will look like, how much time you really have each day to put into your regime, what type of training you are enjoying and what foods you like to eat.

Then re-set your short-term goals for the next three weeks.

Start training four to five times per week and get into eating clean 80 per cent of the time. You will start feeling stronger, lighter and more flexible. This, in turn, will motivate the rest of your journey.

Think of it this way: it takes me 12 weeks to get ready for a competition, and though you may not want to go that far, that is an intensely focused 12 weeks.

And though this is not expected or assumed of anyone, it is eating clean 99 per cent of the time and training seven days a week, sometimes twice a day.

If you have a goal or event, start planning now.