With the dawn of the New Year and end of the festive season comes another annual tradition - the January Detox.

After the excesses of Christmas, taking a break from alcohol and fattening foods seems like a relief, so it’s usually a good time to try and improve eating habits, at least for a while anyway.

I had heard about the Educogym’s 12-Day bootcamp programme which sounded like a challenge, but a quick way to drop a few pounds and build strength.

The programme is a combination of daily weights exercises in their gym, along with a strict (and very daunting) diet. I decided to give the bootcamp a try in the Educogym's Baggot Street location, and see if I had the discipline to stick to the programme, given it's under a fortnight.

I have to say that the exercise part of the bootcamp didn’t phase me, the classes each lasted just 15-20 minutes which flew by, and each day concentrated on a different body part. The exercises are resistance-based and carried out on Educogym’s specially designed work station, which means you can quickly move between machines to get the exercises done in a shorter space of time. You do three sets of each exercise, with about 7 reps in a set.

The point is to work your muscles to maximum capacity and build muscles fast – and it’s an approach that gets great results. I noticed more definition and toning in the 12 days I did the training in Educogym than months spent in the gym training for a triathlon.

So the 12-day bootcamp exercises got a definite thumbs up, how about the diet aspect?

In order to aid with weight loss, the programme recommends a high protein, high fat diet. The idea is to put your body in a state of ketosis, where it is forced to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Having to cut out carbohydrates entirely for 12 days proved a significant challenge, as it ruled out any fruit, milk, certain vegetables and of course chocolate entirely. My diet basically consisted of eggs, nuts, cream cheese, meat, fish and green vegetables. Being a diehard sugar addict, I completely crashed the first few days with the lack of any sugars in my diet. My concentration was shot, I felt really lacking in energy and I had really bad cravings. However, after the third day hump, my body had adjusted to burning fat instead of carbs, and I regained my energy, and then some.

It definitely wasn’t easy having such a limited diet, and took careful planning for work lunches and dinner, but because it’s such a short period of time I was miraculously able to stay off the sweets for 12 days (with no cheating!), something I didn’t think I would achieve.

I’m not going to lie to you, as soon as I finished my last session I did run across the road and buy cupcakes in Lolly and Cooks bakery, but I felt I had deserved it at that stage.

The results were impressive, I lost about 3 pounds in the process, but more importantly, I was more toned than ever before and lost one and a half inches from my waist.

It’s a good quick-fix programme for those looking to lose weight and tone up quickly, but it’s definitely not an easy option. Not that there are any easy options when it comes to weight loss

For further information visit http://www.educogym.com/

Sarah McIntyre