Charlotte Sinclair counts down the last minute ways to get Christmas party ready

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First, some truth telling. There is no miraculous way to shed half a stone before the office Christmas drinks party on Wednesday, not unless you catch the Norovirus, in which case you’ll be feeling far too ill to go anyway. And no, a highly contagious vomit bug does not go with that Miu Miu frock. So, let’s get that out of the way.

If, however, you want to tone up in minimum time, there are other things you can do that may guarantee results. Though, as you very well know, there’s no reward without consistent effort. It’s all very well going at it like a maniac for three days, but I’m afraid you’re not going to suddenly become Gisele without a bit of commitment. In fact, since we’re truth telling, let’s get rid of all comparisons to Gisele shall we? The woman is an aberration. A very gorgeous one, but all the same, not normal.

You’re going for your best self here, no one else’s: you at your brightest and shiniest. Here’s five ways to consider:

1)  HIIT

Yes, I know you know all about it by now. This year’s winning fitness trend is  high intensity interval training . It’s easy to do on your own at home, requires no expensive equipment or gym membership, and comprises a set of consecutive exercises that you do as fast and as hard as possible with very little rest between reps. Scientific research has shown it to be extraordinarily effective at burning fat – not just calories – and because it’s a short sharp burst of exercise it’s over before you know it.

Okay, you’re not going to see results after one session, but if you ditch the yoga for a fortnight and concentrate on brief, sweaty work outs (you can find sample routines all over the internet  including here on GTG ), there’s no way you’re not going to feel those muscles beginning to spring into place. (A brief note on technique: it’s really, really important that you do each exercise with good form, rather than flinging yourself around, or else you risk doing yourself an injury. Speed but control should be your mantra.)

2) Take a dance class

Jourdan Dunn was recently photographed at the London ballet-fitness studios of  Barrecore , shaping up for her Victoria’s Secret catwalk appearance in London. There are numerous videos online to follow, including those by Ballet Beautiful, Barrecore and Sleek Technique. Exercises lengthen and strengthen the body – you’ll feel every ache the next morning. After a fortnight of consistent classes, everything will feel firmer.

3) Walk

Take the stairs, get off the bus two stops early, walk your dog for an extra 20 minutes: get out, get walking. It’s amazing what an extra 30 minutes of plodding a day can do for the size of your bottom.

4) Ad it up

Too cold, wet, dark outside? If you’d rather be indoors watching telly, use the ad breaks of your favourite shows as a mini work out. Use each 2 minute break to do a different exercise: plank, jog on the spot, lunge, press ups, squats, mountain climbers. Need I say that this only works on commercial channels? (This is also good for morning workouts – heel lifts while brushing your teeth, wall squats while texting…)

5) Cheat

Thinking about this on the day of the party? In a tailspin of panic because you just nailed a packet of mince pies for breakfast? Relax. Breathe. Really, who cares? You look great. And if you’re totally desperate, buy yourself a pair of Spanx. I know women who wear two pairs at once, such are their magical properties. They are, however, deeply unsexy, so keep that in mind if you are planning any late evening trysts.

MORE GLOSS: Charlotte Sinclair's guide to warm workout wear