FOR five years diet consultants Mark and Nicola Lafferty have been helping people in the Borders transform their lives and waistlines.

This month, the couple scooped a long service recognition award in running their successful 1:1 diet consultancy’s, formerly known as the Cambridge Weight Plan, in Peebles and Galashiels.

With Mark’s training as an addictions therapist and Nicola’s mental health support background, the duo combined their skills, and pride themselves in taking an empathic approach in helping their clients achieve their goals.

“We realise everyone is different and sometimes losing weight isn’t as straightforward as going on a diet,” said Mark.

“We help clients by looking into the reasons they gained weight in the first place and help them work on changing their mind-set to work more effectively, not only at losing the excess weight but in keeping it off too.”

They say the proof is in the pudding, which is true for the Laffertys who used their own dramatic weight loss with the diet to inspire others.

Mark told us: “I struggled with weight issues.

"As an addictions a counsellor I could help people with alcohol and drug dependency but I couldn’t manage my own weight.”

After embarking on the 1:1 diet and losing his excessive weight in a relatively short space of time, Mark wanted to help others.

“I knew it was worth setting up as a business to help people achieve their own weight loss goals,” said Mark.

Inspired by her husband’s new slim physique, wife Nicola decided to shed the pounds and embarked on her own 1:1 diet journey.

For five years they have assisted many committed dieters to go from flab to fab and have also reported success with clients reversing type two diabetes.

Mark said there are many weight loss journeys he and Nicola are proud to be a part of, adding: “One client lost four stone and turned his life around.”

And when a couple asked for their help to slim down to a healthy weight in order to undergo fertility treatment, the Lafferty’s stepped in and were delighted to hear the news that their clients are now expecting a baby.

The dieting duo say they are overjoyed when clients step on the scales and achieve their target.

“It’s a great moment because we know how much it means to them. Seeing clients transform is so special. It’s a privilege to be involved,” said Mark.

So how do the couple who helped hundreds of Tweeddale dieters slim down to their perfect weight plan to celebrate? The new delicious Cambridge festive bar?

Mark laughed: “We had a fantastic Christmas dinner at the ceremony. But I was good and didn’t eat the tatties!”