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Prepare for tough love, Dr Eva tells Operation Transformation hopefuls

Dr Eva Orsmond has thrown down the gauntlet to the latest batch of Operation Transformation hopefuls, telling them to prepare for some "tough love".

The sixth series of the weight-loss programme starts tonight on RTE 1.

And nutritional whizz Dr Eva says she will be increasing the pressure on the five chosen leaders.

"This year will certainly be interesting and I am going to be visiting the contestants and popping in on them more often," Eva told the Herald.

Eating habits are set to come under the spotlight and Dr Eva explained how she has been working on recipes that are quick and easy for those with a busy lifestyle.

"This year we're looking at quite quick and simple meals, and of course they're extremely tasty.

"People are looking for the quick fixes, thinking that there is an easy solution I suppose.

"That's what Operation Transformation is all about -- trying to show people that really this is healthy and this will work. It's forever."

The five chosen leaders who Dr Eva will be helping to transform their lives are Dubliner Gavin Walker, Carlow woman Monica Percy, Cork native Deirdre Hosford, Cavan girl Charlotte O'Connell and Greg Starr from Tipperary

And the no-nonsense nutritionist has urged each of the contestants to be wary of processed and convenience foods because "they are full of calories with no nutritional value".

"That's what the whole thing is with Operation Transformation. You're trying to educate people about the healthy plan and show people that you can actually eat and still lose weight."

The show -- which is presented by Kathryn Thomas, inset, -- kicks off at 8.30pm tonight, in the middle of January when many people are trying to fight the signs of their Christmas splurge.

And while Eva says that a little Christmas excess is normal, now is when the hard work really begins.

"It's fine that we put on a little bit of weight over Christmas because it is the biggest celebration of the year at the end of the day. But you need to try to take it off immediately afterwards," she added.