We're full of good intentions at this time of year. We’re going to lose two stone, run a marathon and take up skydiving – all by the end of January! The trouble is, if we aim too high, we risk falling at the first hurdle.
Making small, practical changes to your everyday life can sometimes be more effective – here are a few practical changes to your diet to get you started.
Eat a yogurt
If you need to lose a few pounds, US experts suggest you eat three servings of low-fat dairy foods a day. Dieters following a high-dairy meal plan lost nearly twice as much weight as those avoiding dairy products even though they ate the same number of calories.
Try some brown rice
While the recommended daily amount of fibre for adults is 24g, on average we only manage about 13g, according to bread maker Warburtons. To boost your fibre intake, try to eat more fruit (including tinned and dried), nuts, seeds and vegetables. If you’re in the habit of buying white bread, pasta and rice, why not try wholegrain versions? You might be pleasantly surprised!
Drink a glass of water
Many of us consume too many calories in sugary soft drinks. Make a conscious effort to drink at least one large glass of water each day, as well as tea, coffee, juice and soft drinks.
Eat more fish
Only 28 per cent of us eat the recommended two portions fish a week. Smoked, tinned, frozen or fresh, fish is an important part of a healthy, varied diet and recent research suggests that, eaten regularly, it can lower the risk of strokes. If you're unsure how to introduce fish into your diet, try our top tips.
Have an extra portion of your five a day
Dr Trisha says: “Few of us meet the recommended five a day of fresh fruit or veg. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre, they protect against many conditions, such as cancer or heart disease. Make sure you get enough by having an extra portion with lunch or dinner.”
Space out your meals
“If you are having soup and a sandwich at lunch, have soup and half a sandwich at lunch, and have the other half in the middle of the afternoon,” suggests medical herbalist Dee Atkinson. “This will stop you reaching for a biscuit, and help to manage calorie intake.”
Write down everything that you eat
Why diet when you can control your weight simply by noting down what you eat each day? In one year-long study, female dieters who kept daily food journals lost about 6lb (2.7kg) more than those who didn’t.
- There's more health advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.