Rule No.1: Eat less, move more. End of.
If you can’t remember the last time that you exercised (and no we don’t mean a session wrestling through Primark) then get up off the couch and move. Get a DVD, go to a class or head to the park for a morning jog. It’s really hard to lose weight if you don’t exercise. Simple.
Rule No.2: What you eat whilst standing by an open fridge; mints; sweets; the occasional biscuit STILL COUNT!
That single Digestive you had with your coffee or the full fat latte you had for breakfast...they may not be meals but they still count. Be realistic and honest about your calorie intake because the odd snacks here and there really do make a difference.
Rule No. 3: Don’t kid yourself about canapés.
So you’ve gone to a party and stuffed your face with every passing mini burger and feta parcel, but socialising calories don’t count, right? Wrong. High-fat canapés can contain up to 130 calories per mouthful so stick to high-protein canapés like smoked salmon, grilled fish, unsalted nuts, hummus and sushi to avoid the extra pounds.
Rule No.4: Be realistic about your goals.
If your best mate is getting married in a week you don’t have a hope in hell of losing a stone by then. Set yourself a reasonable goal, like losing a stone in three months, this way you won’t be setting yourself up to fail.
[Related feature: Six hidden causes of overeating]
Rule No.5: Get to the root of the problem.
If hunger is not the problem – food is not the answer. Don’t treat food as a solution for boredom, loneliness or depression because the answer doesn’t lie at the bottom of a pack of double stuffed oreos. Of course, food should be enjoyed, but at its most basic it’s just required for energy, maintenance and vitamins.
Rule No.6: Stop comparing yourself to other people.
There’s a reason why there are only 20 Victoria Secret models in the world...because there are literally only 20 women in the world with that figure. If you’re pear shaped you have about as much chance of studying at Hogwarts as you do shaping your bone to look good in denim hot-pants. Accept your shape and remember that if everyone looked the same the world would be a stupidly boring place!
Rule No.7: Your weight can sometimes be harder to control later in life, so get in shape now!
Staying trim, fit and healthy throughout life is better than waking up post babies/menopause with serious regrets. Break bad habits, stop smoking, wear sun-screen – do all the things the experts say because more often than not they have a valid point.
What do you think? Do you have any diet tips to share?