5 ways to diet-proof your life for permanent, healthy weight loss

Five simple steps to help you lose weight and keep it off so you can ditch dieting forever

Leave behind faddy diets and instead incorporate these five easy rules to restructure your meals and attitude to food - they could help you to be permanently thinner, healthier, happier and far more energised.Eat as much fruit and veg as you can ©Rex

1. Eat more
Eat at least seven servings of fruit and veg every day and aim for 10 if you can. One serving is approximately 80g in weight or the equivalent of an apple, banana, orange, a handful of smaller fruits such as grapes or berries, two cupped handfuls of leafy green veg, one cupped handful of chopped carrots, courgettes or peppers. 

Don't worry about eating too many fruit and vegetables as studies show that for every portion we eat we tend to eat 125 fewer calories overall throughout the day. That's largely because their high fibre and water content fills you up, which in turn helps you to eat less of the more energy dense foods that you might usually reach for. 

2. Pack in some protein
Try to add a bit of protein to each meal in the form of nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, lean meat, chicken or fish.  It not only slows the rate at which meals are digested, helping you to feel energised for longer, but protein is also naturally very satisfying so it’s a great way of keeping hunger at bay. 

Do limit nuts to a small handful a day though as although they are great sources of good fats, too many can be quite calorific. Go for plain nuts like Brazil, walnut or almonds not roasted and salted.  Beans and pulses are counted as one of your five a day and are low GI ©Rex

3. Become more wholesome
The third thing you can add to your meals is carbs, but choose carefully.  We eat far too many refined, fast releasing carbs such as white breads, French sticks, mashed spuds, etc. 

Instead go for low GI, high fibre and preferably wholegrain carbs such as brown basmati rice, barley, wholemeal pasta, wholegrain breads and cereals, oats, pulses and beans (pulses and beans can be counted either in the protein or carbs category as they are rich in both).

Remember though, that these should almost be the garnish on top, not the base of your meal as they so often are. 

A serving of carbs is equal to about one tablespoon, one cupped handful or one slice of bread.  Aim to have a maximum of five to six servings a day.  Once you measure them out in this way you'll be amazed how your usual bowl of pasta suddenly shrinks but just bulk it back out with more veggies!  Low fat yoghurt is a great way to get enough calcium ©Rex

4. Eat the right dairy
Dairy foods are important to include in your diet as they are great sources of calcium needed for healthy teeth, bones and even energy production. 

Instead of cutting out dairy altogether simply swap the high fat stuff such as butter, cream, full fat milk and cheese and replace with a good vegetable or olive oil spread, low fat yogurt and crème fraiche, half fat cheese and skimmed milk. 

5. Cut out alcohol
If you’re really serious about losing weight and increasing energy levels, either cut out alcohol altogether or at the very least limit it to one or two glasses a week. 

Okay, so that strategy may not work forever but it will make a huge difference short term as it is not only loaded with calories but it really increases appetite and tiredness too, not to mention decreasing willpower and motivation the next day!