No need to resort to spring crash diet

COMFORT EATING: There's no wonder people put on weight in winter when it's cold outside.

COMFORT EATING: There's no wonder people put on weight in winter when it's cold outside.

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Many of us put on a few pounds during the winter.

Exercising can seem unappealing when it’s cold and dark outside while it’s easy to fall into the habit of comfort eating to cheer ourselves up. We put on weight when we eat and drink more than we need.

Most adults eat more calories than they should.

It’s little wonder then that lots of people feel tempted to embark on a crash diet when spring arrives. However, the key to sensible weight loss is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and take regular access. Follow these eight diet tips to get started.

1. Base your meals on starchy foods – things like potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread should make up around a third of what we eat. Some people think starchy foods are fattening but they contain fewer than half the calories of fat.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg – at least five portions a day.

3. Eat more fish – it’s a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions a week.

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar – too much saturated fat can increase the cholesterol in your blood and increase your risk of heart disease.

5. Eat less salt – too much salt can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

6. Get active and be a healthy weight – try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home and walk the rest of the way. If you feel hungry after activity, choose foods or drinks that are lower in calories but still filling.

7. Don’t get thirsty – we need about 1.2 litres of fluid a day to stop us getting dehydrated. Water, milk and fruit juices are the healthiest.

8. Don’t skip breakfast – it helps control weight. Try wholemeal cereal with fruit sliced over the top.

By sticking to these tips, you can lose weight in a healthy way without any of the harmful effects of crash dieting.