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Seven weight loss tips for the New Year – according to NHS experts

Making these adjustments to your diet and routine will improve your weight and fitness

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Many of us will have been guilty of overindulging over the festive period, but the start of a new year is often the time lots of people will be keen to shed some weight.

But with countless diets to choose from, it can feel a little overwhelming trying to work out which one to follow.

Here are seven of the best things to do to lose weight in a healthy manner as recommended by NHS experts, via our sister site the ECHO .

Drink more water and less alcohol

Many people think they are hungry when they are actually just thirsty.

So drinking more water throughout the day can help you stop eating extra calories.

Alcohol also contains far more calories than many people realise, including wine and spirits.

Two glasses of wine add to about the same calories as a burger - and you would need to run for half an hour to burn it off.

Eat these high-fibre foods

Try to eat more high-fibre foods, as they help you to stay feeling full.

You can find fibre in fruit and veg, wholegrain bread, pasta, brown rice, beans, peas, lentils and oats.

Do not ban any foods

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Some diets advise banning certain foods altogether, but experts warn against this.

The NHS Choices website says: “Don’t ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more.

“There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.”

Add more fruit and veg into your day

This sounds obvious but is essential for both cutting calories and staying healthy.

Fruit and veg are not only low in calories and fat, but also high in fibre - both of which are vital in losing weight.

You could try adding a chopped banana or handful of berries to your cereal or yoghurt, have grilled or fried mushrooms or tomatoes with your eggs or have an unsweeted 100% fruit smoothie.

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For lunch you could add lettuce, tomato or cucumber to your sandwiches, and have cucumber, pepper or carrot sticks with a dip or fruit for a snack.

For tea you could try to add salad, peas, carrots, broccoli or a corn on the cob to your plate.

Eat regularly and stop snacking

Health chiefs say eating at regular times actually helps you burn calories at a faster rate.

It also makes you less likely to snack, and cave in to the appeal of a chocolate bar.

You could also try to plan your meals for the week or have a weekly shopping list, so you do not end up tempted or forced to buy unhealthy snacks or meals.

Find a simple way of doing more exercise

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Being active is key to losing weight and not putting it back on, burning off calories you cannot cut through your diet alone.

Tips include setting a time in the week and sticking to it, doing something like swimming or sports in the park with your child, taking up running and walking or cycling to work.

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You can find tips on getting started cycling here , some 10-minute workouts here , a Couch to 5k running plan here and a five-week exercise programme here .

Learn to read food labels

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Most products now have food labels showing how many calories, fats and other ingredients they contain.

Cutting down on high-calorie and other unhealthy products can really help - and the NHS has a helpful guide to understanding what food labels actually mean.

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