Forget fad diets and non-stop exercise, these seven secrets to a slim physique might just surprise you. 

1. Load half your plate with veggies first

plate loaded with vegetables

Then serve yourself protein. Carbs come last. This formula works because vegetables are filling and nutritious, and have fewer calories than meat and pasta.

You won’t be eating less, just more healthily.

 

2. Eat an afternoon snack

The time of day when your diet willpower is most likely to waver is around 4pm.

Rather than fighting it (or feeling wretched after scoffing a packet of chocolate digestives), opt for a sensible afternoon snack such as yogurt and berries. 

 

3. Drink only the calories you really love

And, even then, drink the smallest amount you need to feel satisfied.

This means skipping flavoured coffee drinks, pop and juice as much as possible. Water is always best.

 

4. Fill up on fat

Sounds counterintuitive? The fact is that healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids (found in olive oil, walnuts and salmon respectively) can help with weight control. They make you feel full.

 

5. Count portions not calories

salmon portion

Counting calories is a short-term fix, not a lifelong solution—and may be less healthy.

For example, you might reach for a 100-calorie snack pack of diet biscuits but, in the long run, almonds are a healthier choice in spite of containing 130 more calories.

Why? Because they’re packed with minerals, vitamins and healthy fats.

 

6. Bulk up on fibre 

Fibre keeps you regular and makes you feel full. It also slows the rate at which your stomach empties its contents.

This gives a more moderate increase in blood sugar, helping maintain energy and damp down appetite.

 

7. Eat treats 20 percent of the time

Adopt the 80-20 rule. Eat fruit, veg and protein 80 percent of the time and enjoy little luxuries like a few squares of dark chocolate or the occasional meal out the other 20 percent

This will mean you’re more likely to stick to your diet.

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