Upgrade Your Diet

1.    Master meal time

Do you ever sit down for your evening meal, feeling ravenous, then inhaling it so fast you find yourself wondering what it tasted like? 'Paying more attention to what's on your plate while you're eating will help you lose weight,' says James. Don't eat in front of the TV or while sending emails, taut instead savour every single mouthful, fully appreciating all the smells and flavours, and you'll be less inclined to overindulge.'

2.    Beat your sugar addiction

'Sugar produces a similar effect in your brain as morphine; an instant high and feeling of calm.' says James- 'But the downsides include weight gain and exhaustion from the blood-sugar swings' Amanda recommends foregoing your usual sweet treats for a more natural hit from yogurt, berries and a little honey 'Or try Truvia, which is a natural sweetener, available at selected supermarkets and health food stores from January. Need a little help to banish your craving? James suggests eating more chromium-rich foods such as wholegrains, nuts, mushrooms and asparagus, which have been shown to curb those 'I need chocolate!' urges.

Description: Beat your sugar addiction

3.    Slow down - and slim

'New research from Thailand shows that if we chew each mouthful 40 times (rather than the usual ten), we'll eat 12% fewer calories a day.' says Amanda But stowing down your rate of eating has other benefits, too. 'The more you chew your food, the more nutrients are released from it during the digestion process, and a well-nourished body doesn't feel as hungry because it's not crying out for those missing vitamins and minerals,' adds Dr Harald Stossier, author of The Viva Mayr Diet ($21, Harper Collins). 'Badly digested food also ferments in the gut, leading to bloating just below the belly button.' So, to slim down and avoid bloating, it seems the answer is: masticate!

4.    Get Starbucks smart

Description: Starbuck

The caffeine in coffee is a powerful weight-loss tool because it revs up your metabolism.' says James. ‘However, more than two cups a day increases production of the stress hormone Cortisol, which encourages your body to cling to fat - especially around your waist and stomach.' Once you've had your two-cup quota, swap to green tea, which has been found to promote fat burning.

5.    Add these to your shopping list

Nuts 'Always have some Brazil nuts or a small handful of almonds in your handbag to keep you going between meals,' says James, 'They're also full of fibre, which keeps you regular and prevents bloating.'

Avocado 'I recommend to my clients they eat these at breakfast,' says James. ‘Just scoop out one half, and slice it over oatcakes. Avocados are full of heart-healthy good fats, vitamin E for better immunity, and they keep you full for hours.'

Fat-free Greek Yogurt ‘l buy this all the time,' says Amanda. 'It's low in calories, but higher in protein than other yogurts so it fills you up. It's great as a snack or to satisfy an after-dinner sweet craving,'

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