If easy diet tips for a smoother, tauter body in weeks sound too good to be true, you've been reading the wrong guides...
Easy diet tips are like gold dust, but once you know them they’re just pure gold. Forget old wives’ tales and dieting myths, these are the expert-advised steps to effective dieting.
You don’t have to get stuck into an all-new regime, there are easy dieting rules that can slot into your healthy eating routine that don’t require any of the calorie counting or food group cutting. Hoorah!
No, dieting doesn't have to be torture, and although wight-loss advice like eating one more meal a day and even 'being positive' may seem too simple to make a difference, these tips might just stop you sliding off the January diet bandwagon. Go on, check them out...
'Keep your metabolism stoked up by eating five small meals a day every three hours from 7am to 7pm, with your main meal at 1pm,' advises David Kirsch, diet and fitness guru to Anne Hathaway and Rachel Weisz. 'Skipping meals encourages your body to store fat [reserves] if it thinks nothing else is coming.' Eating lean protein with each meal will also help to keep your metabolism fired up.
Water retention can give the appearance of bloating and excess weight. Recommended water retention busters include drinking Dr Stuart's Liver Detox Tea, £2.19, as well as Bodytox Detox Foot Patches, £3.99, that you can wear for five nights.
Eating celery and parsley, which are natural diuretics, can help, too. Finally, try dry body brushing, then bathing in potent Ina White Gold Detoxifying Crystal Salts, £47, or The Organic Pharmacy Detoxifying Seaweed Bath Soak, £35.95.
You could be building up weight unecessarily, through an unknown intolerance. 'Identifying any allergies you might have and excluding the foods you test positive for may be an easy way to get rid of excess fluid and drop a couple of pounds,' says Nutritionist Charlotte Watts. 'Cutting out wheat and dairy can also give sluggish digestion a boost, which will help weight loss.'
'Eating too much salt can result in your body holding onto as much as two and a half pints of extra water,' says professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of the Blood Pressure Association (bpassoc.org.uk). 'By checking the food labels on processed foods and not adding salt to your meals, you can prevent this from happening and see weight loss of up to 3lb.'
Sugar cravings can be one of the hardest things to battle when you're watching your weight, so a little extra help never went amiss. 'I take the algae supplement Spirulina [Spirulina Organic, £14 for 60 tablets, from nutrisun.co.uk], which stops my cravings for sugar and curbs my appetite when I need to get in shape quickly,' says the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing star Lilia Kopylova.
If natural dieting remedies haven't worked for you in the past, it might be worth thinking about a cleansing treatment. 'For quick weight loss, I recommend colonic irrigation to clear out all the toxins that cause water retention,' says nutritionist Amanda Griggs of Balance The Clinic in London (clients include Elle Macpherson and Donna Air). 'Follow up with three days on a diet of vegetable soup made from mainly green vegetables (no root vegetables) plus salads, vegetable stir-fries and fruit. Opt for hot water and lemon to drink.'
Regular gym sessions don't always get the results that you want instantly, but maybe it's time to question the nature of your workout. Most experts recommend interval training to shift excess weight. 'Do short, sharp sprint interval training, as well as lifting light weights at the gym,' says personal trainer Matt Roberts. 'It will kick-start your body's metabolic rate, so you'll burn more calories at rest.'
It might seem counterintuitive, but drinking more water can help combat water rentention. 'Increase your water intake to at least two litres a day, plus a litre for every hour of exercise that you do,' says ex-Royal Marine commando Jon Stratford, head instructor at Ultimate Boot Camp. 'Water aids digestion and helps to flush all the rubbish out of your body before it has a chance to get absorbed. This will stop the bloating and puffiness that you get when you've been eating junk food.'
It might be your mind that's stopping you loose weight after all this time, so changing your mindset can have big results. 'Tune out the negative inner voice telling you that you can't lose weight, and lie down quietly for five minutes. As you breathe out, imagine letting go of your self-doubt,' advises hypnotherapist Georgia Foster, author of The Weight Less Mind (£14.99, available from georgiafoster.com). 'Then, as you breathe in, imagine yourself feeling safe, eating intuitively and feeling confident about losing weight.'
An entire section of the diet industry argues that if you have a strong craving, the worst thing you can do is deny it to yourself. A couple of squares of high-quality dark chocolate is the sensible choice, a family-sized milk chocolate bar, is not, of course.