The thought of starting a new healthy eating regime and making major lifestyle changes can seem like a daunting prospect. However, there are a number of ways to lose weight and cut your calorie intake without resorting to drastic measures. By making a few subtle changes, you will soon find that the excess pounds are falling off and your energy levels are soaring.

Next time you’re at the supermarket, think twice before loading your trolley with full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurts. The reduced calorie alternatives are often just as tasty and will be much better for your waistline. The same applies to bread – opt for a smaller size loaf than the one you usually go for, or one that contains whole grains and seeds.

A great way to cut back without really noticing is to add less sauce and salt to your meals. It’s easy to pile on the mayonnaise or tartare sauce and not realise that they probably contain more calories than the food you are putting them on. If you’re fond of tea and coffee, then consider cutting back on the amount of sugar you add to your drink or switch to a low calorie sweetener such as Equal and opt for skimmed milk.

When it comes to meat, choose lean chicken over fatty alternatives such as bacon and mince. If you really must indulge, make sure you trim any visible fat off and grill or bake your food when possible. Keeping a food diary can also be useful. If you realise that you’ve already eaten four biscuits and a packet of crisps by lunch time, you’re unlikely to tuck in during the afternoon.

In addition, you can get great results by introducing a little more exercise into your day. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk the long way to work and leave your car at home if you’re heading somewhere that is less than a mile away. Taking a brisk 15-minute walk during your lunch hour can also be effective. It may not seem like much, but after a month of doing it you can be sure that you will notice a difference.

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