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The secret to maintaining a healthy weight: eat well, not little

Does the word 'diet' make you cringe and shudder at the memories of all those eating plans that you have followed religiously for a month, only to crash and burn and pile all the weight back on a week later?

There are many fad diets out there that can help you lose weight quickly, but these are hardly ever sustainable.

Who really wants to survive on hot water, lemon juice and a bowl of lettuce for every meal? And does anyone actually find it fun measuring out tiny portion sizes and limiting themselves to exactly 12 blanched almonds for their afternoon tea?

This kind of approach to eating can cause some people to become obsessed with food, constantly measuring the amount of calories they put into their body and worrying about putting on extra weight.

And if diets are really restrictive, they can result in people giving up after a short period of time and binging on a whole packet of chocolate biscuits in an act of rebellion.

This is then followed by a cycle of guilt, low self-esteem and a lack of motivation and drive to try the next miracle solution to lose weight.

But what if someone told you that getting slim and staying healthy is not about eating little - it's about eating well?

If you choose the right foods, you can enjoy hearty meals that leave you feeling full, satisfied and energised.

It's all about finding flavours and options that are both delicious - and nutritious.

Once you start exploring, you will realise that there is an amazing variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, wholegrains and proteins that are all bursting with flavour.

Having a pantry well-stocked with spices and sauces can also help you create yummy stir fries, salads and low-fat curries that are all jam-packed with vegetables.

From there, you can start swapping out white bread, pasta and rice for wholegrain alternatives.

Experimenting with chickpeas, lentils and other superfoods can also add something a little different to every meal.

You can even make your sweet treats healthier by swapping sugar for Stevia, a natural extract that is low in calories yet high in flavour.

Last but not least, try not to snack. Instead create meals that are healthy and full of nutrients, so that you don't feel the need to reach for that morning chocolate bar or afternoon bag of crisps.

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