To have a healthy body weight, eating the right amount needs to be a permanent part of your lifestyle. People often “go on a diet” to lose weight – often with some initial success – but when they come off the diet, weight is usually regained. All weight-loss diets work by reducing the amount of calories that people eat. The one that works for you will be the one that you feel you can stick to; because a weight reduction (and maintenance) plan isn’t just a diet that you go on and then come off – it has to be a way of eating and living that you continue for ever.

It is best to always keep whole food groups (like carbohydrates) in your diet to avoid a nutritionally unbalanced diet with potential long-term side-effects. To help reduce the number of calories without going hungry, try to eat lots of plant foods – these not only have plenty of valuable nutrients and dietary fibre but also tend to be low in calories. Avoiding foods and drinks that have lots of calories in a small amount of food or in a small portion is also helpful – as well as avoiding sugary drinks. This also includes alcoholic drinks (of whatever sort), as alcohol itself is a high-calorie product – it has 7 calories per gram compared with 9 calories per gram for fat and 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein.

Being physically active (this doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym; it could be just walking more instead of sitting) is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it is particularly useful in helping to keep off any weight you have lost.