Weight-Loss Week: Enjoy Your Food

Every day this week, we're looking a short number of ways to get back to your ideal weight. We're covering simple changes to your running; everyday exercise tweaks; and loads of realistic eating rules that you can live by.

Enjoy Your Food (that's what it's for)

Slow down: When you wolf down a meal, chances are you won't fully enjoy it or feel very satisfied afterwards. This means you may eat again too soon. In contrast, when you eat slowly, you'll finish your meal with a greater sense of satisfaction. Even when you're eating on the go, it's a good idea to take at least 20 minutes to consume a meal. Biologically, your body needs time to register that you've eaten food and to feel satisfied.

Eat some fat, but not too much: Don't run away from fats. They're essential to your health, satisfy your cravings, and add to your energy supply Most nutrition experts suggest a diet of at least 20 per cent fat (along with 55 per cent carbohydrate, and 25 per cent protein. Decreased fat consumption can leave you feeling fatigued and dispirited.

Have an after-dinner plan: You don't need an expert to tell you that snacking at night is often the downfall of your healthy eating during the day. So make a plan. Dieticians say you can allow yourself up to 200 calories' worth of after-dinner treats. These might range from 60 calories in an apple, to 100-150 calories in a pot of fat-free yoghurt or rice pudding, or 170 calories in a bottled beer.

Say 'yes' to hot chocolate: Look at the benefits. First, it's chocolate - enough said. Second, made with skimmed milk, it provides protein (and calcium) with next to no fat. Its calorie count comes in under the recommended 200 calories for a post-dinner snack. And it's hot, so you drink it slowly, savour each sip, and enjoy the moment.

It's okay to cheat a little: Nobody's perfect, and nobody wants to nibble through a full week without a splurge or two. Remember: your goal isn't total restraint from chips, pork pies and chocolate-fudge ice cream. Your goal is gradual weight-loss through a controlled exercise and nutrition plan that helps you burn more calories than you consume. So, give yourself a break on occasion - then get back on the programme afterwards.

Day One: Running Off The Pounds | Day Two: Best Exercise Options | Day Three: Best Eating Routines For Runners | Day Four: Simple Ways To Count Your Calories Day Five: Weight-Loss Week: Enjoy Your Food (that's what it's for)