If you consumed a bit too much chocolate over the Easter period, rest assured you weren’t the only one. But if all those sweet treats are now revealing themselves in the form of excess weight, blotchy skin and perhaps the odd mood swing, don’t despair. A few simple tweaks to your diet will soon have you looking and feeling fresh , ready for the imminent Spring!

1. Avoid fad diets

Registered dietitian and nutritionist Priya Tew www.dietitianuk.co.uk) insists fad diets should be avoided if we have any hope of consistent weight loss, as are diets that demand you cut out an entire food group. Hollywood actresses might rely on such extreme measures to lose weight for a role, but just how healthy these actions are is up for debate. “Dieting usually leads to the yo-yo weight effect that affects your metabolism in a negative way,” explains Priya. “It may give short-term weight loss, but a few weeks later you’ll end up heavier than you were before.” Slow and steady wins the race, so aim for a balanced combination of exercise and healthy eating you can stick to.

 2. Consider a co-Q10 supplement

Co-Q10 – or co-enzyme Q10 – is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in every cell in the body. Not only can it help kick-start cell regeneration and protect our heart and immune system, it also works to keep aging at bay. One of its main roles is to boost our energy levels, which means you’re less likely to slump and reach for that chocolate bar, unless you’re running low in co-Q10, that is. Foods such as red meat and soybean oil are good sources of co-Q10; otherwise you could top up your body’s supply with a supplement.

3. Be realistic

“Instead of getting over-excited and setting unreasonable goals, set smaller lifestyle targets that are more likely to be successful,” advises Priya. Little changes, like using smaller plates for portion control and eating a good breakfast in the morning, can make a world of difference. And by ‘a good breakfast’, we mean oats, eggs and fruit, not a greasy fry-up!

4. Don’t skip meals

As tempting as it may be this is not the way to get in shape. “Rather, eating regular meals boosts your metabolism and helps you lose weight,” Priya says. So, instead of skipping breakfast or claiming you’re too busy for lunch, tuck in. Just be sensible about your choices. If you’re going to “super-size” anything, make it your intake of vegetables. They’ll fill you up, make you healthier and, if you cook them right, are delicious!

5. Treat yourself

If you have a sweet tooth, you don’t have to ditch treats completely. Try dark chocolate, oaty flapjacks or fruit and nuts instead of calorie-rich, nutrient-poor sweets, biscuits or cakes. You’ll soon find you lose your taste for refined sugar and won’t crave the ‘naughty’ foods you used to love. Once that happens, you can say goodbye muffin top!