tape measureInevitably some of us will have put on weight over Christmas and, if like me, you not only cooked the food but ate it too then the waist-band button is probably straining a bit. One way of dealing with this post-Christmas excess is to be sensible and eat slightly less and exercise slightly more.

By eating the same foods you’ve always eaten but making slight changes, combined with a bit more sweat-inducing exercise, you will lose weight.

coffee cupTake sugar in your coffee? Then stir in a level teaspoon rather than a heaped one next time.  But don’t be tempted to reduce the amount of sugar by any more during this first week of change as the taste buds will rebel and you’ll revert back to your old ways.

But having no sugar in your coffee isn’t going to do it on its own – so what else can you do? Have slightly less of everything you would normally put on your plate: one less potato, one less spoonful of curry and one less glass of wine (which is going to be the hard one particularly if you enjoy wine like me).

But don’t start reducing everything you eat on the same day, be sensible about it. Try introducing one change a week and let your taste buds and belly adjust. And obviously you aren’t going to keep on reducing the amounts so you’re left with nothing on the plate – aim for a final amount of about two-thirds of what you started with.

bread stackSo not only are you eating less of everything but you’re also saving money – less food equals smaller grocery bills.

Exercise that gets your heart pumping a bit faster really helps shift those extra pounds. I’m not suggesting you rush around all the time and frazzle yourself into a horizontal heap but, when there is the opportunity, walk at a brisk pace – to the bus stop, back to where you parked the car or between the washing machine and the clothes line.

But be sensible about it. Obviously you’re not going to increase your rate if you’re carrying a plate of hot food or if you’re carrying five bags of shopping across a wet and slippery supermarket car park.

So if you think the ideas on sensible dieting are sound, then why not give it a go?

Let me know how you get on.

Journeys End ChardonnayPG Wine Reviews

Toro Loco Spanish Reserva 2012

£4.99 Aldi

Deep and dark aromas of cocoa and leather handbag, bur surprisingly lighter flavours of plum and cherry.

Las Falleras Tinto 2015, Spain

£5 M&S

A light lunch-time red vino.

SPAR Chablis 2014

£11 SPAR

A lovely floral white with flavours of pear, pineapple and grass.

Les Caillottes French Sancerre 2015

£14 SPAR

A really nice fruity and creamy white wine. SPAR wines have turned a corner and now offer some interesting drinking.

Eberle Paso Robles Californian Viognier 2015

£21.99 Virgin Wines

Floral and fruity white with flavours of apricot, melon, ginger and apple.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk