Slimmers use a variety of methods to help them lose weight, from fad diets to plain old willpower. But according to scientists, if you really want to shed those excess pounds, it's all in the planning.
In a study conducted by researchers at Portuguese, German and Polish universities, researchers found that making healthy shopping lists ahead of a trip to the supermarket, taking fruit to work as a good-for-you snack, and even spending time thinking up reasons to turn down tempting treats offered by others helps to motivate dieters, and help them to slim down.
More than 200 people, aged between 18 and 50, were quizzed about how much fruit and veg they consumed each day, as well as how they thought they might increase their intake, and what barriers they might face.
Those who said they planned in advance how to get their five-a-day were much more likely to succeed in eating healthily, thereby avoiding the temptation to indulge.
According to the Daily Mail, Psychologist Cristina Albuquerque Godinho, from the Lisbon University Institute in Portugal, said: "We found that having strategies in place to deal with a range of eating situations that could undermine good intentions is very important, and helps people to regulate their daily dietary choices.
'Planning menus or taking fruit to the workplace are examples of strategies some people use. Planning is a psychological process that helps people to make the right choices for them."
Have you found planning has helped you to lose weight? Leave your comments below...