Followed every diet in the book, but love handles still giving you nightmares? Well, celeb dietician Anita Bean has come to your rescue with her new no-nonsense strategies for a proper diet that can help shun fat forever.
Anita, 46, has just published Slim Secrets, which gives a straight-talking and safe diet based on scientific fact from her 18 years of experience.
"Many diets make wild promises but the usual rule of thumb is that the wilder the claim the less likely it is to work. Any diet is going to work in the short term because you are going to eat fewer calories, but often the proposed eating plan is not sustainable," The Daily Express quoted her, as saying.
Slim Secrets, Anita's 20th book on nutrition, addresses the psychology and emotions behind dieting which she feels is the main barrier to long term weight loss.
"Before you begin working out whether you are going to have broccoli or a chocolate cookie, the starting point of any diet has to be sorting out your emotions. You have to start taking control, not only of your eating but also your whole lifestyle," she says.
She admits this "all sounds a bit serious," but adds "the reason why many women have weight issues is because they haven't got control over what they are eating."
"Food becomes tangled up with negative beliefs about yourself and your past. It's got to be a long-term process. If as a child you were hurt or upset and given sweets you might associate food as a reward or use it to hide emotions. I am not talking about heavy-duty psychology here, it's about getting people to be honest with themselves and face up to what they are doing," she added.
Anita offers simple techniques to help you decide which foods to eat and which should be treats. She says there is no need to cut out major food groups such as dairy or carbohydrates if you pay attention to the calorie density of what you eat.
Anita's simple tips for a slimmer future are:
Keep a food mood diary -- Write down everything you eat and drink for a week and how you felt before and after you ate. Soon you'll see a pattern and identify what makes you eat when you're not hungry.
De-stress -- Emotional eating doesn't actually reduce stress levels. Although you may experience the initial enjoyment of the food in your mouth, your negative feelings don't go away. The best way to deal with stress is to exercise. Go for a walk, swim or enjoy a yoga session.
Don't buy it -- One of the best things you can do is not buy the foods you binge on. Don't bring them into your house. If snacks aren't available you will automatically discover something else to do to change the way you're feeling.
Plan ahead -- If you know you've got a stressful time coming up then plan your food strategy to help you cope better. Plan what healthy meals and snacks you're going to eat and keep all others out of sight.
Photograph: Getty Images