Easier to adopt and less frustrating than a full-blown diet, here are a few tips to help you think differently about mealtimes and cut calories without feeling deprived.

Dessert options

Looking for a light but tasty chocolate mousse? Why not try a vegan version that replaces cream and egg whites with chickpea water, known as aquafaba. Simply whip the viscous liquid recovered from the water in which chickpeas have been cooked or canned.

For home-cooked cakes, try using apple purée (200g) and cinnamon to replace sugar. Cinnamon lowers the level of sugar in the blood, helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

For cold treats in hot weather, try putting yoghurts and fruit purées in the freezer to make delicious low-calorie sorbets and ice creams.

Turn frozen fruit into sorbets or freeze juice into lollies.

Smart snacks

Instead of succumbing to temptations like chocolate bars, biscuits or pastries, try tucking into a banana, a square of dark chocolate or a dozen almonds, which are packed with calcium and good essential fatty acids (omega-3).

With 89 calories per 100g, bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium and manganese, and are excellent for promoting digestion and feeling full. They can also help combat water retention.

If you’re watching your weight, pick fruits that are less sweet like berries.

When eating fruit, pick less sweet options like red berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries), apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit, peaches and nectarines.

On the plate

For lasting weight loss apply this golden rule to your plate. While a meal can include some carbohydrates (rice, pasta, peas, potatoes, etc), these must always be accompanied by a portion of the green vegetables of your choice. This combination helps limit the carbohydrate content of the dish thanks to fibres that help fill you up.

All day long

Want to cut 200 calories without even moving? Drink seven glasses of water per day, instead of the average four. According to an American study, increasing water intake, even if only by 1%, could reduce the number of calories consumed and, in particular, the intake of sugar, sodium and fatty acids.

At the Japanese restaurant

Beware of high-glycaemic options like sushi and maki, made with rice vinegar and sugar. Twelve pieces contain around 350 calories. Instead, opt for miso soup and sashimi with a little rice.

Curb cravings

Mix half clove essential oil and half ceylon cinnamon essential oil in a small bottle. Essential oils can be found in organic or health food stores. When you crave a snack, have a sniff of your concoction. – AFP Relaxnews