Want to feel better, look better and improve your all round health? Then follow these nine healthy diet tips and create a ‘new you’ right now!

Counting calories for a healthy diet

A simple start – the average man should take in around 2,500 calories a day. Women should consume 2,000. The more calories you consume, the more exercise you’ll need to do to balance out. Take on too many and you’ll gain weight, take on too few, you’ll lose weight – this is probably the most important of any healthy diet regime.

Dietary benefits of eating a good breakfast

If you want to lose weight, make sure you eat a hearty breakfast – it should the basis of any healthy diet worth its salt. Eating first thing in the morning stimulates the metabolism and packs the body with essential vitamins and nutrients – a vital start to any day.

Why your diet should include lots of fluid

You should be drinking enough fluid in the day to never feel thirsty. The average person needs around 1.2 litres of fluid every day to avoid dehydration – and you’ll need more when you exercise or it is hot weather. Go for healthy drinks – water, milk or fruit juices – and avoid pop!

Consume a balanced and healthy diet

The human body needs a wide range of vitamins and nutrients, and the best way of getting them is to eat a wide range of foodstuffs! Again, simple stuff – but we don’t mean mix up your choc ices, colas and cakes – you need to aim for healthy foods, which we’ll look at next.

How your grocer can help your diet

Fruit and veg is the staple of any healthy diet – aim for AT LEAST five a day. Your veg count should be more than your fruit intake and a good way of making sure you are getting plenty of different nutrients is by eating different coloured foods. Simple, but effective!

Why fish should be part of a healthy diet

Fish is a wonderful source of protein and oily fish in particular is packed with omega-3 fats, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Aim for a couple of oily fish portions per week and if you eat a lot of fish, try and mix up the varieties as much as possible.

What you should cut out for a healthy diet

Fat is good for you, but saturated fat can increase your cholesterol levels, which in turn can lead to blocked arteries and heart disease. Cut down on foods such as hard cheese, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter and thick dairy products, pies and pasties and, of course, cakes. A treat every now and again isn’t going to do you or a healthy diet any harm, but cutting down is vital.

The dietary benefits of starchy foods

Foods such as potatoes, pasta, cereals, rice and bread get a rough press as they are marked as ‘carb’ foods and are avoided by people on some diets. However, they are essential as part of a balanced diet. Try and have one with each meal – they are packed with fibre and help keep your energy up and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Cut down on salt

Salt is everywhere and hard to avoid, particularly as it is used so much as a preservative in many pre-packaged foods. Eat too much and you can suffer with raised blood pressure, leading to potential heart disease and strokes. Adults should aim to consume no more than 11g of salt per day – your children, even less.