Eat a handful of berries every day if you want to shed a few kilos

Simply swapping a chocolate bar or packet of sweets for a handful of berries as an afternoon snack can lead to nearly a stone of weight loss over a year.

Researchers found that people who snacked on the fruits ate fewer calories at their next meal. While ‘super berries’ such as acai and goji have been touted for their weight loss virtues, the scientists in this study looked at the effects of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.

Dr Lewis James, from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, said: ‘Our research shows an afternoon snack of mixed berries decreases energy intake at dinner.

‘It’s a simple method that might help people control and lose weight. ‘There are a number of potential health benefits of consuming berries, but this is the first time that consuming them as a snack has been shown to reduce how much people eat during the next meal of the day.’