The ONE thing to add to your diet if you want to lose weight

At this time of year, after finally shaking off the remnants of winter doom-and-gloom, plenty of us are taking a cold, hard look at our diets.

But following recipes, counting calories, eliminating sugar, or replacing meals is tedious – not to mention tough to stick with. 

Now research from the US suggests that one simple tweak could result in weight-loss that lasts.

It is being reported that high-fibre diets provide heaps of health benefits while being largely easy-to-follow.

Indeed, people who only added more fibre to their otherwise normal diet were able to lose weight, lower their blood pressure and reduce blood sugar levels. Hurrah!

And although they didn't lose quite as much weight as people following more complex diets, the researchers contend that their findings are encouraging for those who might be overwhelmed by the likes of paleo, Dukan, Atkins, or 5:2.

"For people who find it difficult to follow complex dietary recommendations, a simple-to-follow diet with just one message – increase your fiber intake – may be the way to go," said study author Dr Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The study involved 240 adults who were at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers asked them to change their diets for one year.

"High-fibre foods are rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients," Dr Ma also highlighted. 

The results show that "one small step can have a big impact in your battle with the bathroom scale," said Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor at Boston University.

"If you want to focus on one thing you can do in 2015 to help you lose weight, it might be increasing your fibre from whole grains, fruits and vegetables."

High-fibre foods, such as fruit and vegetables, as full of water as well as fibre – meaning they fill you up quickly. 

Alternative sources include beans, wholegrain and wholemeal rice and bread, pulses, nuts, baked potato with the skin left on, dried fruit, bran-based cereal, and porridge.

Most people in Ireland don't eat enough fibre: the RDA varies between 18g and 30g a day, depending on your age and gender.

Foods that contain 6 per cent fibre or more are considered to be high fibre foods, while those containing at least 3 per cent fibre are considered to be a good source of fibre.