Sometimes we get stuck in a rut with our diet. And, here, I mean diet as in your food intake - the true meaning of the word.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you'll know I tend not to focus on the nitty-gritty of what you eat but, rather, on the whys, hows and whens of eating.

A typical example of the why of eating is comfort eating when you are lonely or angry.

An example of the how of eating is when you eat too fast.

If you train yourself to eat more slowly, you will consume far less food without even noticing.

Eating when you're not hungry is an example of the when of eating.

Understanding all these factors is important to any attempt to lose weight. But there must come a time to also look at the what of eating.

This will complete your weight-loss programme and set you on the road to a healthy, balanced diet.

The biggest problem for many people is the easy availability of fast food: The McDonalds on the way home from work, the pizza parlour at lunchtime to the takeaway you enjoy on a Sunday evening.

These are all very high in fat and calories. A portion of fish and chips can contain about 1,200 calories and a pizza is about the same.

That's close to what you might want to eat in a day in order to lose weight.

Of course, you probably haven't the time or energy to cook every night and these meals are a favourite for the whole family.

So here's an admission: I don't like cooking that much either. I'm always determined to find a way round less fast food without more cooking.

The answer must be in ready-made, frozen dinners from the supermarket.

Many people don't think of these as being fast food. If you define fast food as a meal with minimum effort, then these supermarket offerings certainly qualify.

The meal sizes are rarely as large as the standard takeaway offering.

Take care to choose a meal for one rather than a meal for two, which could easily be eaten by one.

You could certainly look at the labels and choose a tasty meal with about 350 calories and you could hunt for a label which has less than ten grams of fat per 100 grams.

But even if you simply choose the one that appeals to you most, the chances are it will be a lot better for you than a pizza, burger or fish and chips.

Another secret is to make sure your freezer is well stocked with a variety of these meals so you'll never have the excuse that there's nothing in the house.

And just one last suggestion. When you have your super pre-cooked meal on the plate, put your knife and fork down between each bite.

That way, what might seem to be a meal that wouldn't fill a fly will suddenly take you ages to finish and will feel every bit as filling as the pizza you would otherwise have had for lunch.

Column by Dr Judy Citron. You can get support from Judy and her team of DietCoaches by joining her telephone weight-loss classes, right from your own home. "You lose weight and you're not on a diet. It's amazing." Phone free for more information on 0800 074 0260 or visit the web site at