People who want to lose weight come up with lots of excuses.

Two completely contradictory ones come to mind.

There are those who say they can't lose weight because they've got no time and others whose excuse is they've got too much time.

I'd like to explore this issue of "time" and how you can use it to help you move forward.

Let's take those people with too much time on their hands. If you recognise yourself in this category, you may be spending a lot of time at home.

This may be not of your choosing - you may be unable to get about as much as you used to.

Others of you may be working from home and, although you may be busy with your work, the kitchen is rather too available.

Some of you may be at home with children and, again, the kitchen is a constant beckoning presence.

Although each of your circumstances are different, you probably consider your fridge as the centre of your home.

If you are constantly popping in and out of the kitchen, looking into the larder or the fridge and taking a bite of this and that at random, you will find it difficult to lose weight without greater vigilance.

Naturally slim people, on the other hand, eat only when they are physically hungry. It wouldn't enter their heads (most of the time) to peep into the fridge when they aren't hungry.

For those of us who can eat at any time of the day or night, hungry or not, this approach would be quite a challenge.

It is that challenge I throw out to you. As you feel yourself drawn to the fridge or the larder (or even the fruit bowl), ask yourself a simple question:

"Am I really hungry?" Unless you are sure you're tummy is rumbling, find something to divert your attention.

You might like to prepare a list so you're ready with a diversion. It might be to brush your teeth or to run up and down the stairs three times or to have a bath or phone a friend or send an email or walk round the garden or pull up some weeds.

The list could go on and on and on. But first of all, you have to convince yourself if you continue to eat when you're not hungry, you will certainly not lose weight and the chances are you will gain.

What about those of you who say you can't lose weight because you're too busy?

You may not agree but I think your situation is easier. If you have too much time to mull over your weight-loss strategy, it can become obsessive.

I wouldn't go so far as to say your diet should be on the back burner but it should certainly sit unobtrusively alongside your other activities.

The less time you have to sit around and think about food, the better.

People who are very busy sometimes grab at food on the run - and it's more likely to be of the high-calorie takeaway variety.

Another pitfall for busy people is to eat in advance.

You fear you might not have time later so you fill up now, even though you're not really hungry.

Just like those with too much time on their hands, you need to remember eating should relate to appetite.

Work hard to train yourself to say no to food (to yourself or to others) until you feel a gentle tummy rumble.

That way, you'll know the time has come and you can eat without guilt.

You can get support from Dr Judy Citron 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