Research shows that when people swapped a confectionery treat for a berry snack with the same energy content, considerably fewer calories were consumed at their next main meal.

This suggested that a simple change in habit alone could reduce a person's calorie intake by nearly 1,000 calories a week.

The reduction in calories would be expected to produce a loss of around 0.45 kg of body fat per month, and much more if consumed alongside exercise and other healthy-eating choices, according to researchers.

Seasonal Berries commissioned Loughborough University to conduct the research. Lewis James from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, that conducted the research, said anyone who does the simple swap could feel the effects on their health and waistline.

"Our research shows that an afternoon snack of mixed berries decreases energy intake at dinner. It's a simple method that might help people control and lose weight," said James.

In the research trials, which were carried out over four months, 12 participants tested the effects of swapping a confectionery snack with a handful of berries strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with the same energy content.

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