MANY of us want to have a healthy diet. A big challenge is deciding on options from the sheer proliferation of food experts.

Scarcely a week passes without another dire warning that the fuel we give our bodies is in some way detrimental to both health and longevity.

Red wine, red meat. High fat, low fat. Carbohydrates or no carbohydrates. Dairy products. GM foods ... the list is endless. You read the latest Government survey or university research paper and you takes your choice.

The response to what constitutes a balanced or healthy diet is often dictated by purely financial means. A single parent, an unemployed person, or someone struggling on a state pension is unlikely to be seen rummaging through the high-priced organic veg at Sainsbury’s.

The other general influence on eating habits is the sheer pace of modern life which makes burgers, fries and other takeaway choices the all-too-easy option.

Step forward Huddersfield mum-of-four Sylvia Shaw who reckons she has found the answer to both conundrums.

She has written a cook book whose basic principle is that you need only spend one evening a week making meals – freezing them until you’re ready to eat them.

Sylvia says it saves time, you can use fresh ingredients and it’s a lot cheaper than ready meals bought in the shops.

Problem solved – if you can think ahead.

And that’s what the battle to get our bodies into shape involves – a little forethought and self-regulation.