HANDS up all those who resolved to drop a couple of stones on January 1.

Now, sit down all those who have already given up their weight-loss dreams.

You are not alone. Many abandon their New Year’s resolutions in the first week, the rest by week six.

The biggest obstacle to losing weight is deprivation. Most dieters enter the new year abstaining from chocolate and wine, and hit the gym with the enthusiasm of Arnie in training for his next Hollywood blockbuster.

But losing weight takes time and people are generally impatient, so it’s little wonder that most restrictive diets fail.

For years, the diet industry has offered foods that promise us we can have our “cake and eat it”.

But so-called low-fat foods are often high in sugar and come in such measly portions that they leave us hungry.

But there seems to be a sea change as the industry puts forward some interesting alternatives. Low-calorie booze which does not compromise on alcohol is one. Virtually calorie-free pasta, noodles and rice is another.

Singer Linda Nolan is a fan of the Skinni Food Company, which is leading the revolution with its range of pasta, popcorn, jelly, snack bars and drinks.

Skinni-food-company.com is part of the Boossh brand of very low-calorie diet products and has been launched following the runaway success of its Skinni Pasta range.

The product is made from the konjac root, which hails from Eastern Asia and contains almost no calories or carbs, but lots of fibre to fill you up and keep you “regular”.

I tried the “rice” version, which looks like the real thing. It was like eating rice noodles, virtually no taste, but like Quorn it takes on the flavour of anything you add to it. It’s definitely worth trying, although the price, at £2.49 a pack, may be off-putting for some.

Another product I tried is Skinni Stix, an EFSA-approved appetite suppressant drink that uses konjac and a green tea blend that is added to water and consumed 20 minutes before eating.

The theory is that it fills you up so you consume less at meal times.

However, it didn’t work for me, but then I’m of the opinion that you can have a large plate of food which is low in calories and very filling – chicken breast, jacket potato and lots of veg, for example – and still lose weight.

But skinny booze, now you’re talking. Champagne, wine and beer that doesn’t compromise on the alcohol content and is roughly half the calories of the real thing. It’s available through skinnybooze.co.uk, a Cheadle-based company.

I bought a bottle of Ayala Brut champagne at £29.99, 45 calories for a 125 ml glass and 12%ABV and a Sauvignon Blanc, £8.50, 75 cals a glass and 13.5%ABV. Both were on the dry side, but very drinkable.

Tom Bell, founder of skinnybooze, explains that it’s all in the fermentation process. Basically the wines and champagne contain less sugar, because grapes are picked earlier before the sugars have fermented. Neither do they contain artificial sweeteners. According to my son, the Moosehead Light beer, at 90 calories a bottle, is not bad either.

Local butcher Riley’s in Crawshawbooth has added a range of Lean Meals to its lunchtime offering, inspired by the Lean Eats Cookbook produced by Paul and Jonny Stannard of Rossendale-based Lean Bootcamps.

Teryaki Beef Stirfry, made with extra lean beef, Free-range pork, Sweet Chilli and Pineapple Stir Fry, and Pork and Beef Meatballs in Tomato Sauce are some of the slimline takeaway goodies on offer.

Paula Riley says: “People often complain that healthy eating is expensive, but our Teryaki Beef contains the best extra-lean steak, fresh vegetables, no added fat, and costs £8 to feed a family of four.

“All we are doing is cutting out the preparation time.”

Riley’s is also selling lean meat hampers which include extra-lean mince, bacon, gammon, pork steaks and sausages for £25.

“It’s not always easy for busy people to cook from scratch, so these meals save time and calories.”