THERE is good news for those who indulged in one too many mince pies this Christmas and are now trying to shed their holiday weight.
Scientists have discovered that dieting could actually boost your brain power as it activates a protein that helps the mind stay young and healthy.
According to new research on mice carried out by a team of scientists in Rome, eating fewer calories triggers a protein called CREB1, which activates genes linked to a longer and healthier life.
Mice that were only allowed 70 per cent of the calories they would normally eat lived a third longer than normal and demonstrated better memory and mental function.
Because CREB1 is weakened as we grow older, triggering it by eating less could help slow down the mental ageing process.
It comes as a study has found that the extra pounds we pile on over Christmas will take up to three months to shift.
According to research by MSN, for Christmas lunch alone the average Brit feasted on two to three servings, consuming 2,300 calories across just one meal.
Now, the rush is on to shed those pounds but nutritionist Dora Walsh warns that any post-Christmas diet plan needs to be sensible and balanced.
“Crash diets don’t work and quick fixes won’t last,” she explained.
But, at least it might help your brain.