MacLaine dieting for the first time
Shirley MacLaine. Picture: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

Veteran actress and Downton Abbey star Shirley Maclaine has ditched sweet treats and taken up exercise in a bid to lose weight.

The Oscar winner has given up her favourite foods and turned to snacking on fruit as she battles to slim down - and MacLaine admits taking her dog on hikes has made all the difference in her quest to shed the pounds.

"I'm on a diet for the first time in my life. All my attention is focused on my tummy, which is too big. I could eat sweets all day but I've made a commitment to myself to lose weight, so that means cutting out chocolate and eating more fruit," Mclaine has told Britain's Woman & Home magazine.

"I hate exercise as much as anyone but when I'm hiking with my dog Terry it's not so bad. I'll do an hour in the morning, then feel like I've earned a nice lunch."

The West Australian

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