Our bodies really are as unique as our personalities, so each of us should strive to find a way of eating that works for us individually. I believe in empowering everyone to embrace a healthy way of living through the food we enjoy and the life we lead.
Almost half of all Brits have tried to lose weight at some point, with the figure rising to as high as 57 per cent for just women. And almost two-thirds of dieters say that they are pretty much on a diet ‘all or most of the time’.1
Large numbers of you have experimented with dieting in some shape or form; some of you may have even made some more drastic changes to the way you eat. If you have, it is likely that you will have seen some results, at least in the short term. But what faddy diet peddlers don’t share is that the true measure of a diet isn’t how you feel hours, days or even weeks later; it’s how you feel after months and years. There are a lot of non-evidence-based ‘diets’ or fads out there that try (and often succeed) to convince you that you will lose weight healthily when, in fact, the opposite is true.
The social media obsession with meals presented as art has turned food into fashion. I want to bring the focus back to nutrition, so that you can eat well and cook what you want. I am of the firm belief that getting back to basics and keeping nutrition simple is the easiest way to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the long term. I’m really excited to share my vision of food as something that should always be a positive aspect of life, offering enjoyment, fuel and happiness for both the mind and body. There are no quick fixes and what works for some may not work for others. No food should be forbidden and we need to stop thinking of certain foods as being intrinsically ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ I believe there is absolutely no place for restriction or the elimination of whole food groups in a healthy relationship with food. Instead of focussing on what you can’t eat, focus on what you can and should be eating.
For anyone on the brink of trying another diet or giving up on one, let me assure you I have been there too: confused and lost, feeling trapped and unsure how to get out. The answer is easier than a lifetime of searching for something that doesn’t exist. Anything is possible when you look at things from a different angle. The key to good health isn’t hiding in a fad diet and you definitely won’t find it in any supposed superfood. The answer doesn’t lie in subscribing to yet another diet or more rules to follow. I want you to live a life where food has no power over you, except to bring you nourishment and joy.
Remember: health isn’t immediately repairable and weight isn’t immediately modifiable. The idea that some new food discovery or new way of combining food will give you an instant fix to your weight or health problem is misinformed; there is no overnight fairy-tale ending. Weight loss at speed is never a good idea – slow and steady is the way to go.
Part of the journey to gaining a healthy relationship with food is to acknowledge that eating is a chance to nourish. It shouldn’t be that you must eat this or that way, or only ever choose to eat certain foods. Each and every one of us is different with unique nutritional requirements. The foods that are best for you might not be best for your spouse, friend or child. Personal tastes, natural shapes and sizes, genetics and so much more influence what foods will and won’t benefit us.
The idea of nourishing your mind and body works because it’s not a diet or a quick fix: it’s a way of life. Soon enough, the tips and tricks I’ve shared in this book, and which form the core of good nutritional eating, will become second nature to you, helping you to become the healthiest version of yourself. Having the knowledge and tools to put healthy eating into action are really the only things necessary to achieve your health goals. In the following chapters, I will reveal to you many of the methods and elements I use when working with clients in my clinic. Think of it as your back-to-basics guide, full of supportive resources from mindful eating techniques, a nutritious weekly menu, portion guidelines and answers to the most popular questions I get asked in my clinic.
Just as I did, I would like you to consider unlearning everything you thought you knew about nutrition. Try to start with a fresh outlook on exploring what will work best for you as an individual. With an enthusiastic mindset and a belief in the power of positive nutrition, I can show you the difference between feeling merely okay and feeling on top of the world. And whatever anyone tells you, optimum nutrition is ultimately about eating with pleasure and without shame.
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