I'm fed up to my teeth with diets and deprivation as a way of managing weight and food. It's time to move beyond a focus on food plans and diets, and start addressing the emotions, habits and situations that lead to your unhealthy eating.
From our body weight to our choice of literature, you may be surprised by all the things us ladies get wrong! Uncover some surprising female health mistakes and misconceptions with these five things every woman gets wrong.
Why do we all still get sucked in? Obviously, it's the idea of a quick-fix - the easy win. Except fad diets are never easy, quick or happy-making. They're angst-ridden, nerve-shattering and daily lessons in dealing with your own lack of self control.
It is my view that the days of tea and tissues in the therapy room have to go when it comes to helping a fat client lose weight. The vast majority of clients are fat because they have fallen into lazy ways, developed bad habits, and become addicted to food. It is for this reason that a client needs a firm hand.
I thought the sauce looked suspiciously glutenous so I asked him to check again with the chef. He returned and asked, "How allergic ARE you?" I looked at him and declared, a little poker faced white lie, "I will start vomiting profusely in the middle of your restaurant" at which point he admitted, "Yes, it's got flour in it". Sometimes you have to push to get the answers you need.
Now that we're all supposed to be eating 10 portions of fruit and veg a day, it does make me wonder when exactly we're supposed to fit it all in. A quick bowl of sugar snaps before breakfast? A handful of kale with a mid-morning coffee? I think the Australian approach may be a better way to approach the inarguable need to inject fresher, more nutritious food into our lives: Down Under, they promote a 'two and five' slogan - that's two portions of fruit and five of veg a day. Think of it as an upgrade on the UK's five-a-day and it doesn't seem quite such a food mountain to climb.
When I decided to stop eating sugar, gluten and dairy and drinking coffee, soft drinks and alcohol, I lost weight without really trying. I lost muscle tone as well because exercise wasn't really something that inspired me. In the past, I would exercise to lose weight and as I was losing weight, I didn't see the point of regular exercise.
Are you exercising on a regular basis and yet still struggling to shed excess fat? I can probably tell you why. Either you're eating too many fattening foods or your training is not optimal for fat burning.
If you're looking to cut down on sugar, one of the worst things you can do is eat something sweet for breakfast - it'll simply set you up for a day of stinking cravings. Choose something savoury with a lot of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied as well as nourishing your body.
In my early 20s, a friend took me to her gym, where I decided to weigh myself. The number on the scale horrified me so much that I immediately started to make better choices around eating and continued to exercise almost everyday.
One thing that always impressed me about springtime in Paris is how comfortable women here seem to be with peeling off the winter layers of clothing. All of a sudden, like tulips in the Tuileries, pencil skirts, nude legs in sling-backs and sleeveless arms crop up everywhere. It's like they have nothing to hide. How liberating that sounds.
It's not only human waistlines that are expanding: our pets are now facing the same fate. I've seen increasing levels of pet obesity over the years and it basically comes down to pets taking in more calories than they use.
Dame Sally Davies said that too many people ignore the problem of obesity and view the fact that many of their friends and neighbours being very big people as quite acceptable. What incredible insight this woman must have!
The key here is to eat. Don't skimp on anything. Just make sure what you eat helps burn that belly fat. And here's the good news. Not only are there plenty of foods you can choose from to help you along the way, but belly fat is an area we can lose weight from quickly, if you target it properly.
If you've ever tried losing weight you'll know those feelings of frustration when you've lost a few pounds and you reach a plateau. It's enough to get you hunting down your favourite snack. So are you really destined for a life of yo-yo dieting and gradually increasing girth?
While home economics is studied in the classroom around the world, it is only when it is practised at home that it becomes empowering. I ask all mums and dads to start thinking of teaching basic Home Economics to your boys and girls.