Tell us about the Small Steps campaign that you're working on with Splenda at the moment.
Small Steps is a great campaign for me to be working on because its actually the way that I lost three and a half stone. It's a completely modern way of thinking, that we shouldn't try and make huge changes.
Every time you go on a diet and they ask you to cut out protein or cut out carbohydrates or whatever, all of those diets ended up with me losing weight, then binging and putting on the weight I'd lost, plus a bit more.
When I really got fed up of that I decided that I was literally going to take Small Steps to losing weight. Thinking about where I can make small changes, if I want something sweet or to add flavour to a meal. I use a lot of herbs and spices, lean meat, all food that's going to fuel me to look great, because you look better if you eat well, and have lots of energy so I can exercise more.
Why was it important for you to make the Small Steps in terms of weight loss?
It takes a long time to put weight on, and I think we're always in a real rush to lose it. I think a lot of women will identify with the terrible cycle of lose a stone in two weeks diets. I really passionately believe that we should think about how we can eat for the rest of our lives, rather than go on a diet. I've got a book out at the moment and its called Greedy Girls Diet and the only reason it's has diet on the book is because the publishers won't know what the book is for if the word diet isn't on the front. What I discuss in the book is how we can have our cake and eat it too. How can we enjoy all of the foods that we love and still lose weight and then maintain it for the rest of our lives. I've maintained my weight now for two and a half years.
I think people can become obsessed with the holy grail of the size, I'm a size 12 and I'm really happy with that. Lets of people tell me that its so nice to have a sane person talking about this, and a book that doesn't tell you that in two weeks you're going to be a size 8.
Why is important for women to take Small Steps rather than a big leap?
Because I think you set yourself up to fail if you go on a big flash diet that's making you all sorts of promises, you're going to fail. It's got to be a whole approach about maintaining the way of living and maintaining your weight loss. It's better to have a whole approach rather than shortcuts.
It's important to think about the products you're going to use as well that will help with your weight loss, things like Splenda, herbs and spices, marinade your meats and lemon zest. You get lots of flavour and you can eat like that for the rest of your life. You want flavour in your diet and you don't want to be eating a carrot whilst everyone else is enjoying something delicious.
What sort of Small Steps are you making now?
I take Small Steps every single day, all day long. I'm having what I want but I'm also thinking about my nutrition. I like sweet tea, so I use Splenda because I'm not going to put 40 calories in every cup because I have at least 7 everyday. I love eating eggs, so this morning I had them poached on whole meal toast, with a low fat spread. I had lean grilled bacon and then I removed the visible fat. I had a great meal and it was healthy. I've found out how to have my cake and eat it basically.
People are led to believe that only boring food can help you lose weight, what do you say to this?
What a load I'd baloney. The point is that we have to have delicious food, otherwise we feel deprived. In my book, there are over 100 recipes all of which you would not believe is diet or healthy food.
What are you favourite healthy foods and recipes?
When I'm looking at my plate, I want to see lots and lots of colour. I want to see whole grains, I want to see colour, I want to see lean protein and I obviously want it to look delicious. A nutritionist explained that you eat how you are feeling. So if you're feeling sluggish and tired you're going to reach for the carb-loaded and fatty foods, whereas if you're looking after you're body and you're feeling zesty, then you're going to reach for that sort of food. As I feel alive and fresh I go for that food and I love it.
What other diet tips do you have that you can share?
I think the thing is to not go on diets that really restrict your calorie intake, or any major food groups. Like if a diet tells you to avoid carbs, then don't do the diet because you will binge on carbs. I think it's important to find the foods that you love and then just find a way to cut the calories down, like, swapping your sugar for Splenda.
Exercise and movement is just as important, what do you do?
I do loads of exercise. I try and attack the day with full energy, so I walk as fast as I can everywhere, I try to move as much as I can. I'm a really busy working mum, I've got two step daughters and two children, and my husband and I run a company as well. It's important to realise that you don't have to do an hour of exercise at nice, jumping up and down for ten minutes is beneficial. If you're taking your kids the park, pretend that you're 7 and play with them. But when I've got time to exercise I do Pilates twice a week, I run three or four times a week and I also do fitness DVDs at home.
Which are your favourite DVDs to do?
Well, my own is one. I like the 10 Minute Solutions, I really like Nell McAndrews she's very hardcore though, you have to be quite fit to do hers.
You mentioned before that changing you're diet has given you more energy, so what sort of foods have enabled this?
You need lots of whole grains, swap all your white bread, pasta and rice for brown because they give you long-running energy. Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes, they're slow burning and give you more energy. Loads of water and lots of fruit and veg and that will power you up. To eat throughout the day is important too, don't go long periods without food.
SPLENDA® Sugar Alternative has a great sugar-like taste but a fraction of the calories of sugar per serving. SPLENDA® has teamed up with TV presenter and healthy cooking guru Nadia Sawalha to offer recipes and tips on the small steps you can take to reach your healthy eating goals and kick-start a better, new you. Find out more at www.SPLENDA® .co.uk
Femalefirst Taryn Davies