Ask Lyndi Cohen her number one diet tip and her answer might just surprise you.
“Easy; don’t diet,” she says.
“There are so many bad diet fads out there. Anything where you’re cutting out entire food groups, that’s a diet. And even clean eating is a diet. Anything where you’re giving food good or bad status won’t work.
“Food isn’t good or bad, food is just food. Remember, there’s a time and place to have chocolate but there’s a time and a place for all the healthy foods too.”
It’s a refreshing stance, but it’s also what we’ve come to expect from the Sydney dietitian know as the Nude Nutritionist.
Whether it’s on the Today show or in her popular health books, Lyndi is known for her “no bullsh*t” approach to healthy living.
She says her goal is simple; she’s wants to keep it real.
It wasn’t always this way, of course. Like plenty of Australians, Lyndi spent years struggling with her weight and found fad diets just weren’t working — and in many cases, were actually making things worse.
So she decided to try something different.
“I grew up dieting my whole life, fad diet after fad diet. I was struggling with my weight and I became an emotional eater. I was in a really bad place with food,” she says.
“I know what it’s like to struggle with food. I know what it’s like to wake up each day and feel like it’s all too hard and to hate your body. It can really control your life. I want to help people get out of that vicious cycle and to eat healthy without obsessing about it.
“Everything I do now is about getting back to what really matters. None of the fad diets, no getting obsessed or being restrictive with what I eat. Just being healthy without any of the BS.”
That rule extends to her social media accounts, where she not only refuses to Photoshop her images, but even posts “Instagram versus reality” versions of her photos, so her fans can see that the way things look on social media is rarely how they look in real life.
“I think social media can be really negative or it can be really positive,” she says.
“We’re using it whether we like it or not but we can take control over our feeds, we can unfollow people who are promoting wacky stuff, we can choose not to subscribe to someone who is promoting a narrow image of what a healthy body looks like.”
And just what is a healthy body? Lyndi says that’s simple, too. It’s one that feels healthy, not one that looks a particular way.
“How many years have you spent hating your body and wishing it looked different? At some point you need to stop and go, ‘this is the body I’ve got, and I’m going to make it as healthy and as energised as I possibly can’,” she says.
“Otherwise you’ll spend your whole life obsessing about the wrong things. It won’t make you happy, and it won’t get you closer to a goal weight.
“We need to redefine what a healthy body looks like — and it’s not what you see in magazines.”
A DAY ON LYNDI’S PLATE
Lyndi says her diet is never about eating less, but eating more. She says eats as much she likes, but tries to focus more on healthier foods rather than on the naughty stuff.
“I’m not into wacky superfoods or any expensive ingredients,” she says.
“So maybe some homemade muesli for breakfast and then a fruit snack like a banana.
“I like to make a big salad for lunch with some healthy carbs and some protein. And then if I’m hungry in the afternoon I’ll snack on some wholegrain toast with avocado and feta cheese.
“Then dinner is some protein, some carbohydrates and a load of veg — and maybe some Greek yoghurt if I’m hungry after dinner.”
1. Favourite healthy food?
2. Favourite unhealthy food?
Chocolate — of any types. I don’t discriminate.
3. Favourite beverage?
4. Favourite motivation tip?
Just start with some gentle exercise.
5. Worst diet fad out there?
How much time have you got? They are all bad.
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