Dr Christian Jessen is widely known for his work on Channel 4's Supersize vs Superskinny, in which he helps both overweight and underweight people find a healthy balance in their diets. Talking with HELLO! Online in an exclusive interview at the Simply Great Drinks launch, the doctor revealed why he thinks that juice diets are 'dangerous', as well as sharing tips on how to manage a healthy diet even if you have a big appetite. Scroll below for Dr Christian's tips on healthy eating.
Fad diets are partly responsible for the obesity crisis
I think women and men try extreme dieting because it promises that they will look like a particular actress or actor who’s doing the same one. But with fad diets you lose a bit, then put it back on and more, lose a bit and put it back on and more, so your end result is a constant weight gain. Fat diets are responsible for people getting fatter not thinner.
Changes need to be for life
We make little deals with ourselves, like going to the gym before a night out, but half an hour in the gym isn’t going to come anywhere near compensating for how many calories you’re going to put in with alcohol on a night out. If you’re changing your habits it needs to be for life, and the first few weeks should be to kick-start that.
A juice diet will do nothing
I think juicing can be very dangerous – you’re missing out on whole important groups of micro nutrients and you’re restricting it all to a degree that your hair, nails and skin will suffer. A week is just about the limit you can do it before you start really suffering. You’ll be weak, tired and even though people will say they feel wonderful and it’s amazing, you miss out on fibre and it will cause havoc with your gut.
Eat more than 3 meals a day
If you have a big appetite, you don’t have to stick to three meals a day - I have five meals a day. I eat little and often, and every few hours. Split your meals up and spread them out throughout the day. Most people will save up their calorie count during the day and not eat very much, but they just binge when they get home because they’re so hungry.
Eat bulky but healthy foods
For people who have big appetites or who eat when they’re bored or in the office, you need to eat bulky but calorie light food. Brown rice and lentils are great for protein but low on calories, and if you have them in a salad it will fill you up.
There is only one reason why people are overweight
They eat too much. It’s as simple as that. Nothing else is making you fat, not even your bones, that’s all a myth. The biggest problem is ‘mindless eating’, when you’re at your desk, on the phone, or watching TV. You eat without wondering if you’re full, you don’t even think about it. At the end of the day, it’s you who decides what you’ll eat and how much.
Keep a food diary
I always make my patients keep a food diary and they hate it. The trouble is that it’s rubbing their nose in the truth. You have to write down every single thing you ate that day, the time you ate it, and whether you were actually hungry or eating because I was just there. People who say they don’t eat too much suddenly realise how much they eat without realising.
Christian Jessen is working with Simply Great Drinks to front its Be Simply Great campaign, a simple and sensible approach to staying, fit, happy and healthy long-term. To find out more about the Be Simply Great Challenge visit www.simplygreatdrinks.co