With baking sweet treats and recipe testing a big part of her job, it’s no wonder Nadiya Hussain has had to learn to practice some restraint to avoid gaining weight. However, the former Great British Bake Off winner goes to great lengths to maintain her slim figure – and it may surprise you.
The 33-year-old says that eating only one meal a day and maintaining an active lifestyle with regular walks or jogs is the secret to her physique. “On a day when I’m not working, I only have one meal a day. So I’ll drink tea, coffee and have fruit,” Nadiya explained. “I wait for my kids to come home, cook and then I have dinner with them at 5pm. I don’t really need anything after that.”
Nadiya Hussain said she only eats one meal a day when she isn't filming
However, she struggles to eat healthily while working. “It’s really hard because when you are on location and you are shooting, you don’t do a long day’s work and think, ‘Oh I’ve got to have a salad because that’ll pick me up.’ It’s like, ‘No, I want sugar, I want carbs and I want a quick fix’. There’s no such thing as eating well, you eat rubbish to keep going.”
MORE: Nadiya Hussain's crispy chocolate and salted peanut tart recipe
Nadiya balances her diet with a daily 5km jog or walking, which she enjoys as much for the benefits to her mental health as well as physical, saying it helps her to unwind when she’s feeling stressed. The mum-of-three has previously spoken openly about her experiences with panic disorder, and it appears exercise is one of her coping mechanisms.
Nadiya waits to eat dinner with her three children
Speaking on In Conversation with John Bishop, the Great British Bake Off champion admitted that she has been to see a medical expert, but is reluctant to take medication for her condition. "I describe it as a monster," she said. "Some days the monster shouts in my face, no matter where I turn he will keep shouting at me, I can't get him out of my face. Other days he's behind me and he'll tap me on the shoulder a little bit here and there through the day and I can ignore him completely. Other days I can put him in my pocket. He's always there… My whole life revolves around not falling apart."