If you're a fan of How To Lose Weight Well, you'll be familiar with Stacie Stewart. Joining Dr Xand van Tulleken and Dr Helen Lawal, the show sees ordinary Brits testing some of the most popular and talked about diets and gives viewers the lowdown on how the diets performed for them. Stacie, with her distinctive Sunderland accent, can be found in the Café cooking up gorgeous meals the volunteers can look forward to during their trial. The apron-clad chef, who currently resides in Brighton, shows that dieting isn't just lettuce and bland food. In fact, if anyone knows the power of food and dieting, it's Stacie. The 37-year-old is proof that eating the right food and moving your body more can ultimately transform your figure.
Fans of Stacie will know that she started off on Masterchef, wowing judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with her culinary delights. Fast forward to today, Stacie is five stone lighter, and in an interview with HELLO! she says it's not just about what the scales say. "All in all it’s five stone but my body fat is a better indication - I’ve gained lots of lean muscle mass. My body fat has halved in eight years."
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The TV star, who is dating 25-year-old Ryan Brown, told us: "I did every diet under the sun when I was younger as I was desperately unhappy overweight. I tried everything and can now look back and see how companies prey on vulnerable people with their quick fix promises and sales. The only thing that works is to eat less and move more. Moving can be anything. Even a long walk. It all helps. I’m obsessed with strength training, it’s been magical watching my body composition change over the years. Like I DID THAT!"
If you follow Stacie on Instagram you'll know that she's a gym bunny and can often be seen showing work out videos of her lifting heavy weights. "I love the gym," she said. "I train five times a week, sometimes six if my body lets me. I train at a great gym called Underground. The atmosphere is electric and everyone’s there to better themselves. It’s welcoming and inviting and they have created a real community. "
But what made her want to drop the lbs? "Someone on Twitter called me fat after an appearance on TV and I genuinely thought 'Right, I’ll prove you wrong!' So I did it out of stubbornness to start. I wish I could remember who it was as I owe them a huge thanks. My business, life and my book deal - it all stems from that one tweet."
You'll be pleased to know that Stacie isn't an angel when it comes to food. When we asked her if she still eats sweet treats and goes out for dinner, she said: "I sure do. As long as I’m aware of what’s going in my body and my expenditure for the day I can eat what I enjoy - I always say add the good stuff and it’ll eventually crowd out the bad stuff. So my choices have become so much better over the years. A treat to me now is toasted rye with almond butter."
She's also a fan of Nando's if she wants an easy takeaway: "I order the Nando's butterfly chicken with a side of spicy rice or sweet potato! Perfect."
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With being on How To Lose Weight Well, Stacie has witnessed some bonkers diets over the years, but has there been a diet on the show that made you think 'wow!'? "Well, there’s been a few absolute shockers. Again going back to exploiting the vulnerable. I mean the potato diet? How is that ever going to be long term?"
If you want to try some of Stacie's delicious food, you're in luck - you just need to head to Brighton and visit Eat Naked. Her and Ryan's award-winning healthy cafe in Brighton is a favourite with wellness fans. "We are really conscious to be healthy, but not pretentious. Eat Naked is all about healthy fast food. We cater for all eating styles from high carb to Keto. Paleo and raw vegan. Our best seller is our paleo banana bread which is sugar gluten and dairy free. We also do meal prep, delivering healthy meals across Sussex and Kent."
Raw blueberry cheesecake from Stacie's deli, Eat Naked
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There are some obstacles when it comes to powering through with weight loss, and that's your mum's cooking: "My family and friends are all really supportive. My mam drives me nuts when I go home though as she still feeds me like an overweight teenager. Last time I went home I had a 16,000 (yes thousand) calorie breakfast buffet put in front of me. I had a black coffee and went for a run! She means well though."
When asked for the key to losing weight, Stacie revealed: "Consistency and learning to love the process. The gym is my happy place but I go there to train hard. No messing about!"
We couldn't interview Stacie and not ask about her time on MasterChef. What does she remember the most about her time on the show? "That massive bloody hair! I do remember it was the first time I believed in myself and thought, 'Yeah I’m good enough to cook I’m not bad!'" She also reveals the one thing that surprises people about being on the show: "How all the food they try is stone cold!"