BODYISM founder James Duigan reveals how you can stay true to clean eating through his Blueprint for Health philosophy, be kind to yourself.
Is Instagram crashing your diet? Has social media scrambled your relationship with food? Which wellness influencers should you listen to and who’s lead should you definitely not follow?
This week the controversy swirling around what the expression “clean eating” truly stands for raged again. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Dishing The Dirt on Clean Eating, BODYISM founder James Duigan reinforced the positive message that underpins efforts to eat clean – something he’s been championing for over a decade.
“We need to change the entire conversation,” James said, speaking to broadcaster Grace Dent. “The messaging on social media is very confusing and very commercially driven by some very clever but ruthless people. But at it’s heart the true meaning of clean eating is food that is as close to it’s natural state as possible.”
Here, in an extract from his new book Blueprint for Health, James elaborates on the concept of clean eating, and how it ties into the four pillars of mindset, nutrition, movement and sleep that, together, create the blueprint for a healthy, happy life long-term.
“Health isn’t weird anymore. Now it’s mainstream, slick and (for lack of a better word) ‘cool’,” says James. “Wellness has become a very powerful industry, which can be a hugely powerful thing if people are listening to the right messages, but when they are being sold something damaging, it can also be very scary and dangerous for their health.
“It’s only recently that people have started to see through some of these health bloggers who have no life experience or professional qualifications – and who are ruining this wonderful industry.
“Please be aware of people out there who are dressing up their eating disorders with a green juice. The truth is that they are just finding a different and more sophisticated way of saying ‘please be obsessed with your food’, and it is giving others an excuse to justify such obsessions.
“This new flowery language of food ‘empowerment’ is often driven by nothing but shame and guilt. Constantly asking yourself, ‘What am I going to eat?’ or ‘Did I eat too much?’ is far worse than any diet. It’s an eating disorder and it’s got a name – it’s called orthorexia.
“I wish I could provide you with ‘healthy eating’ rules, but they just don’t work because rules are made to be broken and, more importantly, the human body does not respond well to rules. We are more complicated than that.
“The minute you begin to weigh your food, count your calories or beat yourself up for going out for dinner, it’s over. You are on a countdown to yet another unsuccessful ‘diet’.
“There is only one rule to remember: be kind to yourself. It should drive every single choice you make. Beyond that, what works for one person won’t work for another. All you need to do is tune into your body and find foods which work for you. Your body will soon thank you for it and return to its natural state of ‘vibrant aliveness’.”