TV presenter Clair Nasir admits that it was that unflattering picture of herself working out in a neon bikini that was the kick she needed to lose more than three stone in 2010.
We caught up with her to find out how she keeps herself motivated and juggles a healthy diet with a growing family and busy work schedule.
“Losing weight is one thing,” she tells us, “but maintaining it is hard. It’s so easy to have a slip up at any time that can really throw you off.
“The way I deal with it is to think ‘I will start today and I will live every day as if it’s the first day’. When I lost all that weight I started afresh every day."
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“Then if you have a slip up one day you don’t have to think you’ve ruined the whole plan and have to wait for next week, next month or even next January to resolve to start again.”
It’s easy to tell how focussed Claire is and it’s becomes clear that healthy eating has become integral to her life. We ask her to talk us through her daily diet.
“I start with porridge and fruit – breakfast is the most important part of the day and this really sets you up for your day ahead. It’s important to enjoy it.
“I mix natural yoghurt with lots of raw porridge oats, berries and whatever’s in season – it smells good, tastes amazing and you know it’s all really good for you.”
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“Lean fish is an ideal focal point of the meal, like salmon or oily fish like mackerel. Then I pile up my plate with loads and loads of vegetables and salad.
“Opt for things you like the taste of. I really love cucumber and tomatoes, peppers or maybe a light spinach – and I make sure it’s a really generous portion size that will go a long way to filling me up with the good stuff.
“I add seeds to the top for nutrients and good fats. On the side, I’d have cous cous or quinoa for slow release carbs for energy all afternoon.”
“In the evening, I might have a steak with roasted veg, or a chicken stir fry with broccoli, maybe basmati rice if you need the carbs. My rule is only lean protein but something like a steak is so nice you don’t feel you’re depriving yourself.
“I steer clear of potatoes, bread and starchy carbs entirely.”
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Extras and snacks
I always drink six pints of water through the day, and eating like this means you’re never actually hungry. This was the diet I did leading up to the weight loss for my DVD. Plus no alcohol at all, lots of green tea and I’d have an Americano rather than a Latte.
“When it comes to snacks, I’d avoid fruit as it’s full of sugar. I only have that first thing in the morning. If I start waning before lunchtime, I make sure I always have snacks with me or I have a coffee and that’s a really good way to curb your appetite.
“Good snacks are carrots or cucumber crudités, load up on veggies and you won’t have time to feel hungry.”
“In the afternoon, I get a real craving for sugar and for me that was really hard to curb. I find drinking a coffee works really well and try to drink lots of water as a good way of making yourself feel full. It’s good for your skin, reduces cellulite, cleanses the body and is good for your brain.
“I lost all my cellulite because I drank loads of water and eliminated sugar and processed foods.
It sounds like a lot of effort, and Claire admits that it’s something you don’t stop thinking about, particularly if you have a family eating different meals to you.
“Take last night. I did my husband chicken in white wine sauce, with mash and then something different for my daughter and then my own meal. I think the key thing is to really enjoy your cooking. I get a box of veg and fruit organic delivered so I’m always eating in season which is great and the variety of things you get keeps it interesting.”
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“You can fall off the wagon for so many different reasons - not feeling well or having a bad time and really feeling the need to comfort yourself by eating nice foods – it’s so easy.
“I think the important thing is to forgive yourself and think that one slip up isn’t going to ruin your aims.”
The ambassador for the Bach Emotional Eating Kit, Claire believes the scents and flavours in the kit are a great back up for when you're struggling. "I find they’re a really good way of normalising and stablising your emotional side and giving yourself that forgiveness.”
“You have to love your body and I think these are a great little boost at this time of year, when it’s hard - like a crutch so you can get over when you let yourself down.”