Amelia Freer changed Imogen Edwards-Jones' life (and helped her lose two stone) long before the nutritionist met Sam Smith. This is what Amelia taught her...
A few years ago now I was a miserable old fatso who found exercise uncomfortable, the beach was somewhere I’d really rather not be, and shopping for clothes was enough to make me want to break down and cry. I was two-stone overweight and it wasn’t making me happy. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, and worse, I couldn’t be who I wanted to be.
And then I met Amelia Freer . Now, she is nutritionist to the stars – Sam Smith , Boy George, plus numerous other, less vocal models, actresses and executives. Back then, she was working out of her Notting Hill kitchen with her flatulent, chocolate-coloured Labrador, Oliver.
And as regular Glossies know, she changed my life . Under her guidance, I went from a tight and sweaty size 14, to a sling-this-thing on 10. I have lost two stone and I have kept it off for over two years .
How have I done this? Well, I have changed my attitude towards food. I haven’t consciously stopped ‘doing Amelia’ as it is known in my house, i.e following her strict regime to the letter. But what I have done is stop the diet, but adopted the lifestyle. Listening to her over the years she has taught me the ten golden rules to living within my jeans. I have followed these rules more or less every day. And I will continue to do so, because following them I look better, feel better and am more the person I want to be:
1) Don’t eat between meals
Not only are you usually shovelling in unconscious calories that you are not particularly noticing or enjoying, but snacks are the quickest way to raise your insulin levels which helps your body store fat. Naturally the last thing you want to do.
2) Always start each meal with a mouthful of protein
Even if it is a big spoonful of cream with your pie, or a bit of cheese off the top of your pizza, protein helps slow down your insulin spike which in turn makes you store less fat.
3) If you are going to drink alcohol (er, yes!) then make sure it is vodka, tequila or red wine
These are the least sugary of all the alcohols and we know that sugar is not very good stuff . So if you really need to have a drink (er, see above) then something like a vodka and soda is the best of a bad bunch.
4) An apple a day really does keep the doctor away
Maybe mummy was right after all? I don’t know, but all I do know is Amelia told me to eat an apple a day, and so I do, mainly because, cold from the fridge, they are absolutely delicious!
5) Eat the rainbow
If your plate is full of beige/brown/yellow food you are not giving yourself enough variety. Each and every vegetable and fruit has something to offer. If you only eat the same things your body will miss out.
6) Don’t mix proteins
Apparently your body only really likes dealing with one at a time. So if you have a fish starter, have a fish main course. Don’t switch from chicken to fish to beef half way through a dinner.
7) Coffee and tea
They are fine in moderation, however they should not be drunk on their own in the middle of the afternoon as they also cause your insulin to spike and therefore store more fat! You can have coffee after lunch, or dinner but no afternoon tea break. In fact, the only drink allowed between meals is water.
8) Fat is your friend
Butter and oils are essential for good skin and glossy hair. Cook in saturated fats like butter, ghee or coconut oil. Olive oil when heated changes from good fat into not so good fat. So cook using butter or coconut oil; it is a much healthier option.
Yes you can. Just so long as it is a dark 70% chocolate that is full of very-good-for-you cacao.
10) The treat meal
No one can be good all the time. It is important to treat yourself occasionally - once a week is Amelia’s suggestion. But you must not feel guilty. Enjoy it, think about it, look forward to it and, for the love of God, go for it! Chips? Chips and mayonnaise? Chips mayonnaise and a pudding? Why the very hell not? You deserve it!