How to change your relationship with food

Nutritionist and blogger Jessica Sepel is the founder of 140,000-strong health community JSHealth. After healing her difficult relationship with food, she's on a mission to stop fad dieting – forever. We asked her why, and more importantly, how.

Jessica Sepel is a nutritionist and blogger who founded the popular health community JSHealth. Jessica's book Living the Healthy Life is a practical and holistic eight-week plan to help you heal your life, your body and your relationship with food.   Here she tells us some more about her mission to stop fad dieting. 

I don’t like fad diets one bit. They’re not sustainable. How many people do you know who have stuck to a diet for a long time? And by that, I mean more than a few weeks. Whether it’s the Dukan Diet or the 5:2 way of eating, diets DO. NOT. WORK. Perhaps you see short-term results, but my concern is that people cannot stick to them. All diets do is complicate your relationship with food, and cause body hatred, stress and feelings of failure, which can be disastrous, not to mention dangerous, in the long term.

Free yourself from dieting and embrace a wholesome way of eating. This is the key to long-lasting health and happiness – and a balanced weight.

Here’s how to give up diets forever:

  • Throw out any books/magazines/DVDs that promise to help you lose five kilos in seven days. They offer false hope and make me mad! And unfollow those Instagram accounts that spruik the latest diet trends and products.
  • If you find yourself being tempted by a diet, remind yourself that the results won’t last and you won’t be giving your body the love it deserves.
  • Make a commitment to eat a wholesome, balanced range of food forever - eating clean, unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. It’s the only way of eating that serves you and it’s not a passing fad 
  • Add ‘balance’ and ‘moderation’ to your vocabulary, and delete ‘deprivation’ and ‘restriction’.
  • They’ve got to go.
  • Allow yourself small indulgences from time to time. Follow the 80/20 approach – eat well 80 per cent of the time, and eat what you like the other 20 per cent of the time. It’s good for your soul and your body will be able to handle it. If you don’t give in a little, you’ll end up overeating or bingeing.
  • Listen to your food voice. Your ‘food voice’ is what I like to call your healing food friend – that little voice in your head that makes you see sense when you’re eating. It guides you to eat wholesome food with balance and kindness. It helps you in times of food anxiety, and it’s there to relieve guilt.
  • Bin the scales and stop counting calories. Numbers do not define you. They only add stress to your body.
  • Finally, subscribe to the idea that your body is your temple. Why on earth would you want to put it through the torment of dieting? It deserves better. Your life is too precious to be consumed by dieting.

Living the Healthy Life

by Jessica Sepel

Book cover for Living the Healthy Life

Living the Healthy Life is her practical and holistic 8-week plan to healing your life, body, nutrition and your relationship with food.

Jess will guide will teach you how to quit fad dieting forever, give yourself the freedom to stop the guilt surrounding food, and to overcome body stress and anxiety. 

She explores the benefits of sleeping more, nourishing your cleansing functions and optimising your thyroid function. Jess shares more meal plans tailored to balance your hormones, increase energy levels and nutritional advice for vegans. Including helpful tips for eating out, snacks on-the-go, mindfulness and positivity, you'll have everything you need to heal your life.

Packed with over 200 new recipes that prove healthy eating can be fun, simple and delicious.