Natural foods proponent Amelia Freer warns that calorie counting won't help anyone lose weight long term
She explained how a calorie is the amount of energy needed to heat a kilogram of water by 1C but lab testing doesn't take into account how much energy we absorb from food.
Plus, she explained how our bodies differ from lab conditions, saying: 'They're unpredictable, unique and heavily influenced by both internal and external factors, like age, hormones, quality of sleep, gut health and how active we are.
'Calories and diet plans, on the other hand are a one-size fits all approach.'
She added that while avocados contain the same amount of fat as a bag of sweets they have an entirely different effect on our bodies, pointing out how the sugar in sweets will be converted to fat and stored around our organs and waist whereas oils in avocado will go to all the cells and help you feel fuller for longer.
She added that once a dieter has launched on a diet of whole foods and is moderately active, 'calories don't need to be given much thought.'
Amelia (far left) poses with other healthy food writers and restaurateurs, from left to right: Ella Woodward, Russell Bateman, Melissa Hemsley, Irene Arango, Rose Lloyd Owen, Richard Harvardi, Shelley Martin Light
Sam Smith credited Amelia for his slimdown in March by posting a picture of himself holding Amelia's book on Instagram. He said: 'Three weeks ago I met a woman who has completely changed my life.
'Amelia Freer has helped me lose over a stone in 2 weeks and has completely transformed my relationship with food.
'It's not even about weight loss it's about feeling happy in yourself. Love you Amelia & thank you for making me feel so happy inside and out @ameliafreer #eatnourishglow.'
Before Sam, Amelia had worked her magic on actor James Corden's diet. The star got in touch with her after Boy George credited her for his four stone weight loss.
James said: 'I got in touch with her and she put me on this diet plan, working out which foods do and don’t suit me.
‘It’s not rocket science – basically don’t eat cake, don’t eat bread. It’s not particularly drastic or scientific.
Sam has lost a lot of weight in the last year, here he is pictured looking bigger at the American Music Awards in November (left) and slimmer at a party this week (right)
'The principle is that I eat a little bit less and move a little bit more. Although I’m not meant to weigh myself, I’ve probably lost about a stone and a half.’
When Boy George dieted with Amelia he tweeted some of her secrets saying that he was having: 'No coffee or tea, except at meals. Water & fizzy water between meals! No bread, sugar.'
Amelia, who is a proponent of eating vegetables, oil, avocado and nuts, herbs, chilli and pepper, used to work as Prince Charles's assistant when she found herself exhausted and drained.
She said her diet of cheese on toast, pasta and wine was making her bloated and tired until she saw a nutritionist who transformed her health.
Although she acknowledges that transforming her diet was a slow process, she's now one of the most in-demand healthy food advisers in the UK.
SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DIET
There is no good sugar
All forms of natural sugar (honey, maple syrup, fruit, coconut nectar, date puree, raw sugar), impact blood glucose levels to some extent and lead to the release of insulin. The hormone insulin instructs the body to move glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells where it is either used for energy or converted into fat for storage. No matter how natural or nutrient rich a sugar may be, the body responds in much the same way. For this reason, all sugars should be used in moderation, regardless of their source.
Eat the rainbow
We all know to eat our greens, but what about our oranges, blues, reds and yellows?
The standard British diet tends to fall into the 'beige' category, but plants' colours are the sources of powerful phytonutrients or phytochemicals – which is a name to describe thousands of different chemicals that studies show reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer in people who eat a diet high in plant-based foods.
Eat slowly and breathe, chew your food properly and take digestive enzymes if you need to.
Take a probiotic supplement daily, eat prebiotic foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, which help good bacteria to thrive and ensure daily bowel movements by keeping hydrated, eating vegetables and fruit at all meals, exercising and eating healthy fats from nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocados, coconut and olive oils.
Try mixing up your grains
There is a wide body of evidence to show that today’s grains don’t agree with many of us and in fact are playing a role in autoimmune diseases such as hashimotos, arthritis, type 1 diabetes, plus depression, skin disorders, IBS, IBD and joint pain. It is predominantly gluten, a protein found in grains that is causing the problem.
The subject of grains always creates conflict for many. So, just to be clear, I’m not saying that everyone must completely eliminate them all immediately but I encourage you to experiment a little and monitor how your body responds.