When it comes to healthy eating, many think it is luxurious, time-consuming and difficult prospect.
But one dietitian is there to bust all of these myths.
Leanne Ward, 28, from Brisbane – or The Fitness Dietitian on Instagram – says that her goal is to ‘show people that healthy doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to be expensive’.
Here, Leanne speaks to FEMAIL about re-adjusting your health and fitness goals, and accepting a truly healthy attitude towards diet and exercise.
According to Leanne, who works as a clinical dietitian and sports dietitian in Brisbane, the health industry can often be confusing for men and women:
‘Healthy doesn’t mean calorie counting, excessively exercising or weighing yourself daily,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘Healthy looks different on everyone, so my goal is to teach people – especially women – to love their bodies, to nourish them and to move them regularly.’
The 28-year-old added that she believes when you’re eating ‘wholesome, nutritious foods, your body will tell you when you’ve had enough’.
Leanne shares this message on her Instagram profile, but also illustrates ideas around balance with what you eat – or the fact that one takeaway meal will not make you fat.
For Leanne, who works full-time as a dietitian and has a Bachelor of Health Science degree, alongside a Masters of Dietetics and Certificate in Public Health, the biggest nutrition myth around is that one diet or style of eating works for everyone:
‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that what worked for your friend or neighbour or work colleague might work for you too,’ she explained.
‘At work, people often ask me how much I weigh or how many calories I eat, but it’s completely irrelevant.
‘I’m 1.83 metres tall, so what I eat is going to be very different to someone who is 1.53 metres. We are all individuals and if one way of eating or one macro split worked for everyone, then we wouldn’t have an obesity crisis.’
Leanne’s top tip is to see a professional:
‘If you are exercising and wondering what your macro split should be, book in to see a sports dietitian. Rather than googling it or asking your friend what they do, invest in your health and refer to someone who has studied it for four plus years.’
She also recommends making time for your health and fitness:
‘We all live such busy fast-paced lives that we never find the time to do anything.
‘Most of us get to the end of every day completely exhausted, order takeaway and pass out on the couch.
‘I encourage women to think of health and fitness like an investment in their health – an investment in their future. If you’re sick, you’ll make time to schedule an appointment with the doctor. Think of health and fitness this way too.
‘Schedule your workout into your diary like an important work meeting you wouldn’t miss and schedule some time on Sunday to meal prep as it’ll save you so much time during the week and minimise the need to eat out.’
‘It’s a game changer,’ she said.
‘Most people fail because they are busy and eat on the run or out too much – meal prepping eliminates the need to cook when you’re tired, busy or stressed.
‘You don’t need to meal prep every single meal or snack – even if you just prep breakfast for five days this week, you’ll still have five healthy meals you may not have had otherwise.’
She also recommends including gratefulness into your daily regime:
‘Spend five minutes each day being grateful – gratitude turns what we have into enough. Learn to be thankful for what you already have while you pursue all that you want.’
Lastly, Leanne says it’s all about giving yourself a break:
‘So you ate a brownie or a tub of ice cream – welcome to the club – there are ten billion of us!
‘One treat isn’t going to make you gain weight, in the same way that one salad won’t make you healthy.
‘People need to understand that we’re all human and can’t be perfect all the time. If you slip up or your eating goes off track for a few days, it’s not the end of the world.
‘Instead of writing off the rest of the week, start by getting back on track with the very next meal. Healthy eating Monday rarely makes it past Thursday for most of us.
‘If you practise eating wholesome foods and moving your body regularly, then there’s plenty of room for cake, wine and cheese occasionally and you’re far less likely to blow out at the weekends.’