Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed the Christmas break, in whatever shape yours took this year. Hopefully there was plenty of resting and you’re feeling ready to support yourself - in mind and body - through what looks set to be a few more challenging months*. We thought we’d kick off the year talking about food and, specifically, why in 2021 it might be worth ripping up the healthy eating rulebook. That’s according to Professor Tim Spector OBE, a genetic epidemiologist at King’s College London, co-founder of personalised nutrition app ZOE and author of Spoon Fed: Why Everything We’ve Been Told about Food is Wrong. As that book title would suggest, Professor Spector has a reputation for being one of the most formidable myth busters in the world of nutritional science and he certainly lives up to his rep in today’s conversation. He argues against placing too much emphasis on counting calories and he’s not a fan of counting macros either: he thinks both are a bit boring, reductive and unlikely to help you achieve your health goals in any meaningful or lasting way. Professor Spector believes letting go of tired dietary rules, replacing them with a few core principles, and then - on the specifics - working out what works for your body should be your new M.O. Eat for yourself, he argues, and you'll experience fewer energy crashes and be able to reach a healthy, sustainable weight (if that's a goal for you this year) without excess restriction, calorie cutting or unnecessary misery. While Professor Tim's reasoning and evidence may be highly scientific, his solutions are pretty simple: in essence ‘don’t count your foods, change your mindset’. Sounds good, right?
Follow Professor Tim Spector on Twitter: twitter.com/timspector
Follow Roisín Dervish-O'Kane on Instagram: @roisin.dervishokane
Follow Women's Health on Instagram: @womenshealthuk
Why nutrition science has been oversimplified
Why you should make 30-plants-a-day your nutrition target
The case for being playful with your diet
How calories can be useful - and really not
The benefits of experimenting with meal timing
*Please note: we recorded this episode before the latest national lockdown - stay home and stay safe, everyone.
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