When it comes to healthy eating, many think it is an expensive, 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 adopting a truly healthy attitude towards diet and exercise.
Leanne Ward, 28, from Brisbane (pictured) 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’
On her Instagram page, The Fitness Dietitian, she regularly busts myths surrounding healthy eating and nutrition (pictured)
Leanne (pictured) speaks to FEMAIL about re-adjusting your health and fitness goals, and adopting a truly healthy attitude towards diet and exercise.
According to Leanne (pictured), healthy doesn’t mean ‘calorie counting, excessively exercising or weighing yourself daily’ – instead, it looks different on everyone
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.
‘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’ (pictured: one of her posts)
For Leanne (pictured), who works full-time as a dietitian, the biggest nutrition myth around is that one diet or style of eating works for everyone – everyone looks different, so eats differently
‘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,’ she said
A typical day on Leanne Ward’s plate
Leanne Ward aims to ea every 3-4 hours because she is active and feels hungry regularly.
BREAKFAST: Eggs on toast with scrambled vegetables or homemade muesli with Greek yoghurt or overnight oats with seeds and a sprinkle of protein powder.
SNACK: A piece of fruit and 1/4 cup nuts and seeds and soy cappucino, or vitawheats, cheese and carrot sticks or a few homemade protein balls.
LUNCH: Salad with grilled tofu, cheese and roasted sweet potato or a high fibre wrap with tuna, salad and cheese or stir fry with rice noodles, veggies and lean protein.
SNACK: Tub of natural Greek yoghurt and one tablespoon of chia seeds and two tablespoons of homemade granola or a piece of fruit and a high fibre homemade muesli bar.
DINNER: Omelette with two eggs and 1/4 cup of egg whites with plenty of veggies and 1-2 pieces of toast, or grilled salmon with brown rice and steamed veggies or homemade pizza or pita bread with plenty of vegetables and some lean protein.
SUPPER: A piece of fruit or a few squares of good quality chocolate.
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.’
‘Schedule your workout into your diary like an important work meeting and schedule some time on Sunday to meal prep as it’ll save you so much time during the week,’ she said
Speaking of meal prepping, Leanne said: ‘Most people fail because they are busy and eat on the run – meal prepping eliminates the need to cook when you’re tired, busy or stressed’
On her Instagram page, she illustrates nutritional truths (pictured) people wouldn’t necessarily know
Speaking of meal prepping, Leanne Ward – like many fit and healthy people – is a huge fan of planning ahead and getting organised:
Leanne Ward’s tips for a truly healthy life
1. Meal prep. Leanne says it’s a ‘game changer’ and even if you just prep a few meals then you’ll still have a few healthy meals in your week.
2. Practise gratitude. She says that if you are thankful for what you have every day, you’ll realise that this is enough.
3. Tell other people your goals. This helps to keep you accountable and helps to pull you up when you fall down.
4. Find one approach that works for you and stick to it. Don’t be tempted by the latest fad diets and workouts.
5. Eat colourful vegetables wherever possible. Leanne says you should try and incorporate them into every meal if possible – and they should make up 1/2 of your plate.
6. Give yourself a break. According to Leanne, eating a brownie or a tub of ice cream won’t make you fat, just as eating a salad won’t make you healthy. Practise eating wholesome foods and moving your body regularly. Then there’s plenty of room for cake, wine and cheese occasionally.
‘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 incorporating 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.
When it comes to healthy eating, Leanne truly believes that one salad won’t make you healthy, and one takeaway won’t make you fat (pictured)
‘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.’
Leanne Ward is known as The Fitness Dietitian online. To read more from her, visit her website here. You can also follow her on Instagram here.