The actress, radio presenter and UP Fitness client tells us what she's eating (and what she's not)
We all know it's much easier to consume calories than it is to burn them off. So it follows that nutrition is a big part of getting in the best shape of your life and building the body you want.
You’ll wake up one morning and notice your skin’s getting better, and you have more energy
You can train as hard or as often as you want, but without the right diet to back it up, you won’t get the results you want. Working with Ultimate Performance on my twelve-week body transformation has taught me just how important nutrition is to help me achieve my goals – it’s the difference between a good body and a great body.
Many people have asked me what I'm eating to get in this kind of shape…and it’s actually very simple.
Here's five nutrition tips that have made a big difference to me. And below there's an outline of what I eat in a typical day.
1. Control your portion size
The biggest thing I've changed is my portion sizes. Learning portion control has had a huge impact. I used to hate leaving food, but now if I’m full, I’ll stop eating. I've realised I don’t need all the food I thought I did. I eat what I need now, rather than what I want.
2. Choose healthier snacks
My snacks aren’t as calorific as they were. I used to eat a lot of protein bars which isn’t too bad if you’re desperate and need that fix, but I would sometimes have two a day thinking it wouldn’t be a problem. I’d also snack on things like almonds and dark chocolate which aren’t bad in moderation. But I didn’t realise how calorific they were.
3. Start the day well
When you have a healthy, well-balanced breakfast, it gives you energy, wakes you up and makes you feel like you’ve started the day on a good note. If you start with sugary cereal and a mound of coffee, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Start the day strong and you’re more likely to stay strong for the rest of the day.
4. Plan and prepare your food in advance
Food preparation has been key for me on my twelve-week transformation – it really helps you stick to the plan because you don’t want to get caught short and just have to grab whatever food is available.
5. Be consistent and be persistent
Be consistent, be persistent, and give your body time to adjust. You might feel tired or headachy initially but that's not because you’ve started eating good foods, it’s because you’ve stopped eating crap foods and you're detoxing.
Give yourself two or three weeks and wait for the changes to happen. You’ll wake up one morning and notice your skin’s getting better, and you have more energy.
Gemma's daily diet
The daily diet that UP created for me during my transformation is simple to follow and enjoyable…and it gets results.
Breakfast #1 and #2
For my first breakfast at 5 am, I have three eggs (either poached, scrambled or in an omelette) and I make myself a green juice which is half a cucumber, two celery sticks, ginger, beetroot and avocado. Sometimes I’ll have some salmon or spinach on the side.
I always like to start the day with protein, fats and fibre. The salmon is for my good fats: the omega 3s are good for your skin; it’s great for women. Avocado is also a great fat to have and it benefits your skin.
Around 9 am, I’ll have my second breakfast with porridge oats, almond milk and protein powder.
For lunch, I eat white meat, lots of vegetables and sweet potato. I only eat chicken and fish so sometimes I’ll boil my chicken which you can eat hot or cold, or sometimes I’ll grill it with fresh chilli and herbs and a little bit of olive oil.
With my sweet potato, I’ll put some fresh garlic and chillies in it. I always mix in a little bit of red pesto with my vegetables. It’s such a lovely meal.
It sounds like a big meal for lunch but I’ve got everything I need in there nutritionally. Plus I’m training so I need to refuel as well.
For dinner, I’ll have white meat and vegetables. Sometimes I'll blend them into a chunky soup with lots of black pepper.
My favourite meal on plan is a chilli chicken burger with smashed avocado, fresh chilli and vegetables with sweet potato. One thing about my diet is that I still eat carbs. I have oats and sweet potato every day. I think it’s silly to cut out a whole food group.
I keep my food interesting with lots of herbs and spices, olive oil and fresh garlic. Bland food does nothing for me.
If you’re inspired by Gemma’s journey and want to start your own body transformation, talk to UP Fitness about their Personal Training Plans.