An image of Jill Greenwood, who is Salutions’ diet and fitness expert

Life on a tomato based diet

In Ask the Experts by Emily Fitzgibbons0 Comments


Life on a tomato based diet…Well actually I only lasted 2 days so I cant really say ‘life’ – what I can say is, it sucks. Don’t try it. You will become hungry. And when you do you will probably eat the contents of a whole supermarket isle when you finally give in. Which you will.

I remember the day well when I decided to eat nothing but tomato based products (I’d read this was the fastest way to weight loss and as an early twenty something who tended to drink a bit too much wine at the weekends so I thought this would do the trick!)

I won’t be the first or the last to cling onto the hope of a food fad promising the body of a goddess in super fast time. Believing every word that Dr Health Google guru tells me (and yes lots of people call themselves experts/doctors and actually have huge followings, when they actually know very little about real life or nutrition).

With this in mind, how and why did I end up ditching fad diets and finding life outside of the quick fix world?

Well, I learn more through studying of course. But simply, put I also learnt from my mistakes. Yup. Hands up. I tried and tested. And found that no fads ever worked long term.

So what do I mean by ‘work long term’?

  • fat loss that lasts
  • muscle and strength gains that are progressive
  • a feeling of health and happiness
  • energy appropriate for requirements
  • hormonal balance
  • social inclusions at meal times (so this means being able to eat bread-potato -pasta-grains-wheat-dairy…. at a party).
  • A feeling of flexibility in an eating plan.

All of the above factors for me are the keys to HEALTH AND more importantly the keys to lasting and sustainable eating. Think about how you eat. Does it allow for the above to take place. If the answer to 2 or more raises questions, I ask you to consider whether you are a faddy eater?

A little fad here and there in my opinion is all part of the journey towards finding what works for you. I love the fact that I have tried and tested so many different eating plans….as I feel I have been a little bit of a scientific food detective about the way I eat. I have worn the T shirt. And for many people this can be a helpful learning curve. But keeping that T Shirt on for too long can be damaging both mentally, physically and socially.

So with my personal scientist research coat on, what did I draw as my conclusions to my many faddy food experiments?

80/20 really works for results to allow all of the above to take place. So thats 80 % of your time eating ‘nutrient dense’ foods (if you don’t know what these are contact me)- 20% eating whatever the hell you want. Including Pizza. If you find you aren’t progressing tweak this for a while to 85/15 …90/10 and so forth until the results come and then reassess.

The answer to almost every diet question will always be ‘it depends’.

I eat mounds of potato and rice. I have read multiple articles abut how this is bad for my health, ruins my insulin, blah blah blah, and for an overweight person who moves little, such articles may have a point. For a ‘cant sit still weightlifting Duracell bunny’, potatoes and rice are very much my friend and in fact help me stay lean and active. So just remember when a faddy diet tells you, you are all the same. It lies. It always ‘depends’.

Demonising food NEVER works and NEVER will.

Why? Because food fads work in trends. Coconut oil last year was the oil of the health gods. A recent article published this week describes it as ‘unhealthy’ (again this is dependent on the context). No single food provides you with everything the body needs. Embrace this and treat it as a sign that you should be inclusive and embrace variety.

Vegetables seem to be the key to golden health, satiety and allowing you to feel full.

They contain loads of fibre. That stuff fills you up. They provide heaps of vitamins and minerals and are low calorie. I have come across very few diets that tell you not to eat veggies. This is another sign that actually whilst mixed opinions can range from the absolute preposterous, the one thing in agreement lies with veggies. (BTW I also embrace fish, meat and cheese to go with the veggies as they too provide a lot of good stuff)

And finally… If a diet tells to to eat nothing but tomatoes. Call me. I’ll tell you really … not to bother.

If you would like a new idea of how to get veggies into a diet with a simple approach to nutrition. Check

Jill Greenwood,
Fitness Expert & Personal Trainer,
Twitter: @JillKBW


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