Clean Eating Alice (real name Alice Liveing) is the self-transformed health blogger determined to dispel the ‘diet myths’ that drag us down.
She’s taken Instagram by storm with her accessible take on healthy living, amassing nearly half a million followers in just a few short years.
At just 23, she’s graced the cover of Women’s Health magazine (her “lifelong ambition”), authored food and fitness guide The Body Bible – which went straight to the top of the bestsellers charts in early 2016, and has just published her second book, Eat Well Every Day.
The hotly-anticipated follow-up tackles the space where healthy eating is hardest: the kitchen. “I always feel like food is most people’s issue,” says Alice. “A lot of people know how to train, but diet is where they slip up.”
There might be plenty of abs, avocados (naturally), inspirational messages and ‘before and after’ photos on her Insta feed, but Alice’s approach stands out, and radiates inclusivity. This is probably because Alice used to be just like us…
Though never really overweight, she ate pretty badly and yo-yo dieted after leaving home for university, leaving her “uncomfortable in my own skin”. “I was the antithesis of what I am now,” she says.
After deciding to overhaul her habits, little did she imagine she’d end up an Instagram fitspo star – but that’s exactly what happened, and Alice is determined to help others achieve the same.
Here are her top five tips…
Forget fad diets
Alice now admits this is a big part of where she was going wrong in the past. “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be healthy, but I really struggled with actually knowing what to do to achieve that. I bought into every diet myth going,” she says. “The most important thing I ever did was switch off from that stuff. I focused on building a good relationship with food and creating a sustainable change in my diet.”
Start the day right
Spring into the New Year nutritiously: “Start by switching up your breakfast. I think it’s a place that many of us fall down on, but if you start the day well, you’ll have better intentions to continue the day well, rather than starting the day with a rubbish breakfast and then craving something sugary, or not having it at all.”
Try something new
Finding the motivation to exercise in the winter months is challenging, but it’s all about making new habits: “It’s difficult; obviously it’s cold, wet, and miserable. Find an exercise that you’re going to stick to. If you do hate the cold and you’re a runner, find something indoors that you enjoy doing. If you train a certain way in the summer and enjoy it, but lack motivation when winter comes around, finding something new that will reignite your passion to get up and get active. Partnering up can be a way of maintaining motivation. Find a training buddy, so it’s not just you on your own.”
Balance – don’t detox
As a champion of #StrongNotSkinny, Alice is not a fan of detoxes: “They’re unsustainable and potentially dangerous. They don’t allow you to create any sort of knowledge of how to eat well. They just tell you what to do for a short period of time, then after that what do you do?” Instead, she advises keeping certain essentials in your kitchen, so you always have ingredients to whip up a quick, fresh, meal: “Some sort of greens, like broccoli, cauliflower, or leaves, and fish like salmon and cod, as well as beans, pulses, lentils, and quinoa.”
Be kind to yourself
Rest is just as important as hard work, Alice says: “I train about four or five times a week. Not every day. I’m a huge advocate of rest. I need to incorporate rest into my week so that I can rest my body, let it recover, and just have some mental headspace as well. Sofa days are just as important as active days. Stress levels are for me an important thing I need to keep a check on, as raised stress can be detrimental to achieving your goals.” Occasional treats are fine too: “I have treats every now and then. I don’t want people to think I live this saintly life, where I just eat good food! It’s important to eat a balanced diet, and to have things you really enjoy, like chocolate.”
Clean Eating Alice: Eat Well Every Day by Alice Liveing is available now.