"Why you shouldn't diet just because it's January."

Step away from the juicer. Resist the detox. Eat pasta. And for fuck’s sake, don’t hire Gwyneth Paltrow as your nutritionist.

It’s the first week of January, so you want to eat less and exercise more. I know, I get it, I feel it too.

My New Year’s Day Google searches included “juice cleanse,” “boot camp” and “Help me! Christmas made me feel chubby”. It happens every year: January the 1st hits, we want to be our hottest selves instantly and we’ll do whatever it takes to get there. Fast.

But what if I told you that we can have our cheese and eat it too? That we don’t need to commit to some crazy-ass diet just because it’s 2015? That we can eat real food and get on with our lives?

And that actually, we can all afford to live a little more like this:

A personal trainer friend of mine posted a link on Facebook the other day that made me so happy, I could have danced through the street throwing mini Magnums and fresh fruit and linguini at everyone in my path. It was so utterly sensible, it almost floored me.

If you’re planning a 5-day juice cleanse or a “detox,” you need to see it too.

If you’re avoiding certain foods, eliminating food groups, or punishing yourself for indulging, you need to see it too. It’s from a group called The Moderation Movement (some of the only people speaking sense about food on the internet).

Here’s what it said. You might want to memorise it, print it out and hand it around to your friends, or get it printed on a t-shirt.


Forget the diet stuff, forget artificially sweetened foods, forget fructose free* foods, forget shakes & juices, forget the latest fad.

In the words of Michael Pollan:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Part of healthy eating is nurturing a healthy relationship with food. Food is neither “good” nor “bad”, it is just food. Some foods provide nourishment and pleasure, some food is eaten more for pleasure.

You do not need to eat clean, raw, carb free or Paleo in order to be healthy. You can if you want to, but you don’t need to.

We are blessed in Australia to have access to so much wonderful food and we can respect this by learning to enjoy all food in moderation. – Zoe

*for those with fructose malabsorption or FODMAP intolerance, you don’t need to eat fructose free. Confused by this? Talk to a dietitian.

The Moderation Movement is brand new and run by an accredited practicing dietician Zoe Nicholson and Director of Healthy Balance Fitness, Jodie Arnot.

As far as I’m concerned, they’re the perfect, rational anti-dote to diet-peddlers like Pete Evans and Sarah Wilson. It’s just about loving exercise, moving your body, eating sensibly and joyfully, and staying sane about food for a change.

If you insist on the idea of setting yourself New Year’s Resolutions, then why not make a few amendments? Change “get thin” or “exercise more” or “lose weight” to something more realistic and forgiving. Why not: Eat good food in moderation and find a happy form of exercise? How about: Ignore fad diets and just live well?

And, ah, I’m just going to go ahead and leave this here….