Nadia Sawalha ‘Being a size 8 was no fun, now I’m all woman!’
It’s been just over two years since Nadia lost a huge 3½st and, dressed in a white swimming costume and sexy heels, Nadia Sawalha proves she’s still one hot mama. But the actress and food writer admitted that posing for the camera doesn’t come naturally to her. “A few years ago, I wouldn’t have dared to do a shoot like this.” She says: “I have to pinch myself that I’ve been asked! In the past, I’d turn up at shoot terrified I wouldn’t be able to get into any of the clothes and I’d be humiliated. I still have to remind myself that these days I can put on any size 12 and it fits.”
Three years ago, Nadia’s weight crept up to 13st after she constantly snacked on the wrong food. But when she began struggling to get into a size 16, she knew she had to take action. “My light-bulb moment came when I was standing in the H&M changing rooms and I couldn’t get into a pair of size 16 trousers. I thought ‘OK do I pick up the 18, or do I leave the shop now and do something about it? “I left in floods of tears, ran into the street and bumped straight into my friend Julia, who’s a trainer. When I told her what was wrong she said: ‘Right, tomorrow we’re going for a run’ and that’s how my weight loss started. From that point, I decided I never want to be that big again”
Nadia 48, went on to lose 3½st while training for her fitness DVD Fat to Fab in 2010, slimming down to 9½ and a tiny size 8-10. Now a toned size 12 and weighing 10st 12lbs, she reveals she’s finally found a size she’s happy with. “There’s a lot of pressure when you get to an 8-10 to stay that size, but it’s really hard to maintain. To be that small I wouldn’t be able to have cake or a few glasses of wine. It’s no fun! I like that I have more of an hourglass shape now – I’m all woman.” The mum of two say’s she’s more body-confident now, than she’s ever been before. “My waist goes in, which makes everything else look better. I feel really sexy”
Nadia has revealed how she’s kept the weight off while still enjoying her favourite foods in her new cookbook ‘Greedy Girl’s Diet’. “I wanted to do something for women who love food, but want to stay slim. I’ve tried every diet known to man and, each time I lost weight, I piled it straight back on again, I used to make the classic dieter’s mistake of skipping breakfast, then I’d get raging hunger pains and end up eating chocolate biscuits. I’d then have salad without dressing for lunch and be so miserable that when I got home I’d have two glasses of wine!” She adds: “I snacked on all the wrong foods all day, consuming huge amounts of calories, rather than sitting down with my family to eat nutritious meals.”
These days, Nadia never misses breakfast and either has an avocado, Marmite and pumpkin seeds on Ryvita or a lean bacon sandwich with sliced tomatoes. Lunch is home-made soup or falafel with pita bread, houmous and salad. And dinner is a sit-down meal, like chicken with creamy mushroom sauce and brown rice. She says: “I can have pudding now as I’m not eating rubbish during the day. I often have low-fat ice-cream and melt dark chocolate on top, which is only 150 calories. It feels naughty, but it’s not! And I drink around 4 glasses of wine and two vodka and tonics a week. Even though Nadia does not ban anything from her diet, she cuts back if she feels like she has overindulged, and keeps healthy snacks in the house. “If I have a big blow out, I’ll be quite strict with myself for a day or two afterwards and I’ll stick to soups and juices.
Fitness fan Nadia maintains her figure by running for half an hour a day and doing an hour of Power Pilates once a week. “I started running when I was 45; I fell in love with it. I take my trainers with me wherever I go so I can always head out for a run.
Power Pilates is so hard, I’m practically crying after it, but it’s really effective for toning. I will also do my own DVD in the hotel room if I am ever working away from home.” Nadia insists getting older isn’t something that worries her “I’m excited about it and I’m proud of my age. I didn’t have this confidence when I was 20. Why lie about how old you are? People will just think you look rough! I want my girls to see how wonderful older women are.
Are you an older woman who’s happier with your body now more than ever?