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My Personal Experience with ‘Diet Culture’


Pure Package founder Jennifer Irvine on ‘diet culture’ 20 years on and what clients frequently ask her about her own diet.

Shame around food and ‘diet culture’ is as pervasive now as when I began Pure Package over 20 years ago. The problem with ‘diet culture’ is that it often leads to culturally induced body hatred which can result in fat-shaming and weight stigma. It affects us all – friends, colleagues and children.

Over the years I’ve watched ‘weight trends’ fluctuate (literally) from the infamous nineties mantra accredited to Kate Moss and ultra-thin supermodel culture that, ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ to the Kardashian era embracing curves spanning from the mid 2010’s to today.

Unburdening ourselves from the weight of ‘diet culture’ and ‘weight trends’ can be a daily challenge. Being too skinny is just as dangerous as being overweight. What we eat and how much we need to eat is different for everybody and it changes throughout different periods in life. The trick is to discover what your healthy range is based on your lifestyle and body type. That is why at The Pure Package we like to talk about weight management based on your individual nutritional needs and long-term health goals.

Eating The Pure Package way

I founded the Pure Package on a culture of helping our clients to achieve the ultimate goal of a vibrantly healthy lifestyle. I often find that before clients find The Pure Package, they believe that hopping from diet to diet is helping them to build their best body. The truth is that the key to achieving health isn’t a magic pill or a fad diet. It’s achieved through eating healthy, fibre-rich whole foods, establishing a diverse and healthy gut microbiome and understanding what our own ‘healthy- range’ is.

Knowing what you need to do is not always enough

When I established The Pure Package, I realised something profound early on. Most of my clients could immediately tell me all the things they ought to be doing—limiting added sugar, exercising portion control, making better choices at restaurants, and not self-sabotaging. The biggest problem was not knowing how to make the changes. So, a large part of our ethos at The Pure Package is not just about what to change, but how to change. The education of our clients has always been at the centre of everything we do. I want our clients to know about healthy portion control and optimise their nutritional intake via real fresh food. I love food and I want everyone to eat guilt free. I believe that the more you know, the more you can enjoy life.

The Pure Package has an amazing team of nutritional therapists to help our clients make long term changes and discover their ‘healthy’, planning bespoke meal plans which are guaranteed to leave every client not only looking but feeling amazing.

As founder of The Pure Package, and in my role as a keynote speaker and advisor in the wellness industry, I’m often asked about my own diet and lifestyle. I’ve answered some of the most frequently asked below:

Do you ever over-indulge?

As a busy mother of four, I know how important it is to use food to nourish my body. It’s the best act of self-love. A typical day on my plate contains a balance of the four essential macronutrients: protein, fibre, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Each day, I have three main meals with two smaller snacks in between. I’ve found that this reduces overeating at main meals and emotional eating after long days.

I follow the 80:20 rule: 80 percent of the time, I eat nourishing whole foods. The remaining 20 percent of the time, I allow for flexibility and indulgence. I love a glass or two of wine at the weekend, or a really good plate of artisan cheese and I don’t feel guilty if I indulge over the party season. I believe in everything in moderation while eating with joy and mindfulness.

How often do I have Pure Package food delivered?

I have Pure Package deliveries about 100 days a year. After indulging over the holidays, I tend to do about a month in the new year and the same after Easter to re-set. I usually also get deliveries when the children go back to school in the autumn too.

Is this not yoyo dieting?

Unlike unhealthy fad diets, The Pure Package is not a restrictive food plan. We know from research that the pursuit of weight loss through fad or yoyo dieting almost always fails and that the vast majority of people will gain back the weight. When I’m not having food deliveries, I don’t spend the rest of the time eating really badly, I simply follow the 80:20 rule and eat mindfully.

Do you weigh yourself?

I do weigh myself about once a week, I also measure my fat level on the scale. That way I know I’m keeping my muscle in the right zone as at my age (or any age) its important. I’m not obsessed, I’m just mindful to keep myself in my healthy zone.

How much weight do you lose when you get Pure Package deliveries?

I can fluctuate by as much as a stone so about 14lbs or 7 kilos! A lot of this is inflammation and water retention so I drop it speedily at first but I’m just losing the water and resetting my gut, the real fat loss happens slowly over 5 weeks of eating what the team send me to eat. I always feel stronger and more energetic after a month of nourishing meal deliveries.

Every person is different but as a general rule if my goal is weight loss when I’m on Pure Package I tend to lose weight as follows:

Week 1 -3kg

Week 2 -2kg

Week 3 -1kg

Week 4 -1kg

Why do you lose so much in the first few weeks?

Generally, this is because I get Pure Package deliveries after periods of indulgence which can lead to inflammation and bloating. For example, if I’ve been drinking and eating lots of bread/panettone/pasta and it leads me to have water retention and so my tummy deflates quite fast when I eat more complex carbohydrates and drink more water.

At The Pure Package, we understand how difficult it can be to follow a healthy lifestyle. So, if you want to stay on track (most of the time) book a consultation today and discover a tailored meal plan prepared and delivered just for you.