By Kale and Co's Nutritionist, Julie Meek {}

It is rare for a day to go past without me being asked my opinion about a particular diet. Not surprisingly, there are few that I am able to give the tick of approval because the expression “going on a diet” implies that one day you will come off the diet.

Pick up any magazine or click on a myriad of Internet sites and you will find a reference to a ‘diet’ in there somewhere. The term ‘diet’ is very negative and makes people do all sorts of bizarre things, like eating a block of chocolate instead of one piece and quite often makes them unpleasant people to be with. Healthy eating is about changing your habits and enjoying food, not making your life (and everyone else’s) a misery. I think it is easy to forget that a ‘diet’ is simply the food we eat.

I feel lucky that I have the knowledge to make an informed decision about how I am going to eat and exercise but unless you are a health professional, it can be such a difficult minefield to navigate.

There will always be many wonder ‘diets’ out there in fantasyland, so how can you choose a healthy eating plan that works?

# 1. Does it claim to have ‘magic’ ingredients e.g. grapefruit, seaweed or vinegar? Not a good sign, as there is no such thing as magic in the world of food, unless you possess a superpower like SuperMan.

# 2. Does it promise rapid weight loss - like the diet that guarantees a loss of 13 inches around one leg? That would look really odd wouldn’t it?

# 3. Do you have to exercise or do you just have to lie on a vibrating machine that 'shakes' the fat off? No such luck.

#4. Who is selling the program - are they qualified and do they hold a recognised degree in nutrition or does it seem like the ‘diet’ is a quick way for them to make some cash?

#5. Do you have to buy expensive powders; potions, pills or creams that claim to miraculously melt away fat?

#6. Are you guaranteed weight loss in specific areas of your body? Not possible I ‘m afraid.

#7. Do you have to eat a small range of foods that are not familiar to you and perhaps you have never heard of before?

#8. Does the diet teach you new and improved eating habits or a crash course in how to count calories?

Eating shouldn't be a chore or about being deprived. Choosing food that nourishes your body is super important to our health and well-being but lets not forget that actually enjoying what you eat is everything.

We need to be savvy when considering changing our eating habits, and that's why here at

Kale and Co. we are so passionate about providing you with real, delicious food that is free of gimmicks and false promises.

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