Revealed! How Celebrity Chef Nigella Lawson Lost 12 kg

by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

“Ummh, look at that luscious golden syrup,” Nigella says, looks up mischievously at the camera, smiles through the corner of her lips, and drizzles the syrup over freshly-baked dessert. If you can picture this, you are most certainly a Nigella Lawson fan, a foodie, and have binge-watched her cooking show at some point in your life.


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Nigella, the London-born celebrity chef, is known for her voluptuous curves, brunette curls, and seductive cooking style. Not to forget the late night binging and pantry hunting. But on the news lately is her weight loss story. Some fans are excited and happy for her. Some, not so much.

What interests me, though, is how the Domestic Goddess did it. After all, losing 12 kg is not a joke when you love food! If you can relate to it, sit tight and let me take you on a smooth ride to lose weight. Just like your favorite chef did. Keep reading!

How Did Nigella Lawson Lose Weight?

Nigella Lawson, the 58-year-old chef, lost 12 kg over 3 years before appearing on TV as a guest judge in MasterChef Australia in 2016. It was not a cakewalk. But Nigella accidentally did the right things to slim down. Here’s how it all happened.

  • Foot Surgery Froze Her Trips To The Refrigerator


Yup! Nigella Lawson underwent double bunion surgery. Bunion surgery is a procedure to correct a deformed area of your foot near the big toe. After surgery, Nigella Lawson was on bed rest for a while. And that was the beginning of her weight loss journey.

In an interview, she admitted that she started losing weight. “Not because I stopped eating but because you can say to someone, ‘Can you get me a slice of cake?’ but it’s kind of embarrassing to say, ‘And now could you get me a second slice?” Well, that’s true! She also did the following to drop from size 16 to size 12.

Tip #1 For You – Slash the times you rummage through your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. It’s going to be difficult, and you may not succeed the first few times you try to stop yourself. But do not give up yet. Do it one time, and it will get easier for you to resist the urge to look for something to eat in the refrigerator.

  • She Loves Balanced Eating

Nigella Lawson loves to indulge in food. She also believes in the art of balancing. She said, “I wouldn’t want a life where I lived on chia seed pudding, just as I wouldn’t want to live where I lived on eggs Benedict or steak and chips.” Nigella Lawson enjoys eating greens as much as a generous serving of vanilla ice cream with caramelized peaches.

The winner of British Book Award for Author of the Year revealed, “I love kale and I am avocado obsessive.” Kale is rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, and avocado is loaded with healthy fats, which promote weight loss by reducing inflammation in the body.

Tip #2 For You – You do not have to consume kale and avocado. But add non-starchy veggies, dark leafy greens, fruits, a source of lean protein, and healthy fats to your daily diet so that your body gets complete nutrition.

  • What Are Fad Diets Good For, Anyway?

Diet trends will come and go, but one thing that will remain the same is the fact that your body needs nutritious food to live a healthy, long life. And Nigella understands this. She said, “I have never been on a diet to try to lose weight.’ The former deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times (1986) believes that “no-one should be put on this earth to go on a diet.” What she means to say is that fad diets and restrictive diets are not fulfilling, generally cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and are not sustainable.

Tip #3 For You – Fad diets are overrated, overused, and misused! It all boils down to your understanding of your body and how it reacts to a certain food. Get a customized diet chart from your dietitian who will take your age, sex, height, current weight, medical conditions, medical history, and body type into account.

  • Clean Eating Vs. Eating!

Clean eating has cast a spell on almost everyone. But not on our beloved chef. She is, in fact, “disgusted’ by the notion of clean eating because it implies that ‘any other form of eating is dirty or shameful.” Hmm! I never really thought of it this way, but yes, it makes sense.

Well, just as Michelle Obama said in her book, Becoming, “there are other ways of being,” we have to understand and accept the fact that there are people who need more than just “healthy,” “organic,” and “nutritious” foods. It’s OK if you like to mix your meals with a little dash of high-calorie food. All that matters is you know that making junk food the only food you consume is harmful to you.

Tip #4 For You – Eat a balanced meal, which may also contain high-calorie, not-so-good-for-health foods. Consuming healthy foods half-heartedly is as harmful as eating only junk food. Strike a balance, and you will be all set. To understand what’s your upper limit of consuming junk food, you must consult a dietitian.

  • She Enjoys Treats

It is important to enjoy and celebrate food. She reiterated this point by saying, “It is a celebration of home cooking. My books come out of my life.” She also said, “I love traditional food, and I’m never going to complain about having a pie! Roast chicken is my favourite food.” The mother of two further added, “I don’t like extremes. I think that’s the real truth. I think that food should not be used as a way of persecuting oneself and I think really one should look to get pleasure about what’s good.”

Tip #5 For You – Enjoy food. Things only take a dangerous turn when eating becomes an obsession and not a reason to celebrate life and the resources that Mother Nature has provided to us. Practice portion control, keep yourself hydrated, and eat home-cooked meals. And you will lose weight without being too restrictive.

  • Slow Yoga And Stretching Keeps Her Active


She started enjoying slow yoga and practices it three times a week. She said, “The older I get the more I realise I have got to do lots of stretching. So even if I’m not doing yoga, I make myself do lots of stretching.” She also admitted, “As you get on in life, you value feeling well as opposed to looking well. Yoga certainly makes you feel great, and you want to carry on feeling great. I just do a bit in a very slow way – sometimes lying down.”

Tip #6 For You – Keep yourself active. Do what you love – playing a sport, walking the dog, swimming, kickboxing, lifting weights, HIIT, yoga, or any other form of workout. Working out regularly will release the “feel good” hormones. As a result, you will become more energetic and proactive, and your bouts of depression and/or anxiety will reduce.

You do not always have to go on a strict diet or follow a vigorous workout routine to slash those extra kilos or pounds. Take it easy and tweak your eating habits a little. You can enjoy food and lose the excess flab. Look at food the way Nigella Lawson sees it. She believes that cooking is a way of strengthening oneself. She said, “You must not strive for perfection but, rather, acknowledge your mistakes and work out how you can rectify them.” So, if you want to lose weight, do it the Nigella way! Take care.

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Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.