Over a decade ago, James Duigan dedicated himself to spreading the ‘Clean and Lean’ philosophy and inspiring people to realise their physical potential. Revolutionising the wellness industry, Bodyism offers an intelligently-curated program targeted at achieving a long and lean body. As personal trainer to celebrities such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Lara Stone, James Duigan and his brand Bodyism, have become synonymous with quality, precision and results.

In this article, James Duigan, speaks to us about the power of our personal ‘why’ in shaping our food choices and the way we eat. For James, by asking the right questions, we have the ability to define our relationship with ourselves and how we eat.

understanding our ‘why’

James Duigan, Bodyism Founder

Be impeccable with your words because your words are more powerful than you realise.



As the creator of the ‘Clean and Lean’ way of living, James recognises the important connection between the way we eat and how we feel. For James, our relationship with food is a profoundly emotional experience. Speaking with us, he maintains ‘your body believes the internal conversations you have with yourself’. Therefore, the narrative we apply to ourselves can serve to shape and condition our body’s internal environment.

Our body’s health is intrinsically linked to the way our minds are conditioned. Very often, our approach to food is complex and motivated by a range of intentions that potentially reinforce unhealthy patterns of belief. In his experience, James stresses that self- care and positive affirmation are the principal tenets to achieving a lasting approach to health and wellness.


Positive Affirmation

Drawing from his experience, James  asserts that eating well is only half of the journey towards living well. It is in fact, part of a wider practice that encompasses a holistic approach to health. For James, the beginnings of a healthy approach to diet can be found through the practice of positive affirmation and mindfulness. By choosing our words carefully, we can begin to rewrite our personal narrative and turn it into an act of healing.

Written in stone on the facade of their West London studio read the words ‘be kind to yourself’. By understanding this simple philosophy, and taking a kinder, gentler approach to ourselves we can start moving towards a more profound and transformative space.

Compassionate EATING


How you think affects how you feel. How you feel affects how you eat. How you eat affects how you move.

James’s belief to ‘do no harm’ urges individuals to adopt a kinder, gentler approach to one’s self and body. This includes avoiding diets, supporting yourself with clean foods and cultivating a mindful approach to nutrition. For James, understanding the ‘why’ behind what we eat, cultivates a more nuanced and transformative approach to food and nutrition.

In his words, feeling well is more than just what you eat, and eating well is only half of the journey towards living well. As an overarching guide to the Bodysim lifestyle, James outlines his four pillars of wellness – mindset, nutrition, sleep and movement. All these factors work together to affect how our sense of health and wellbeing.



The human body has a natural way of self-regulating. We should put trust in our bodies and ourselves.


Sharing his perspectives on diet, James maintains there is no ‘right’ body shape. Every individual is born with a natural, physical predisposition and have varying nutritional requirements. Therefore, contrary to popular opinion there is no one diet that fits all. Our dietary choices should be evaluated on an individual basis.

James strongly advocates listening to our bodies. When we begin to appreciate how foods make us feel, we will start to instinctively make more beneficial choices. He states that it is important to learn to trust yourself and listen to your body – ‘you know when you’re nourished and when you’ve had enough.’ By listening to your body and letting go of any judgement, this can support a profound shift in your approach to food and eating.



James Duigan, Bodyism Founder

Health is all about how I feel and it’s all determined by what I eat.

When we choose nutrient-dense foods, our bodies feel energised and more efficient. This in turn encourages a more receptive and positive state of mind. Conversely, artificial foods such as sugar and alcohol slow down the metabolism, reduce energy levels and often lead to a irregular moods or depression.

As part of your daily practice, the Bodyism philosophy encourages incorporating a rich variety of colourful whole foods into your daily diet. In the guide below, we outline the principal tenets of the ‘Clean and Lean’ program along with a few of James’s recipes.


James Duigan is a world-renowned wellness authority and owner of Bodyism, London’s premier health and wellness facility.  His client list has included Elle Macpherson, Lara Stone, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, David Gandy and Hugh Grant. He is also the author of the bestselling Clean & Lean Diet, Clean & Lean Flat Tummy Fast!, Clean & Lean Diet Cookbook and Clean & Lean Warrior. Bodyism’s line of luxury apparel and supplements can be purchased here .