Bare Body Beautiful: Bodyism

Bare Body Beautiful: Bodyism

It would be quite wrong to conclude the Bare Body Beautiful series without taking a closer look at our general health. And who could give better advice than the man responsible for the ultimate beach beauties Elle Macpherson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley? So today we’re thrilled to learn from James Duigan, the founder of Bodyism…

The Bodyism brand encompasses a private personal training studio, specialist wellbeing and beauty supplements and books based on the Clean and Lean philosophy – a diet which is quite the internet sensation.

With such a prestigious client base, you might be fooled into expecting an elitist approach, but from the moment you speak with James you realise this is far from the case. His warm and open manner conveys a commendably grounded man with a genuine desire to help everyone live a happier, healthier life (with the added benefit of seeing those fantastic results!)

Meet the expert: James Duigan

James Duigan

How do you inspire body confidence in your clients?

This is the most important element of the job and not always that simple – the really difficult part is finding the key for each person.

It’s so important to help people realise that beautiful is not how you look, but how you feel. Many people live like they’re never going to die, but who is going to put your body fat percentage or your BMI on your gravestone? You need to turn the focus to being healthy and living a happy life; everything else will flow on from there.

So, while Bodyism has a reputation for shaping a very lean and long physique, our focus is on creating that health and happiness. We don’t ever weigh our clients, we teach people to breathe properly and we never take anything too seriously.

When people first come into the studio they’re often surprised by how friendly it is. There’s a real family atmosphere and we train an eclectic mix of clients, everyone from 14 to 84-year-olds.

How long before a holiday should we start body prepping?

The sooner the better! Clients have arrived before movie roles with just two weeks to change their bodies. It can be done, but it’s a huge commitment (and often there’s a lots of money riding on it!).

If you don’t have a lot of time, Clean and Lean: Flat Tummy Fast details a six day plan to transform the tummy, and it really works. My wife Christiane modelled for the book – she lost 12 kilos following the plan and the cover image was shot on day seven.

What are the top three changes that everyone should make?

Well firstly it’s important to realise that any changes must happen in the mind first, this is about changing your life. Dieting really is the fastest way to get fat, so for permanent results you need to be making permanent changes.

A lot of people don’t know they’re sick because they’ve never been healthy. They think it’s normal to have all these headaches and wake up in a bad mood. While it’s not uncommon, it’s not normal. So Bodyism teaches the quickest path to perfect health. Everyone should do the following:

Eat more fibre: so many people are dying of bowel cancer and there are so many others suffering from constipation. Eat your greens – eat your vegetables, it might just save your life.

Take fish oil: most people will benefit from taking some fish oil. If your kids can’t concentrate, don’t just assume they have ADHD, try them on fish oil and see what a difference it can make.

Keep moving: The body loves to move, your body actually wants to exercise. I’ve just returned from Australia where I’ve been surfing and doing yoga on the beach and it’s been fantastic. Now I’ve returned to London I’ll go back to gym and do jujitsu – it’s really good to mix it up.

What are the best detoxing foods?

The two key elements for detoxification are fibre and water (and, of course, not putting toxins into your body in the first place!) Eat plenty of vegetables and focus on clean foods, nothing processed. One of the best ways to be green and to eat well is to eat locally and seasonally.

In terms of supplements, we’ve created Body Brilliance, which is filled with super greens. It’s all that’s beautiful about the morning – I love it.

If you’re looking to get fit fast, do you need to focus on full body workouts or should you target troublesome areas?

The rule of thumb is that the more muscles you use the better. It’s important not to just do an arm curl and isolate that muscle. The Bodyism TV channel on YouTube gives some great examples of exercises you can do. I’ve got supermodels all over the world doing the Disco Lunges.

And how can you best introduce healthier habits without losing too much weight or shape?

If you’re someone prone to losing too much weight, you need to focus on eating nutrient dense foods – choose oily fish, nuts and seeds and brown pasta. You should also eat beans with brown rice, a combination which when eaten together boosts the happy hormone, serotonin.

In such circumstances, it would also be best to cut back on the cardio, while of course still being active.

Clean and Lean is taking the internet (and world’s most beautiful bodies) by storm – why is it such a success?

Because it’s common sense and it works! Its popularity has built and built over the last couple of years since the launch of the first book. People pass it on to their mum, and to their auntie, it just keeps going around.

I’ve never set out to say that I’m right and everyone else is wrong, I just wants to share what has worked for me. I’ve always been focused on staying humble and grateful, but when you get a tweet from someone saying Clean and Lean has changed their life, it makes you feel 10ft tall!

Why is sleep important to a health regime and are there any tricks to get more?

Sleep is the third pillar of health, along with diet and exercise. It’s when things happen; when the body’s psychogenic repair takes place and all the hormonal activity that helps you to get leaner.

I recommend that you stretch for 5 minutes every night before bed. This lowers your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which helps flatten the tummy. You should also ensure to breathe deeply throughout your stretches.

And you should dim the lights in your house to signal to your body that you’re winding down. When our clients book in for a full body overhaul, we visit them in their homes and remove all the electronic gear from their bedrooms, taking out their TVs etc.

We have also created Body Serenity which gives an amazing night’s sleep. We started making it for a few clients, and it worked so well we had to make it en masse!

Who’s your best beach body & why?

My wife, Christiane – she’s so comfortable and happy in her body, she doesn’t even think about it, and that’s amazing. It’s so important to feel good, to know you deserve to feel good and that you’re beautiful.

Where’s your favourite beach or holiday destination?

My favourite holiday destination would be the Maldives. We had the first of our four wedding ceremonies there and it was just the two of us. My favourite beach would be Bondi, it’s not so much a holiday destination, but where we live when we’re over in Australia.

With thanks to James Duigan & Bodyism

Reviewed: Beauty Food

Bodyism's Beauty Food

Before you read the review of Bodyism’s Beauty Food, I urge you to take a look at its ingredients. You’ll find they’re broken down into sub-lists of berries, greens, vegetables, plants etc. and you’ll see that there’s rather a lot of them!

I can’t conceive of another way that you could get all of this goodness into your daily diet. Even if you could find, and afford to buy, every ingredient separately, you’d have to find a way to juice, grind and extract it all, and who really has the time for that?

And for those who baulk at the idea of spending £70 on supplements, you only need to take 5g a day, making this a 30 day supply at a daily cost of just over £2 – less than you probably spend on that latte and far more nutritious! So with this in mind, I can confidently say that you really are getting what you pay for.

I confess I was a little wary before taking my first sip, the 5g popped into a glass of water creates an ominously dark green liquid! A quick sniff reveals a light, grassy note and a sip puts the mind at ease; this really tastes quite pleasant – it’s light, neither too bitter or sweet.

You can drink your Beauty Food at any time of the day and I’ve enjoyed incorporating it into part of my lunchtime routine. You can’t help but feel good knowing what you’re putting in your body. I’ve also found that drinking the Beauty Food makes you that bit more conscious about what you’re eating alongside it. You don’t want to counteract the benefits by gorging on nutrient lacking rubbish. Of course, all the Clean and Lean Twitter testimonials also inspire!

A lot of the benefits are internal, with antioxidants keeping the free radicals at bay and supporting your overall health. So while it’s hard for me to be too scientific about the efficacy, I can tell you that I’ve felt well throughout and my skin has been as happy as I have.

So, if you’re wanting to feel healthier and happier, it might be time to ditch that latte in favour of this far more beautifying drink!

£70.00 for 150g –




    What a fab interview! Sometimes I just need to be reminded of things I know deep down – like winding down in the evenings. On a busy day this can be a challenge but so worth it. I read recently that Jennifer Anniston stretches last thing at night so I’n going to try doing that with my deep breathing of course! Great to be reminded of the importance of veg and sleep.

      Buff Beauty

      Thanks Iona, I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, I find James so inspiring. It’s so true that we all forget the basics and it’s really nice to be given a few gentle reminders. (And in my case the stretches and sleep certainly need to be more of a feature!)


    Lindsay Krishnan

    Dear Buff Beauty,

    Thank you for your well-written, interesting article! I was so inspired by it, that I went out to purchase the “Clean and Lean” flat tummy book immediately. I have to admit, I am weary of anything with the word “diet” in it, but Clean and Lean is really just a better lifestyle, and making better choices.

    I am telling anyone who will listen about it!

    Thanks from Hong Kong!

      Buff Beauty

      Hi Lindsay

      Thank you for your comment, it’s great to hear you’ve been encouraged to buy the book and I hope you get on really well with it.

      I completely agree that it’s far more lifestyle focused – no fads, or cutting out major food groups, just good old-fashioned healthy living.

      Fab that you’re spreading the word in Hong Kong!



    This all just makes perfect sense, doesn’t it. Treat your body well, do the things it was meant to do (like exercise and eat properly), and good things will come!

      Buff Beauty

      Exactly! Very refreshing to hear the ‘basics’ favoured over fads and cutting out major food groups. And beauty as a result of healthy living, rather than the soul aim.


    Name *

    Hi just wondered if you could tell me if the suppliments safe to take whilst pregnant?



    I am interested in buying serenity clean and lean, to help me sleep as I never sleep! I’m a little worried about taking a protein shake does it make you gain weight? & what happens when you stop taking it?

    Thanks for your help

      Buff Beauty

      Hi Laura

      You should definitely try Serenity. It’s not one I’ve tested myself, but I’ve heard great things from others. No need to worry about weight gain – all of the Bodyism range is aimed at supporting your body to get a long and lean aesthetic, which of course includes getting a good night’s (body repairing) snooze. As a female you’d also need to be lifting very heavy weights and consuming so much protein to bulk up.

      It’s hard to say what will happen when you stop taking it, it may be that you will have tricked your brain into good habits and you’ll still sleep well, or it may be that you need to keep it up for a while longer. Remember to speak to your doc if it’s a long-term problem/affecting your lifestyle as there could be an underlying cause.

      It’s a pleasure & keep me posted! x (and hopefully Zzz!) x

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