Gemma Collins reveals the new diet that helped her drop two dress sizes, and it’s actually sustainable

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article

Reality queen Gemma Collins and health guru Steve Bennett discuss the revolutionary ‘fibre-first’ diet that’s about to change the way we think about food.

“This is the only diet that’s actually worked for me,” says former TOWIE star Gemma Collins, as she sits across from me surrounded by her team in Euston Square. The reality star dazzles in a sequin ensemble, noting that she wasn’t able to fit into the size-20 dress a mere few weeks ago.

Gemma is working with health guru Steve Bennett on his fibre-first diet plan, which promotes weight loss by – surprisingly – encouraging people to eat, a rare turn-of-events in the murky world of diet culture.

“Try this,” Gemma says, encouraging me to have a sip of the fibrous concoction that Steve has created. The drink is a mixture of fruit, nuts and oats, and is greatly appreciated by my rumbling stomach, an unexpectedly filling treat.

Gemma Collins stands with Steve Bennett, both holding his Fibre First book
Gemma with Steve Bennett (top image: Shutterstock)

Gemma begins our chat by acknowledging her recent collaboration with another health guru – the Instagram-famous Eddie Abbew.

“Everyone’s been asking me what happened with Eddie,” she says, laughing. “He was amazing, and he helped me to lose 20 pounds in one week, but I couldn’t sustain it.”

The TV star admits that the hardcore wholefood-only diet that the former bodybuilder maintains, while successful, created a fear in her when it came to eating. “The minute I ate something that he said was bad, I felt as though I was failing.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Eddie Abbew (@eddie_abbew)

She describes herself as the type of person who doesn’t like to comply with rules and regulations, a trait that’s helped her to sustain her huge fanbase. Now, she says that her relationship with food has had a complete 360, and she credits it all to Steve.

“When I first chatted with Steve, he told me that I don’t need to change anything. Just add in fibre. By doing that, I’m so full that I don’t want to eat all my usual unhealthy food.”

What is the fibre-first diet?

Steve, who has run around 30 businesses over 30 years, has ploughed his savings into scientific and behavioural research to create a fibre-based regime. He also finances the Public Health Collaboration charity, an independent board of scientists, doctors, dieticians and public health experts, to bring more awareness about fibre-stripped ultra-processed foods.

Speaking to me privately, Steve’s passion for the health of the nation is evident. Having been obese himself at one point in his life, he’s well acquainted with various diet methods, and he knows how difficult they are to maintain. While he acknowledges the importance of moving more, he says that nutrition truly takes precedence over exercise when it comes to weight loss.

Read more: The founder of My Protein reveals the truth about supplements
Steve credits his weight loss journey to developing a better understanding of nutrition. (Image above: Shutterstock)

“Everyone’s got a rebel inside them,” he begins. “And if you or someone else is telling you not to eat certain foods constantly, you may be able to sustain it for a while, but you’ll break at some point or another. Instead, if you don’t take anything out of your diet but you add fibre first, you’ll find that eventually you don’t fancy the bad things anymore, because you’ll already be full.”

Steve’s diet, which he explains in great detail in his new book, Fibre-First, maintains that people can lose weight and improve their health by supplementing their meals with more fibrous food, or by simply eating fibre before the other components of their regular meals.

“Just by eating some nuts, seeds or a salad first, you are putting your body in a great position to get the best from your meals,” he says.

Steve describes fibre as being the “antidote to sugar”. A bold claim, but he says that the data he’s gathered demonstrates that your blood sugar won’t spike anywhere near the levels that it would do if you didn’t eat fibre first. This is due to fibre acting as a natural shield to ultra-processed foods with high sugar content.

“This is true of any meal, even fast food,” he says. “Eat some fibre first and it will alter how the body processes the rest of the meal.”

Read more: There’s more to high-protein breakfasts than weight loss, they help with energy and focus too
Gemma Collins points to the ‘Fibre-First’ diet as being the key to her recent weight loss.

How can the diet change our relationship with weight loss?

“With the fibre-first diet, I can put all the food I love on my table for my family, and it’s still delicious and fulfilling and it doesn’t feel restrictive at all,” says Gemma.

“I’ve tried every diet. I’ve even tried the diet injections. I think it’s all rubbish – you need to be mentally right and educated in nutrition before you can really tackle weight loss.”

Through her journey, the reality star has realised that there is no quick fix. But the pair maintain that out of all the diets out there, this is the only one that removes restriction from dieting.

When asked about her advice to others when it comes to weight loss and body image issues, Gemma encourages people to remove the pressure they’ve put on themselves.

“It’s so easy to be really hard on yourself when trying to lose weight, but it’s only going to make the journey harder,” she explains.

“With Steve, I can still enjoy my favourite foods like pasta, but in all honesty, I’m just not eating as much as I would have because of the fibre.”

While prioritising healthy and fibrous foods may be more expensive than opting for processed concoctions in supermarkets, Steve assures me that that my weekly shop will end up being cheaper, simply because I’ll be consuming less.

“Eating healthy food meal-by-meal is more expensive. But research shows that it will end up being cheaper, because you won’t be consuming as much after having fibre first. Organic food is more expensive, but overall – once you start putting fibre first – you’ll notice the cost going down.”

Share this article