'At 46, I'm comfortable in my own skin, happier and more confident'
TV and radio presenter Lisa Snowdon talks to Gabrielle Fagan about fitness, skincare and feeling good in her skin
Lisa Snowdon was only 19 when she won a contract with a leading modelling agency, soon appearing in glossy titles like Vogue and fashion campaigns with everyone from Gucci to Marks & Spencer.
Her career may have since evolved to focus on TV and radio presenting - she co-presented Capital FM's breakfast show until 2015 - but, now 46, she still spends a lot of time facing the camera lens.
Here, Snowdon talks about keeping in shape, and why she doesn't "do diets" and hates "mean" words like 'bingo wings' and 'muffin top'...
1. Focus on your gut
"I love my food and I don't do diets. I believe in having a little of what you fancy for a treat every so often," says Hertfordshire-born Snowdon. "I'm really conscious of keeping my gut healthy - it's the body's second brain, where you store a lot of emotions, so it's good to keep it calm and soothed. To help that, I take a ProVen Probiotic to combat bloating, and I try to eat the right foods for me at least 80% of the time. My diet includes lots of fruit and veg, protein, and I make healthy substitutes when I have carbs, so I'll choose brown rice rather than white.
"I've learnt to listen to my body, and when I notice foods irritate me or make me feel tired, like pasta, I'll avoid them when I need to be energetic and only eat them when I'm happy to chill," she adds. "For a flat tummy, I'll cut sugar and won't drink white wine for a while, even though I love it."
2 Get skin savvy
"I'm conscientious about skincare because my skin needs to look great. I cleanse and moisturise twice a day and exfoliate regularly, and use masks to boost hydration. I eat as many colourful and water-rich foods as possible, including pomegranates, cucumber, asparagus, kale, and spinach, which are rich in antioxidants to help skin slow down cell damage. Protein-rich foods are important too, as they help to encourage the production of collagen, so I have eggs, salmon and lean meat. Good fats in avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil can help moisturise skin from the inside.
"I drink a couple of litres of water a day and when I'm feeling tired, I'll reach for a big glass of water to perk me up, instead of endless cups of coffee. It helps with digestion and flushes out toxins from the system. Sleep's so important for skin too, and I like eight hours."
3. Work-out in a crowd
"If I don't exercise, I can feel down in the dumps. Working-out around four times a week clears my head and helps me cope with stress. I'm tall, my metabolism's naturally fast and I have quite an active lifestyle, but as I've got older, I've had to push myself in order to maintain my figure.
"I believe in making training fun by working out with other people. I do HIT (High Intensity Training) sessions. They really make you sweat and, best of all, by the end, you've met new people and you're all giggling and spurring each other on. At home I skip - even a minute raises the heart rate and is energising - or a do quick session of crunches, squats and burpees. Pilates reformer classes target your bum, core, arms and legs all at the same time."
4. Watch your language
"I find phrases like 'muffin tops' and 'bingo wings' really offensive, mean and degrading. I also hate classes when the trainer goes, 'Come on girls, we need to get a thigh gap', which isn't realistic for a lot of people.
"Of course, I try to be in the best shape I can but as you get older, it's harder and gravity's a b*tch! I try not to compare myself to other people, especially those in their twenties and thirties!
"My aim is to love what I am and focus on the bits of my body that I'm happy with. Sure, I'd love a ripping six-pack, but not at the expense of enjoying myself and going out for dinner sometimes. Social media actually can be positive, because it shows lots of different body-shapes and wonderful women celebrating their curves."
5. Dress for your body
"I don't think there's any age when you have to stop wearing something - all you have to bear in mind is your shape and aim to flatter it. If you want to wear a bikini, wear one.
"We see men wearing Speedos no matter what their age and no one bothers about that.
"It's all down to being confident in your look and wearing it well. I'd say a well-fitting pair of jeans is must for any wardrobe."
6. Embrace life
"There's a good term for 45-65-year-olds - 'Midsters' - and for me, this is definitely a time where I'm comfortable in my own skin. You've realised there's a point where you have to go: 'I am what I am, I can't do much to change it', and for me that means I'm happier and more peaceful and in a good place. This is a great time to feel more confident and enjoy embracing new things, like hobbies or whatever passions take your fancy.
"Now, I even have the confidence to holiday by myself occasionally. The first few days, you might feel like Billy-no-mates and think people are looking at you and judging you, but actually all you're doing is judging yourself. Once you've worked that out and relax, it's really liberating."
Lisa Snowdon is the new face of the ProVen Probiotics range, available from Boots and Holland & Barrett stores nationwide, and online at provenprobiotics.co.uk