As part of our new series #NotJustANevsModel highlighting our models other businesses and passions, we caught up for a Q&A with Dan Hyman, both model, and founder of @eat.look.feel; a bespoke online coaching business addressing nutrition, training and mindset to encourage a healthier lifestyle, as part of #NutritionandHydrationWeek 

Dan will be doing a live Q&A on our Nevs IG, Thursday 18th March at 1pm all about nutrition and training, so make sure you tune in and get your questions ready!! If you miss it, dont worry, you can catch it on our IG highlights where we will be saving the series content moving forward.

Images shot by: Andy Ryan

How did you start your career in nutrition or realise this was this was something you felt passionately about?

It actually started alongside my modelling career, I realised pretty quickly that I needed to look after myself more than I was, to be the best model I could be. From there, I did endless reading and identified how important taking control of your personal nutrition can be. That is where my passion in nutrition started which led to me deciding to study it further, and I have been ever since.

You have a nutrition qualification, what was involved in obtaining this? 

Lots of reading and exams. It was full on alongside modelling and what comes with that, but fascinating, and I'm very glad I did it. I think qualifications are very important for credibility in the ever-growing health and wellness space.

You've launched the ELF online coaching app, what sort of things does the service offer to people? 

EATLOOKFEEL is about becoming better and taking ownership of your personal health. 

We offer this by providing a framework addressing a client’s nutrition, training and mindset, and aligning these 3 principles with the client’s specific health goals. Providing that framework allows clients to focus on the other important areas of their lives whilst knowing that their nutrition, exercise and headspace are all working for them in tandem.

What does your personal diet look like?

[haha] This is honestly the number 1 question I get asked and I am always reluctant to answer it. Not because I have anything to hide, but because everyone is different and requires a different direction to their personal nutrition, therefore I’m not sure what knowing my personal intake achieves. 

But because it’s you, a ‘normal’ day looks something like the following…

Bagel / rice cakes, yogurt, banana, peanut butter, honey. 

Oats w/protein powder, fruit, peanut butter.

Tuna, rice, chickpea, lots of veggies stir fry w/ 2 x eggs. 

Salmon, potatoes, avocado, greens. 

Yogurt, protein powder, banana, dark choc, peanut butter, cereal. 

My intake is circa 2900cal a day (180g protein. 350g carb. 80g fat). Liquid wise, 1 or 2 coffees & 3L water as a minimum.

The key takeaway from that is that I have worked on meals / ideas to ensure I enjoy everything I consume. This is such a fundamental part of building a lifestyle. If you don’t enjoy what you consume, it's not sustainable. Taking the required time and educating yourself to ensure that you are enjoying everything you consume, and in the right amount, is so powerful. That is where the switch between a ‘diet’ and a ‘lifestyle’ is made. 

Why do you think nutrition is so important to get right? 

For so many reasons and beyond the obvious ones. The most obvious is body composition and then the positive effect on confidence / headspace that comes with that. Nutrition also has such a profound effect on hormones, energy levels, mood, skin, hair, teeth etc. If you can get your nutrition aligned for you in a way that is sustainable, it really is such a powerful tool.

That being said, there is so much more to nutrition than just body composition. Our overall health is multi-faceted, it is made up of physical, psychological, social, intellectual, economic and emotional health, nutrition is a small part of that puzzle but one we are in complete control over and that affects most facets.

If you bought a nice car, would you put the wrong petrol in it? Therefore, why would you do that to your body? We only get one. But the education around nutrition is slowly improving and I genuinely believe in 30 year’s time, everyone will have their nutrition aligned in some form. There are unlimited upsides to it and not many downsides, which is usually a pretty good sign that something is going to be popular.

How have you kept focused & motivated on your fitness during lockdown?

Being in the modelling industry means my personal motivation is quite easy. I know I am completely accountable for how I look on set for clients and that provides me with motivation in itself. Lockdown specific, it was about controlling what I can and ensuring I was in the best shape and headspace possible for when the industry started moving again. 

How have you found running a business through COVID?

We transitioned the coaching side of things to a fully online model in November so I have valued the time at home to focus on and double down on that specific branch. This has also opened up the international side of things for us with 40% of our client base now being outside of the UK. There have been several challenges such as gyms opening and closing, client motivation, and some longer terms plans for the ELF brand have had to take a backseat until we know what the new normal looks like. I have focused on the positives of the situation and have enjoyed the challenge of having to be reactive and adaptable.

What do you feel you offer that the competition doesn’t?

I guess my education and my experience. I made sure I was qualified in nutrition (diploma), training (PT qualification) and mindset (mental health first aid certified) before I launched and having had to keep myself healthy consistently for a long time now I know how it’s done. 

The service that we offer is also unique. We offer a life style, I believe strict diet plans / training programmes, have an end point and I don’t want that for our clients. Our product addresses nutrition, exercise and mindset with the idea of building a client’s education towards a healthy lifestyle long term. 

Also the mindset side of things is often neglected in this space and it’s arguably the most important component. Nutrition and training is easy to get right, mindset not so much. If your mindset isn’t aligned to where you want to go, then things are more difficult. In my experience, if a client’s mindset is focused early on, the nutrition and exercise follow.

How can we find out more? .

Further information and the lead form if interested in coaching is on there. 

We also provide a free weekly newsletter providing actionable tips based around nutrition, training and mindset. The mail-drop subscription is also on the website. 

What are the first things that people can do to improve their lifestyle & become healthier?

It's probably to take an honest look at their current health paradigm - their nutrition, exercise & mindset. Asking themselves if this is truly aligned with their goals and if they are implementing the habits & ideas required to become healthier and happier long term. I have never seen anyone not benefit from being healthier. Get your health right and all other areas of life also benefit.

 But if I were to strip it back to its most basic form, some simple, actionable, everyday tips are… 

  • 7-10 portions of fruit/veg daily. 
  • Protein source at every meal.
  • Adequate hydration. 3l+.
  • Exercise in efficient ways, 3 times a week as a minimum.
  • 10k steps daily.
  • Adequate sleep.
  • Audit the people you surround yourself with.
  • Audit the content you are consuming everyday.

What would you advise to people that are struggling with motivation?

Think long-term. Easier said than done, I appreciate. It's moving away from short-term thinking. Most of us know what we want in terms of our health, but are daunted by the long-term nature of it. Unfortunately, it often isn’t ‘easy’, but as I said previously I have never seen anyone not benefit from being healthier. Get your health moving in the right direction and all other areas of life also benefit.

Motivation will come and go, that’s normal. It’s naïve to rely solely on motivation alone. That is why applying long-term thinking and staying consistent with your nutrition, exercise and headspace even when you aren’t feeling ‘motivated’ to do so is so important. Cast votes towards your goals even when you don’t want to. 

How have you balanced working as a model and running your business?

The two work pretty closely together and compliment each other. Modelling inspired me to look after myself initially & has provided a platform to launch from. As we know, busier times are to come in the modelling industry when travel is re-introduced etc and that will inevitably throw up challenges, but as the EATLOOKFEEL team grows it’s a challenge I look forward to. 


Follow Dan on Instagram: @dan_hyman  / @eat.look.feel

Want to work with Dan?, please contact [email protected]