From The Apprentice hopeful to Celebrity Big Brother winner, James Hill is now a successful social media influencer with appearances on many more of our favourite shows. As well as being a keen entrepreneur, it’s obvious from a quick scroll down his instagram feed that he takes care of himself. Not just a pretty face (and bod!) he is a genuinely nice guy who listens intently to other people, respects their point of view and seems content to put himself out there for great causes.
We are delighted to have James on board helping us with the launch of Meal Prep World and we spent a lovely afternoon discussing his life away from reality TV, his fitness and food regimes plus his passion for entrepreneurship.
Whilst the photographer clicked away, James was happy to throw on a Meal Prep World apron and other gear as we chatted, and from sitting down with him, it’s clear that his TV appearances haven’t changed him.
He comes across as an intelligent, very grounded businessman interlaced with just the right amount of likeable ‘cheeky chap’ and it was a pleasure to chat with him. Although, I was at times a little worried for his fingers after we asked him to chop some vegetables for the shoot – knife skills are not very high up in his vast repertoire!
So James, what originally got you in to fitness?
James: I guess… just wanting to look after myself and staying healthy. There’s definitely a lot more pressure for people my age, especially in the world we now live in where everyone is in the spotlight on social media
And what is your fitness regime like?
J: I’m a very active person. I go to the gym 3 times a week and play a lot of sports; football, tennis and golf. I also do a lot of charity sporting events too, which I’m very passionate about
Which sport would you say is your favourite?
J: I go through phases with each but at the moment it’s football. I’ve played it for as long as I can remember
Do you have any short or long term fitness goals?
J: Obviously I’m now 30 years old so I’m more focused on overall happiness. I still think it’s just important to stay healthy and feel good but the wellbeing that comes with it is my main focus. Happiness is the key to a great life
Well a big part of staying healthy obviously comes down to food too. Do you like cooking?
J: I love it, although I’m fairly inexperienced at it, but I really want to learn more and get more creative. I tend to cook mostly lean meats, like chicken and turkey, with lots of vegetables and good carbohydrates – for seasoning I’m really in to flavour king spice blends, which make what some would call sensible food, exciting
What about if you’re having a cheat day – then what would you go for?
J: Five Guys! 100% the nicest take away food ever… Whoever invented it needs a high five. [laughs at the accidental pun]
Good choice! Are there any foods that you try to cut out completely or are you more about keeping things balanced?
J: I think it’s about having a balance. I try to stay away from too much sugar but I’ve definitely got a sweet tooth. I stay away from fried food as much as possible because it’s just so bad for you – it’s filled with really bad fats. Ultimately though, I try and be healthy and eat clean 80% of the time and then I won’t feel bad the other 20% of the time when I want to treat myself to a chocolate bar or something like that.
And what’s your biggest motivation?
J: To always better myself and to keep improving. In fitness, and in all the other aspects of my life. I am very goal focused and I have a strong will that helps me to succeed
What’s the best fitness advice that someone has given you or that you would give to someone?
J: Find an active sport that you enjoy and go out and do it. It could even be walking or hiking but if you do something you enjoy then you’ll be more likely to stick to it. If you don’t enjoy your workout then you won’t want to keep doing it. You should try lots of things and make sure you go with friends to add encouragement. It’s all about people
And is there anyone in the fitness or healthy eating industry that inspires you?
J: To be fair, I tend to prefer getting inspiration from just regular people rather than professionals. Instagram is great for seeing what people cook and how they stay fit; I relate better to real stories than I do to brands. I do like The Body Coach though. His book, Lean in 15, is on my wishlist
And being in the public eye, do you feel more pressure to stay looking good?
J: I did at first. But as time has gone on, I’m happy to just be myself. You’ll never please everyone anyway so it’s better to just be true to yourself, plus I find that I’m more content and happy when I’m being me and not trying to please others. There is a lesson for everyone there I think
You’ve got quite a few TV appearances under your belt now, which was your favourite?
J: The Apprentice, definitely. Although that boardroom was the hottest room I’ve ever been in in my life. It was hotter than the heatwave we’ve got going on at the minute!
So after The Apprentice, Celebrity Big Brother, Dinner date, Pointless and 5 Star Hotel, what’s next for you? Do you have anything else in the pipeline?
J: There may be one or two things in the pipeline but you’ll just have to wait and see!