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Louisa Johnson admits she feels under pressure to be in shape and banned herself from editing snaps

She was crowned The X Factor’s youngest ever winner in 2015, taking home the title at the age of just 17.

And, in an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Louisa Johnson, 21, admitted she feels under pressure to be in shape, and revealed she’s now on an anti-inflammatory diet after struggling with rapid weight-gain.

Louisa – who is preparing for her performance at Children with Cancer UK’s fundraising concert Summerchime at London’s Chiswick House on 16th August – also revealed that a year ago she made the decision to ban herself from using photo-editing apps.

EXCLUSIVE: Louisa Johnson, 21, admitted she feels under pressure to be in shape, and revealed that a year ago she made the decision to ban herself from using photo-editing apps

EXCLUSIVE: Louisa Johnson, 21, admitted she feels under pressure to be in shape, and revealed that a year ago she made the decision to ban herself from using photo-editing apps

The Here We Go Again songstress explained how she balances her cravings for treats with the pressure to look good.

She said: ‘100% I feel under a lot of pressure to be in shape, but at the same time I feel like if I want a bar of chocolate I’m going to have a bar of chocolate – and a massive one.

‘Because if I feel like that, you can’t push it away, because then you’re just going to want it more. Everything in moderation.’       

The slim star also revealed that she’s been experiencing rapid weight-gain and is worried about how she’ll cope when faced with pressure to be in shape, but explained that she has turned to an anti-inflammatory diet to manage her struggle.  

Taking control: Louisa also revealed she's now on an anti-inflammatory diet after struggling with rapid weight-gain (pictured in April)

Taking control: Louisa also revealed she’s now on an anti-inflammatory diet after struggling with rapid weight-gain (pictured in April)

Using her talent for good: The singer is preparing for her performance at Children with Cancer UK’s fundraising concert Summerchime at London’s Chiswick House on 16th August

Using her talent for good: The singer is preparing for her performance at Children with Cancer UK’s fundraising concert Summerchime at London’s Chiswick House on 16th August

Everything in moderation: The Here We Go Again songstress explained how she balances her cravings for treats with the pressure to look good

Everything in moderation: The Here We Go Again songstress explained how she balances her cravings for treats with the pressure to look good

Keeping it real: '100% I feel under a lot of pressure to be in shape, but at the same time I feel like if I want a bar of chocolate I'm going to have a bar of chocolate - and a massive one'

Keeping it real: ‘100% I feel under a lot of pressure to be in shape, but at the same time I feel like if I want a bar of chocolate I’m going to have a bar of chocolate – and a massive one’

‘I’ve been diagnosed with all these intolerances over the past year and I’m just like, “how am I going to cope?” because I’ve really noticed weight just being going on so quickly.

‘It never used to be like that for me, so that’s like my personal struggle at the moment.   

Explaining more about how her intolerances were diagnosed, the star admitted that ‘listening to her body’ pushed her to go and get checked and find a healthy solution.

Feeling the pressure: Louisa also revealed that she's been experiencing rapid weight-gain and is worried about how she'll cope when faced with pressure to be in shape (Pictured in January)

Feeling the pressure: Louisa also revealed that she’s been experiencing rapid weight-gain and is worried about how she’ll cope when faced with pressure to be in shape (Pictured in January)

Really hard: The X Factor star explained that she has turned to a 'really hard' anti-inflammatory diet to manage her struggle

Really hard: The X Factor star explained that she has turned to a ‘really hard’ anti-inflammatory diet to manage her struggle

Louisa said: ‘The last year I’ve been really listening to my body and I’ve just noticed how much I’ve been bloating, and really uncomfortable when I eat certain foods and I didn’t really know what it was.

‘I went to see a nutritionist and I got tested for everything and I have an intolerance to dairy, which is my main one and gluten and wheat.  

‘So basically I’m on an anti-inflammatory diet which is really, really hard when I used to eat whatever I wanted, so I’ve been struggling with that, I’m such a fussy eater as well, so it’s hard. 

Listening to her body: Explaining more about how her intolerances were diagnosed, she admitted 'listening to her body' pushed her to go and get checked and find a healthy solution

Listening to her body: Explaining more about how her intolerances were diagnosed, she admitted ‘listening to her body’ pushed her to go and get checked and find a healthy solution

Candid: The X Factor winner recently opened up about her internal battle with her mental health and with giving a truthful representation of herself on Instagram, in a candid post

Candid: The X Factor winner recently opened up about her internal battle with her mental health and with giving a truthful representation of herself on Instagram, in a candid post

The former X Factor winner recently opened up about her internal battle with her mental health and with giving a truthful representation of herself on Instagram, in a candid post.  

And, as her discussion with MailOnline drifted from the pressure to look perfect to her thoughts social media illusions, Louisa admitted that she used to use photo-editing apps, but made a conscious decision to stop a year ago. 

She said: ‘You know what to be completely honest I think that we’re all guilty of doing that [using photo-editing apps].

‘We’re all guilty of wanting to lighten our hair or whitening our teeth or make ourselves look slimmer, prettier and smoother skin. I actually used to use it [a photo-editing app]’

‘And, I literally said to my friends about a year ago, “I just don’t want to be fake, I’m not going to use it any more. I don’t see the point, I don’t want to give my fans a fake impression of me,” and also I did it a lot for my little sister as well.

Self-enforced ban: Louisa admitted that she used to use photo-editing apps, but made a conscious decision to stop a year ago (pictured in March)

Self-enforced ban: Louisa admitted that she used to use photo-editing apps, but made a conscious decision to stop a year ago (pictured in March)

Real talk! 'And, I literally said to my friends about a year ago, "I just don't want to be fake, I'm not going to use it any more. I don't see the point",' explained Louisa

Real talk! ‘And, I literally said to my friends about a year ago, “I just don’t want to be fake, I’m not going to use it any more. I don’t see the point”,’ explained Louisa

‘She is growing up now, she’s in secondary school and she’s starting to live in this generation of Instagram and all that kind of stuff.

‘I just thought, “I don’t want to give her a fake impression of myself” and that’s one of the reasons why I put that post up the other day, because not everything is perfect.

‘And, I would never change my body completely because I actually quite like my body.’ 

Showing maturity beyond her years, Louisa mused: ‘We’re all going through our own struggles and if we just open up to that a little bit more then we don’t feel as lonely. 

‘But, I think everyone my age – I’m just talking from me and who I’m around – have used it [photo-editing apps] at some point, because you do feel like you have to be a certain way, you do.

‘And I am literally just the same as every single other girl in the entire world.’   

Truth: Showing maturity beyond her years, Louisa mused: 'We're all going through our own struggles and if we just open up to that a little bit more then we don't feel as lonely'

Truth: Showing maturity beyond her years, Louisa mused: ‘We’re all going through our own struggles and if we just open up to that a little bit more then we don’t feel as lonely’

Opening up further, the Tears songstress admitted that she doesn’t like to describe keeping her mental health in check as ‘coping’ but confessed that she does experience ‘moments when I feel like I’m never going to be okay.’

She told MailOnline: ‘To be honest I don’t actually use the word coping because I think it’s not actually a good thing to cope because coping is not enjoying life it’s just getting through each day, it’s pretty bad to live like that. 

‘When you’re struggling with those things whatever it is; anxiety, depression – I’ve literally felt it all – on those days I just think the best thing to do is keep your family close or keep whoever knows and understands you closest to you.

Opening up: Opening up further, the Tears songstress admitted that she doesn't like to describe keeping her mental health in check as 'coping' (pictured in 2015)

Opening up: Opening up further, the Tears songstress admitted that she doesn’t like to describe keeping her mental health in check as ‘coping’ (pictured in 2015)

‘I completely have those people around me and I think it’s important to find those people. I do get moments when I feel like I’m never going to be okay, but the minute you find those people, you feel better. 

‘I think the best thing to do is just listen to yourself, if you need a day, (or you need to be yourself for that day) do it, feel it don’t just brush it off and get up and struggle through the day and cry.

‘It’s really important to listen to your body and that’s what I’ve learnt, over the past year I’ve really listened to it and it does help.’ 

Candid: However, Louisa confessed that she does experience 'moments when I feel like I'm never going to be okay'

Candid: However, Louisa confessed that she does experience ‘moments when I feel like I’m never going to be okay’

The X Factor star also revealed that she’s been having therapy to help manage depression and anxiety, and when asked about the professional help she’s received, Louisa didn’t hesitate in detailing her experiences. 

She explained: ‘Yeah I have, I’ve had pretty much everything really, I’ve had like therapy, counselling, I’ve had counselling since I’ve been at school, and then the past few years I’ve just had therapy.

‘I think it’s important for everyone to have some kind of therapy. I think it’s important to talk and just explain how your feeling.

‘And when other people understand it and when other people relate that the best feeling because you feel like you not on your own.’ 

Taking control: The X Factor star also revealed that she's been having therapy to help manage depression and anxiety. didn't hesitate when it came to detailing her experiences

Taking control: The X Factor star also revealed that she’s been having therapy to help manage depression and anxiety. didn’t hesitate when it came to detailing her experiences

As a solo artist Louisa revealed that she does get lonely, but admitted that while the support of band members would be fantastic, she’s not sure her head-strong nature lends itself to being in a girl group.

She told MailOnline: ‘I’m quite an opinionated person so I don’t know how well I’d get on in any type of group.

‘It must be nice to have girls around you who understand exactly what you’re going through, because there are times when I do feel really alone. So it would be nice to have the support.’   

In her recent candid Instagram post, Louisa spoke of not being able to be her true self because she’s been told to be ‘this person and that person.’

Elaborating further, the X Factor winner admitted: ‘I think it was a lot of own thoughts, because I came into the industry so young. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  

‘I just think I felt like I had to be a perfect beauty queen pop-star because that’s all I would see when I was younger. 

Solo life: As a solo artist Louisa revealed that she does get lonely and admitted that having the support of band members would be fantastic, but she's 'too opinionated' to be in a girl group

Solo life: As a solo artist Louisa revealed that she does get lonely and admitted that having the support of band members would be fantastic, but she’s ‘too opinionated’ to be in a girl group

True self: In a recent Instagram post, Louisa spoke of not being able to be her true self because she's been told to be 'this person and that person', and elaborated further on her words

True self: In a recent Instagram post, Louisa spoke of not being able to be her true self because she’s been told to be ‘this person and that person’, and elaborated further on her words

‘All I saw when I was younger was ‘perfectness’ so I thought I had to be that way. And then I started to grow up and realise what life was actually about, it made me realise that I wanna share who I really am and share my opinions.

‘And, I’m not perfect. I like going to the pub with my friends and getting drunk. But you don’t really see people doing that. And I wanna be unapologetically myself.’ 

Now she’s comfortable showing fans who she truly is, Louisa also admitted that this translated into her choice of songs, too.

Last year she took a new direction in her music career, after moving to Ministry of Sound from Simon Cowell’s label Syco.

Doing her own thing: Now she's comfortable showing fans who she truly is, Louisa also admitted that this translated into her choice of songs, too

Doing her own thing: Now she’s comfortable showing fans who she truly is, Louisa also admitted that this translated into her choice of songs, too

She revealed: ‘There were songs that I didn’t love but I’ll do it because I wanna get to where I wanna get to, and then release my own music – which is what I’m about to do.

‘Now I’m older I realise I didn’t need to ‘play the game’ I should have just been myself from the start. But it was so hard, I was so young and I literally had no idea what I was doing.

‘So, now I’m a bit more clued up, I’m excited to release songs that really feel like a diary-entry almost, and for people to know me as just Louisa.’

For a good cause: Louisa is performing alongside Liam Payne and All Saints at Children with Cancer UK's fundraising event, SummerChime, in London's Chiswick House on 16th August

For a good cause: Louisa is performing alongside Liam Payne and All Saints at Children with Cancer UK’s fundraising event, SummerChime, in London’s Chiswick House on 16th August

Louisa is performing alongside Liam Payne and All Saints at Children with Cancer UK’s fundraising event, SummerChime, in London’s Chiswick House on 16th August.

Speaking about why she wanted to be on the line-up, the singer explained: ‘I’ve been working with the charity for about a year maybe just over a year now called spread a smile.

‘They really just opened my eyes to children suffering in different ways and with different illnesses to be honest and it just really made me want to do just literally anything I can to help those children because it’s just awful.

‘It’s awful enough for anyone at any age but when you are so young and you don’t really know that life, and can’t experience the things that your friends are getting to experience, it just really gets to me and breaks my heart.

‘So I just want to be able to do anything I can to support charities like that, especially with children.’

Starting out on X Factor, just fresh from school, Louisa enthused about performing on a small line-up alongside huge names – but never foresaw her success. 

‘You don’t really think about it when you start off, to be honest you’re just swept away with everything else. 

‘When you do the big events it doesn’t feel as intimate because everyone is there, like there’s so many people and it’s so crazy you just get swept away in the madness.

‘But when it’s just a small line up and the acts are so big it’s like wow, I’m actually next to these huge artists it’s really cool.’  

Humble: Starting out on X Factor, just fresh from school, Louisa enthused about performing on a small line-up alongside huge names - but never foresaw her success

Humble: Starting out on X Factor, just fresh from school, Louisa enthused about performing on a small line-up alongside huge names – but never foresaw her success

The event will host 3,000 music fans within beautiful walled gardens of London’s Chiswick House, where Louisa and All Saints will support Liam Payne’s headline set.

Taking place on 16 August, SummerChime is named in recognition of the celebratory moment every child with cancer looks forward to experiencing – the chiming of the end of treatment bell.

Tickets are on sale now, and all proceeds go to Children with Cancer UK – one of the UK’s biggest funders of childhood cancer research.  

Daily Mail UK

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