A dad-of-four who used to eat five bags of crisps a day and weighed 31.5 stone has lost a staggering 10 stone in just six months.
Matthew Howe, 41, from Sheffield, believes his weight loss helped him beat coronavirus after he tested positive in January.
Howe would often have two large breakfast butties in the morning and order a takeaway after eating his dinner at night.
He could also easily eat two 200g bars of chocolate a day, washed down with a two litre bottle of Coca Cola, and would eat bigger meal portions than the rest of the family.
Having seen his weight balloon over the years, in September 2020 the dad decided to ditch fatty foods and sugary drinks, and walk his pet puppy, Boris, every day.
Watch: Simple steps to a healthier life
Before long the weight started to drop off.
Six foot two Matthew now weighs 21st 3lb and has gone from a 6XL shirt to a XXL and from a 54 inch waist to 40inch.
“I feel like a different person,” Howe explains. “I look in the mirror and I can feel a massive difference.
“My family can see such a big difference, they’re all proud of me. My children have got their dad back in a way.
“I’ve always been a massive family man, but if we went to the park or anywhere, we’d drive. Now we’re walking everywhere and it’s brilliant.”
Howe’s weight began to creep up over the last seven years, but he ignored his family’s pleas for him to address the issue.
The message finally hit home in September and he totally changed his lifestyle overnight.
“We’re a close family and they were concerned about me, but I never did anything about it,” Howe explains.
“When I weighed myself and realised I was 31 stone 8lb, I thought I have to do something about it or I wouldn’t see my kids grow up.”
Watch: The easiest ways to keep off belly fat
After allowing himself “one last blowout” on 15 September, Howe has not had a takeaway since and has cut his portion sizes down.
Now he is walking up to 10 miles every day with the family cockapoo, averaging between 60 and 70 miles per week.
“I’m not following a diet or anything, it’s just common sense,” Howe continues. “Eat less, exercise more and you’ll lose weight.”
Now instead of stopping off for a butty after the school run, Howe says he goes for a walk with his dog.
“I would struggle to walk 500 yards last year, it was killing me,” the dad explains.
“I’ve got an iWatch and I track my walks on it. It’s a totally different lifestyle.”
Howe says his diet is also completely different now.
“I eat fresh produce all the time,” he says. “I snack on fresh fruit instead of chocolate and crisps.
“I’ve started letting myself eat a bag of crisps now and again, but before it was five packs a day.
“I’ve also stopped drinking coke, I let myself have a can of Pepsi Max once a week – that’s my treat after weighing myself.”
Howe says his new lifestyle has also improved his quality of life. In January he tested positive for COVID and believes his weight loss helped him beat the virus.
“If I’d have been at my biggest, I might not have been here,” he recalls. “It was terrible for a few days but then I was on the mend and felt fine.
“I think it could have been a different story if I was the size I used to be.”
Howe has been tracking his weight every week and said he cried when he reached ten stone loss.
He now aims to shed another four stone to hit his target weight of 17 stone.
“I feel so much better now,” he adds. “I’ll go for a walk around the reservoir and people will stop me to say I look great and I’m not walking anymore, I’m floating.”
Matthew’s daily food diary:
BREAKFAST – Two slices of toast at home, two large breakfast sandwiches from a cafe after the school run
LUNCH – A sandwich or a chippy meal
DINNER – Spaghetti Bolognese with the family, a donner kebab, cheesy chips and onion rings later
SNACKS – Chocolate, five bags of crisps.
BREAKFAST – Overnight oats with frozen fruit and a banana
LUNCH – Homemade soup
DINNER – Chicken and vegetables
SNACKS – Fruit
Additional reporting SWNS.
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