Britain's weight loss success stories: 'I shed 10 stone - the first 16lb fell off within a week of changing my diet'

Britain's weight loss success stories: 'I shed 10 stone - the first 16lb fell off within a week of changing my diet'

Mark discusses the benefits of eating vegetables for weight loss

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 01/05/2024

- 09:17

Updated: 29/05/2024

- 13:44

GB News is shedding light on the inspiring transformations of Britons and the diets that helped them achieve results. One slimmer has shared the lifestyle interventions that supported his transformation after he walked through the doors of his local Slimming World Group

Weight loss is a mission millions of people embark on daily, but a huge number of dieters regain everything within a matter of years.

Dissatisfaction with weight is widespread, yet there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fat loss. To find out more about the approaches that have worked for successful slimmers, GB News reached out to Mark Marsden, a 31-year-old from Sheffield who set out to transform his body after noticing that his weight was holding him back.

Mark lost nine stone after his weight started affecting various aspects of his life - triggering a back injury that left him unable to walk for several months.

He claims he was a ‘big lad’ since the age of about nine years, and was always self-conscious of his size and the inconveniences it entailed.


Mark changed his drinking patterns and cut out takeaways to lose weight


As Mark got older, the excess fat slowed him down and caused pain in his feet, legs and back. He struggled to get up on time in the morning because everything began to feel like an uphill struggle.

Bedridden and dependent on his family, the penny finally dropped. Mark knew it was time to take action when, at a funfair one day, the safety bar of the ride wouldn't close, forcing him to get off.

“There are so many different reasons for losing weight in general for anybody, but for me [it was] really low self-confidence,” Mark told us.

“I never liked how I looked and was always uncomfortable in clothes.”

Mark soon realised where his excess calories were coming from and noticed he was making the unhealthiest decisions when he was hungry and in a rush.

With a few lifestyle changes, the slimmer managed to shed 1st 2lb in his first week. He began by trading takeaways for homemade meals.

Takeaways: A culprit in weight gain?

Although the relationship between eating takeaways and weight gain isn’t as clear-cut as one may expect, it is widely known that restaurants lather food in butter and salt.

Doctor Amanda Avery, Slimming World’s Health and Research Consultant Dietitian, said: “Of course, there are different types of takeaways, [but] the majority are typically less healthy than comparable foods cooked in the home.

“Takeaways tend to have a higher energy density with a higher fat, salt and sugar content. Fat has the highest energy density of all the macronutrients.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean takeaways should be totally omitted from the diet when trying to lose weight.

“A good tip is often to steer clear of dishes with creamy sauces or noodles that can be coated in lots of oil and butter," explained Doctor Avery.

“Tomato-based meals and plain, boiled rice, or kebabs with salad can be some healthier options to enjoy without feeling you’re missing out when everyone else is tucking in.

“We know that consumption of takeaways and meals delivered to the home has increased significantly in the past 20 years while the time spent cooking food at home has substantially reduced.”

The key message is that takeaways are generally associated with a higher BMI while in contrast, eating home-cooked meals has been shown to improve the overall diet quality and reduce levels of excess body fat.

Mark's top lifestyle changes:

Having led a sedentary life for many years, Mark rejected the idea of changing his daily routine.

"Never in a million years saw myself in a gym or saw myself just going out for a walk to get in a bit of exercise," he said.

But over time, the slimmer increased his step count and swapped out sugar-laden treats for healthier foods like vegetables and fruit.

“The biggest thing that changed was drinking sugar drinks," he said. "I just drink sugar-free drinks.

“I drink a lot of water now instead, and [...] I don’t have as much chocolate and cheesecake now.”

The results arrived quickly for Mark, as he lost 1st 2lb in his first week. To the delight of his family, this fuelled his motivation and encouraged him to become a proactive father.

"I eat a lot more vegetables now, at least two meals a day," Mark added. "It fills you up and it fills up your plate as well. I don’t know anyone who’s put weight on eating vegetables."

Doctor Avery explained that when we consider a healthy diet, vegetables and fruits naturally have high water content and can help the body stay hydrated.

“It is also key to consider that sometimes we may mistake hunger for thirst and it’s important to reflect if we’re thirsty rather than hungry," she said.

She went on: "Vegetables generally have a low energy density and a high satiety value, which means there are fewer calories in a large amount of food so it will fill you up and you won’t feel hungry.



The dad managed to shed nine stone after committing to his new lifestyle


Mark Marsden sitting on a bike

Mark noticed that his weight was holding him back


“When cooked without oil or fat, vegetables whether they’re fresh, frozen or canned or picked in vinegar, can fill you up and are an important part of a healthy diet.”

Mark's results

“The most amount of weight that I lost while doing the Slimming World plan was 10 stone three," Mark shared. "That’s when I got down to the target that I thought I wanted to be."

Alongside dietary and exercise changes, Mark stressed the importance of accountability in his weight loss journey, highlighting how he attended a weekly group meeting to maintain focus and control.

These lifestyle changes paved the way for further improvements in the slimmer's life; he eventually opened his own cafe and fulfilled a lifelong dream to become a DJ and singer.

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