Greg Wallace gave older male celebs food for thought this week by revealing an abs-olutely amazing body transformation.
The Masterchef host, 54, went from bulky to beefcake after hitting the gym to shed three stone, getting down to 13.
Other celebrity foodies in their 50s who have rolled back the years to defy their middle-aged spread include Gordon Ramsay and Hairy Biker Dave Myers.
And they are joined by a range of other celebs who have used very different techniques to get their results. Here, we round up some of the most striking examples – and reveal how they did it.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if larger-than-life MP Boris Johnson will keep shrinking…
Ricky Gervais, 57
How did he do it? Jogging
In 2011, the comedian managed to shed 20lb by taking up running. He said a decade of eating and drinking red wine had finally caught up with him – and he admitted to a “severe sausage habit”.
He said: “I was thin growing up until I turned 30, and those were my eating years, and at 40 I remember one Christmas I ate 11 sausages and I was saying, ‘I’m having a heart attack’.”
But over the years the weight crept back on, until he and partner Jane Fallon made a pact to lose 40lb between them by taking up jogging.
In 2017, he looked as svelte as in his 20s at the premiere of his film David Brent: Life on the Road.
Tom Watson, 52
How did he do it? Eating less sugar.
Tom Watson is a political heavyweight who has managed to shed the pounds.
Tom was 22st but decided to overhaul his life by cutting out all the refined sugar and carbs, walking up the stairs in his office, getting in more steps per day and riding his bike.
The end result was a seven-stone loss, down to 15st and reversing his type 2 diabetes last year. Tom used tricks like “bulletproof coffee” – putting butter in your morning brew to help you fast longer.
He said: “I started to feel really good quite quickly. My sleep improved after about a week-and-a-half. I’m liberated. I don’t get tired, I don’t get the ‘brain fog’ when your mental acuity is deadened a bit.”
Huw Edwards, 57
How did he do it? Boxing
The news anchor was branded a “stone-cold fox” after be debuted a new chiselled jawline last year while covering the royal wedding.
He went from 16st to 13st and his new look made him an unlikely sex symbol with BBC viewers. He even treated his fanbase to a cheeky topless snap in the gym after a boxing workout, to which he credits his weight loss.
He’s been labelled a “bona fide sex symbol” after his transformation.
But Huw told of a long struggle to fitness, saying: “I’ve always battled with my weight, until I found boxing. Now I do three sessions a week and feel great.”
Timothy Spall, 61
How did he do it? Exercise and diet.
The actor said last year his success was down to “lots of walking and watching what I put in my gob”.
He also avoids alcohol, is careful about calories, sugar and fried food, and drinks Diet Coke. And it’s worked – although he’s reluctant to name an exact figure, he’s shed around four stone.
Timothy now has the same waist and chest measurements he had at 23. He said: “It’s the scoff-less diet. Simple science says that if you eat more than you burn, you put on weight. If you eat less, it comes off. But keeping it off isn’t easy. You have to be vigilant. Sticking with it is a massive pain in the arse but the benefits far outweigh the arseache.”
Dave Myers, 61
How did he do it? Cutting out carbs.
Hairy Biker Dave decided to lose weight with co-star Si King when they tipped the scales at 19 and 20 stone.
As younger party animals, they even had a signature dance move which they coined “walruses mating”. But when their shadows began to look more like “walnut whips” they decided to lose weight.
Dave shed four stone from his 6ft frame by calorie counting and cutting carbs. He said: “I am not morbidly obese now. I might feel like Adonis if I get to 14st.”
Dave doesn’t steer completely clear of booze because of his foodie background.
Si also dropped from 20st to just over 16st. The pair are now off statins and blood pressure medication.
Gregg Wallace, 54
How did he do it? Hitting the weights.
Gregg has been slowly sloughing the excess fat for a while now, but caught fans’ attention this week by posting a six-pack selfie on Instagram to celebrate nudging under the 13st mark.
The MasterChef star started out at 16-and-a-half stone before transforming his body by pumping iron. He lost weight by eating healthier versions of his favourite hearty meals like curries, stews and chilli.
He can now squat with 130kg of weight – about 20 stone – and bench press 105kg.
After bingeing on high fat and sugar foods and alcohol, Gregg says the biggest change is how he feels about himself. “It has been a gradual lifestyle change. I now feel fit and strong because of it.”
Boris Johnson, 54
How did he do it? A ban on alcohol, chorizo and cheese.
The former Foreign Secretary admitted last month to “carting around 16 and a half stone”.
But by giving up late-night chorizo and cheese binges he lost 12lb in two weeks.
He’s also sworn off alcohol, claiming to be “guzzling water” when he goes to parties.
Describing his diet, Boris wrote: “I breakfast like some Georgian hermit on porridge with a luxury sprinkling of nuts.”
He even compared his weight loss with Brexit , saying: “We know that we have to get ready — to be lighter on our feet and more agile, if we are to take advantage of all the freedoms we will gain: the freedom to innovate, the freedom to regulate in the interests of UK firms, the freedom to open up new markets around the world to British goods and services.”
His weight loss has also coincided with him dating former Tory aide Carrie Symonds, 30
Gordon Ramsay, 52
How did he do it? Five meals a day instead of three.
Gordon once weighed just over 19st – but he has lost 50lb from his heaviest and doesn’t shy away from showing his triathlon-toned physique on social media.
The sharp-tongued TV chef transformed his body by training and competing in gruelling sporting events like marathons.
But he’s also changed his eating habits, having five smaller meals a day instead of three big ones.
Gordon revealed he wanted to set an example for his children after his dad died aged just 53.
He showed his transformation on his Instagram account @gordongram last summer, posting a very tanned and toned picture which attracted thousands of likes and comments.
One admirer wrote: “My unconventional old man crush.”
Get back in the gym, Wales legend says
By Elly Blake
Rugby legend Jonathan Davies OBE is urging over-55s to stay active – despite one in 10 of them claiming fear of injury keeps them from the gym.
The Wales star, 56, said it is important to keep fit in later life even though it becomes more of a challenge.
He said: “As you get older, it does get harder. You sometimes think the easiest option is not doing anything, but if you want to maintain a quality of life you’ve got to put some effort in.
“When you get to 55 and over it’s all about setting small goals and just keeping going. I enjoy exercising because it gets my endorphins flowing and it makes me feel better. If I don’t do exercise for a couple of days I feel lethargic, but exercise stimulates my body and brain.”
Jonathan, left, has teamed up with Nuffield Heath to encourage exercise in the over-55s. He had a hip replacement a few years ago and has modified his fitness routine with age.
Instead of running, he now follows a cardio and weights regime followed by stretching, as well as playing golf and enjoying walks along the coast.
He said: “I’m a firm believer in healthy body, healthy mind. I’ve got a balanced lifestyle – I do like my beer and enjoy socialising in good restaurants, but you do have to compensate by putting some effort in at the gym. Everything in moderation. It’s all about balance and trying to keep everything equal – intake of food, drink and exercise, and trying to keep the balance as normal as you possibly can”.
For those daunted by a return to the gym after a long break, he recommends research. He said: “Get some information, because the biggest thing is the worry about what you’re going to do in the gym. Do some research about what equipment you’re going to use.
“Don’t be embarrassed because a lot of people start in similar circumstances, they haven’t exercised for a while.
“But once you familiarise yourself you’ll fit in and start to enjoy it.”
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