The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

Find out how our inspirational weight-loss star lost over four stone…

Mark’s diet problem

‘I lead an active life – fencing epee twice a week with a competition most weekends, dance classes twice a week, plus I walk around 5km per day. But as a freelance designer I spend long hours sitting at a computer, eating too much of the wrong kind of food at irregular times.

Last January, my weight started to affect my fencing performance, so I decided to lighten up before an important tournament in Singapore later in the year.’

weightloss-table-mark R

What worked for him

‘I know extreme diets don’t work, so instead I reduced my calorie intake to 2,000 a day and kept a food diary. My weight loss was slow at first.

I started each day with a bowl of Oat So Simple porridge, then I’d have a light lunch and snack on fruit instead of crisps and biscuits.

For supper, I’d eat a veggie ready meal with salad, or soup from Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference range, so I could see how many calories were in  a portion. I also weighed myself every Sunday before breakfast so I could monitor things more closely.

By the end of April I was down to 18st 9lb and making more holes in my belt. When my weight loss slowed down at 18st 6lb, I reduced my portion sizes a little and I started to lose around 2lb a week again. I’m still classed as moderately obese for my height on the BMI scale, but I’ve lost 25cm from my waist. I’ve had to buy a lot of new clothes, but have saved a fortune by buying less food!’

*Weight-loss results will vary and are down to your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose.