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 weight-loss star, Sharon Howard, lost nearly 3 stone, plus 10in off her waist. Here’s her inspirational story…

My dieting wake-up call

I love all aspects of food and sitting with family and friends chatting over a nice meal with a bottle of wine. I’ve always had issues with my weight – even as a child I’d turn to food for comfort. In 2010 I was told that if I didn’t take control of my life and health issues, I was likely to develop type 2 diabetes and a heart condition. I’d also been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver. In April 2013 I was hit by the realisation that I wasn’t in control of my health.

What worked for me
I started doing fitness classes in June 2013. My coach Lesley convinced me to do high intensity interval training (HiiT). To my surprise I quite enjoyed the classes and my stamina increased each week – as did my weight loss.
Diet-wise, portion control is important, so I now always weigh my food and I also use an online food diary. I do still eat cheese most days, but it’s a low-fat soft version that I have with pickle or Marmite for flavour. I’m very fortunate that my husband Nick and my friends have been very supportive. There have been holidays, a hen weekend, a wedding, various parties and meals out last year, but I’ve still lost weight! I also use a tape measure to monitor my progress; in total I’ve lost 41in from my body – 10in from my waist alone!


My new routine

My liver function has improved considerably and the confidence I’ve gained from losing weight is amazing. I enjoy exercise and miss it when I don’t do it. A couple of ladies have said I inspire and motivate them, which is a huge compliment.

Sharon attends classes held by Lesley Mitchell (

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