Men battle the bulge and hope it will inspire others

The male slimmers in Gosport who have lost more than 117 stones between them. Picture: Snowden Photography
The male slimmers in Gosport who have lost more than 117 stones between them. Picture: Snowden Photography
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They’ve lost more than 117 stones between them so they’ve certainly got plenty to cheer about.

Now these men are hoping to inspire other gents to beat their own battles with the bulge.

Obesity affects more men in the UK than it does women. Yet females significantly outnumber males at slimming clubs and a new report suggests more than half have never been on a diet.

These men – all Slimming World members from across our area – joined groups to lose weight and have lost varying amounts over the past few years.

Among those celebrating are Simon Kettle, pictured far left in the front row, and Paul Harvey, second from the right in the front row.

Simon, a 45-year-old taxi driver from Gosport, shed an incredible nine stones two pounds in just six months while Paul, also 45 and from Gosport, has lost 10 and a half stones since he went on a diet.

Now the men have got together to urge others worried about their weight to join a club to start losing pounds.

‘I’m not that fat guy any more,’ says Simon. ‘My get up and go had gone. Now my get up and go is here – and I’m not letting it go.’

Today marks the start of Men’s Health Week and one slimming group says obesity is a problem affecting many men.

Jane Hall, who manages 28 local groups, explains: ‘Government figures show that two out of three men are overweight or obese, yet latest research by Slimming World shows that 59 per cent have never been on a diet.’

She adds: ‘Lots of men mistakenly think that slimming clubs are just for women but we want to bust that myth.

‘When men do come along, research shows they lose weight even faster than women – one of the men in the Locks Heath group has lost seven stones in only eight months.

‘Another man in our new group in Gosport has already lost one stone and seven pounds in just eight weeks.’

Slimming World members are being encouraged to take the men in their lives along to sessions and will be rewarded by getting a free week’s attendance for every man they bring.

‘If they bring a whole football team along they won’t have to pay for 11 weeks,’ says Jane. ‘Being overweight is a risk factor for so many health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer as well as other illnesses.’

There are more overweight men than women in the UK – with 65 per cent of men classed as overweight, compared to 56 per cent of women.

‘We’ve got some great plans for Men’s Health Week,’ says Jane. ‘Lots of men believe that losing weight means having to go hungry or cut out all their favourite foods, so we’ve got some delicious, hearty, food tasting planned for the event to show them that this is far from the case.

‘To lose weight without ever going hungry is every man’s dream and it’s what’s helped hundreds of members in our area.’