Matt Lucas speaks to Brian May about his weight loss

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Leon McInnes, 45, is a prison worker from the Isle of Wight who decided to change his life completely during lockdown, including his physical appearance. But how did he manage to lose so much weight?

Leon explained that his journey started when he joined Slimming World earlier this year.

By then, he was weighing over 18 stone and feeling unhappy about his unhealthy lifestyle.

“I’d been struggling to even climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, I felt I was sweating profusely all the time and suffered with aches and pains in all my joints.

“I took a long hard look at myself, and I knew I needed to do something,” Leon explained.

Slimming World is a health organisation that supports members to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle when they reach their target.

“Before joining, I would think nothing of polishing off a half a box of cereal and if there were spare bits and pieces left in a few boxes, I would chuck it all in the same bowl and mix it up.

“Dinner was always ready meals, pot noodles and takeaways like pizza or Chinese and if I was eating out, I would always size up to make the meals bigger,” Leon admitted.

“I now plan my meals.

“I now prepare healthier meals and I’ve got back into cooking using recipes from the Slimming World books, especially seafood and pasta dishes.

“I still enjoy my breakfast cereal however I measure it out and enjoy it with semi-skimmed milk rather than full fat.”

He continued: “Looking back, it’s crystal clear to me now that the lifestyle I chose before joining Slimming World was the result of my mood at the time.

“I had some life-changing events consisting of serious illness and a death in the family.

“A sudden change in job and having to move away from home resulted in me suffering from mental health worries and I started to take anti-depressants. I’d lost interest in looking after myself properly and was using food as a comfort.

“I wasn’t active at all before joining Slimming World and now I walk for at least 40 minutes each day,” he explained.

“My breathing is better, and my aches and pains have gone.

“I’m so proud of how I’ve turned my life around. I feel stronger and healthier than ever.”

What a daily meal plan looks like for Leon:

Breakfast: Cereal measured out at 40g, with semi-skimmed milk and fruit

Lunch: Healthy chicken curry or Diet Coke chicken with plain boiled rice or salad (no dressing). Or ham, chicken or turkey slices with salads and vegetables appropriately

Dinner: Healthy homecooked meals with flavoured rice, salads and vegetables. For dessert, low fat Greek yoghurt with fruit

Snacks: Fruit, or carrot or celery sticks with the occasional low-fat dip or low-fat yoghurt

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