James Martin: Chef’s 3st weight loss after health scare – ‘heading towards heart attack’

James Martin explains why his Springer spaniel doesn't bark

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James Martin will appear on ITV today at 9:30am to host James Martin’s Saturday Morning, where the chef shares his favourite recipes with viewers, as well as with celebrity guests. James has a healthy frame, but his appearance has changed drastically over the years. How did he do it?

James’ weight loss journey began in 2006 when he competed on that year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

The show’s rigorous training regime meant he lost a whopping three stone in just six weeks.

This was thanks to the constant dancing, but also thanks to the changes James made to his diet.

The chef reportedly cut out unhealthy fats from his diet, even though he has since continued to cook with butter.

However, the dairy product is not the issue, James has unveiled in the past.

In an interview with The Herald in November 2021, the chef said: “It’s not the butter consumption.

“It’s the ready-made food, it’s the packet food, the hidden salt, hidden fat – that’s the problem in this country.

“It’s not the butter in a butter block, or butter you put on your toast.

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“It’s the fact that not as many people cook in the UK as they do in France or Italy or Spain.”

James, therefore, cooks with fat as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

But, back in 2006, few people knew that the chef’s weight loss changed his life.

At the time, the presenter told Mail Online that in 1996, when he was just 22 years old, he weighed a whopping 20 stone and had to have hospital treatment for heart problems.

He explained: “I was given tests which showed my cholesterol level was 6.9 – extremely high for a man of my age. My blood pressure was just as bad – the doctors said it was sky high.

“They were quite blunt about it. Because I was young, only 22, I didn’t have heart disease, but if I didn’t change my ways, and quickly, I was heading towards an early heart attack.”

James went on to say: “I had only myself to blame. I didn’t take any exercise, I worked too hard, and my diet was terrible – I would happily eat 18 pain au chocolats in one sitting.”

He added: “The doctors said I needed radically to change my lifestyle and have regular health checks.”

So, how did James begin to lose weight?

Before Strictly, which helped James reach his ideal weight, the chef shed the pounds while on holiday in Majorca.

“Funnily enough, what saved me was a cheap holiday in Majorca,” he explained.

“I hired a motorbike on my first day on the island, which pretty much blew most of my holiday budget.

“This meant I could afford to eat only one meal a day. So apart from not being able to over-indulge, I had to find things to do that didn’t involve money.

“I began walking and running. The weight flew off me so much that when I got back to the UK everyone thought I was a different person.”

The chef continued: “I’d lost two stone in Majorca, and felt so much better that I decided to try to keep my weight down.

“So, for the next two years I was as fit as a fiddle, with my weight fluctuating around the 15 stone mark.”

When James participated on Strictly, he weighed 17 stone at the beginning, but then his weight continued to drop.

James explained: “In the first week of the competition I lost a stone and within six weeks I’d lost three stone, which was phenomenal.”

Now, the chef continues to keep fit by taking his dog for countryside walks and, as for his diet, he keeps it balanced with plenty of vegetables and a limited amount of alcohol.

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