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How I walked my way to weight loss

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:31 03 March 2010

SOME people go on crazy crash diets, some people sweat it out in the gym while others pledge allegiance to a slimming club.

Whatever, they are seeking the secret of how to lose weight.

SOME people go on crazy crash diets, some people sweat it out in the gym while others pledge allegiance to a slimming club.

Whatever, they are seeking the secret of how to lose weight.

But one Felixstowe man who shed an astonishing 14 stone in a year took his own path to success.

JOANNE CONSTABLE spoke to superslim Stephen Allen about how he did it.

FOR many people losing weight and staying trim is a nightmare.

If you are rich and famous you can employ legions of personal trainers, fitness gurus and nutritional experts to keep you from the cream cakes and the chocolate.

But most people –especially those with more than the odd few pounds to lose – keep up their resolve with the help of ever popular slimming clubs.

Stephen Allen, who weighed a massive 27 stone last year, has managed to reinvent his looks all by himself and astonishingly with little expense.

So what is his secret? It's a luxury you can't buy – time.

As 6ft 3in Stephen is currently out of work he walks for more than five hours each day to keep fit.

And with his new 13 stone body he can pamper himself for much longer than the average woman can.

Stephen, who now wears 32-inch waist trousers for the first time since he was 16, lives life with as little expense as possible.

His fridge is not plugged in because he only eats what he buys on that day and instead of costly visits to the gym Stephen goes on 14-mile walks when and wherever he feels like it.

Stephen's inspiration for losing weight came from his sister, Tina Richards. She confronted her 36-year-old brother and told him that if he did not reduce his weight he would die from a heart attack.

At first Stephen refused to listen, but when his wife called him 'big, fat and ugly' and then later divorced him, he realised that he needed to change his life-style.

So on March 4, 2002, Stephen threw away £50 worth of the pizzas, cakes, biscuits and crisps he had stored in his cupboards and fridge.

He started a new exercise regime, which included swimming, walking and a special gym fitness programme, although he admitted he got off to a slow start because he had been too embarrassed to exercise in front of people.

A year later, Stephen no longer goes to the gym due to the expense and just walks.

He treks an average of 70 miles a week and tends to link this is with his pastime of hitch-hiking.

Stephen, who is tee-total and just drinks water, once hitch-hiked a lift to Leicester, walked 14 miles to Market Harborough, and then hitch-hiked another lift back to his home, in Brightwell Close, Felixstowe.

The father-of-three said he is living proof that to lose weight, slimmers do not need to go to diet clubs.

The vegetarian has gathered all of his nutritional knowledge from second-books from charity shops and has a very simple diet based on a high level of carbohydrates.

He also adds as many chillies as he can bear to his meals because chillies are thought to burn fat.

"I would like to re-write the book of convention. I have done this in a very unconventional way and it has worked. I have made it without the help of slimming clubs.

Stephen does not believe in slimming clubs and claims that they forget to advise their slimmers to exercise so that they can make more money.

He said the message was simple: "What you put in to your body you have to burn off in excess."

Weblinks

www.nutrition.org.uk

www.nutsoc.org.uk

www.anorexiabulimiacare.co.uk

www.vegsoc.org

www.halls.md/body-mass-index/bmi.htm

Stephen's average day of diet and exercise.

7.30am Breakfast

Six slices of bread, spread lightly with butter and a can of baked beans.

8.00am Exercise

Puts a CD in his hi-fi and dances vigorously to songs by his favourite 1980s pop-icon, Gary Numan.

9.00am Break

10.30am Exercise

Walks in to Felixstowe town centre from his home, near the docks.

1.00am Return home for lunch.

A plain bread baton or a sandwich.

5.00pm Dinner

A vegetarian home-made curry made with ten small green chillies and served with rice.

5.30pm Sets out for his evening walk.

10.00pm Return home to rub coolant on his feet.

Fastfacts: Obesity.

Over 30,000 deaths a year are caused by obesity in England.

Over 50% of people in Britain are overweight, 19% of those are obese.

Obesity tends to be more common among people aged 40-60 years and those from lower income groups.

For the first time, the number of overweight men in the UK now exceeds the number of overweight women.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to calculate whether someone is overweight. This can be calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres and then dividing the result by your height in metres again.

A BMI of 18.5 means you are underweight, 18.5-24.9 = normal weight, 25-29.9 = overweight and 30 or greater = obesity.

Actress Liz Hurley has said it "killed" her to shed the pounds after giving birth to her son Damian.

On her efforts to regain her figure, Hurley said: "I have killed myself to try and shed the pounds — all 53 of them.'

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