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Shape Up: I used to feel like a slug. Now I'm full of energy; POP STAR BRYAN McFADDEN ON HOW HE GOT HIS LIFE BACK BY SHEDDING TWO STONE.

Byline: LAUREN LIBBERT

IF you're dying to lose weight this summer and are desperate for inspiration, just take a look at celebrity super-slimmers Kerry and Bryan McFadden.

The pair have shed pounds recently in a bid to become healthier after Bryan consulted famous health guru Dr Gillian McKeith and was told to "diet or die young".

Twenty-four-year-old Bryan - once the tubbiest band member of Westlife - lost an incredible two stone in just four months after being told by Dr McKeith that his boozing and bingeing meant he was heading straight for a heart attack.

In fact her very first words to the idol who once set a million girls' hearts racing were: "You look rather bloated and dumpy for a popstar."

"Gillian gave me a wake-up call," he explains. "I had got into the habit of scoffing junk food and boozing too much. It's no good asking me what I was drinking - it's a case of what I wasn't drinking. The answer is definitely too much."

Dr McKeith, the no-nonsense star of Channel 4's makeover show You Are What You Eat, told the Irish father-of-two to cut out the booze and abandon his diet of takeaways.

"People often try to excuse being fat by saying they have big bones or a thyroid problem," the presenter says.

"In the majority of cases, they don't. They are fat and unhealthy because they eat crap, booze too much and don't exercise. Bryan was no exception."

"But alcohol was by far his worst vice. And when he wasn't boozing he and Kerry were guzzling fizzy drinks which leave you full of gas and unable to digest food properly."

Thanks to Dr McKeith's hard-hitting advice, Bryan hasn't touched a drop of alcohol for two months and swears he won't ever drink again.

"Since leaving Westlife, I've had a lot of free time," he explains. "It seemed like every day was an opportunity to go out and have a drink. So before it turned into something that I couldn't turn back from, I stopped."

The pounds melted away the moment he quit the booze but what made him even happier was the resulting surge in energy. After all, as a father of Molly, two, and 18 month-old Lily, he needs every scrap he can get.

He said: "I was fed up with waking and feeling like a slug. I had no energy and felt tired all the time. Gillian told me it was a basic lack of vitamins and minerals because of the rubbish I was eating and drinking.

"I'm enjoying things much more now that I'm sober. I have more energy and feel a lot healthier."

He and I'm A Celeb star wife Kerry, 23, have also changed their diet completely and ditched the burgers and chips. "I was eating slops before - pigging out on fry-ups, fast food, booze and not touching fruit or veg," explains Bryan.

"I quit chips, white bread, fried foods and replaced them with grilled meat, fruit, porridge, brown bread, green vegetables and loads of water."

In fact, if you pop into the McFaddens' Dublin home nowadays you're likely to be offered nothing stronger than a cup of herbal tea.

"Gillian told me to quit eating meat with pasta or potatoes as it plays havoc with the digestion, so I have green veg instead and drink nettle tea which helps cleanse the liver,' says Bryan.

And Dr McKeith has also passed on plenty of advice to Kerry: "Looking at Kerry's tongue - a key sign of your state of health - revealed she had a stomach weakness and a vitamin B deficiency - both of which slow down your metabolism and can lead to weight gain.

"She now takes a vitamin supplement which has helped reduce bloating and improved her digestion, plus she says her skin's much clearer."

Another vital part of Dr McKeith's approach to weight loss and healthy eating is to check out her clients' bowel deposits.

"It's amazing how much poo tells you about a person's state of health and their diet," she says.

"I won't go into too much detail, but what I can say is that Bryan's are much improved!"

Exercise has also played a huge part in Bryan's weight loss. As Dr McKeith says: "I'm increasingly meeting people in their 20s who have less stamina and fitness than people in their forties."

Bryan's answer was to introduce two hours of pumping iron to his daily routine and to start playing footie twice a week.

As for his football fitness, Bryan's very chuffed with himself. "I feel as good at the end of the game as I did at the start," he says. "I feel sharper than I've done for the last five years and I'm full of energy - for everything. Kerry is certainly not complaining about that!"

And from the way you're looking now, Bryan, we don't blame her.How they did it

Here's the advice Dr Gillian McKeith gave Kerry and Bryan

EAT EARLY

Late-night eating is a recipe for weight gain because the body stores more food during sleep. Eat the last meal of the day at least a couple of hours before bedtime.

DRINK 8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Also nettle tea is a great weight-loss aid as it supports metabolism and has diuretic properties.

DON'T SKIP MEALS AND ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST

Your stomach and spleen are at their strongest in the morning. If you want to raise your metabolism, you have to eat then.

DON'T GO ON FAD DIETS

Dieting slows down your metabolism. Your fat cells bloat, become toxic and store more fat. Instead, eat more than before but choose the right foods.

SWITCH WHITE FOR BROWN

Including rice, bread and pasta.

ALWAYS EAT FRUIT BEFORE A MEAL

Ideally at least 30 minutes before. Fruit digests faster than any other food groups.

BURN THAT FAT

Exercise raises the metabolic rate so calories are used up faster. To get started, simply start walking.

GET YOUR METABOLISM GOING

First thing in the morning, drink a cup of warm water with a squeeze of lemon.

TAKE A GOOD MULTI-VITAMIN

All overweight people are deficient in major nutrients.

Extracted from You Are What You Eat by Dr Gillian McKeith, published by Michael Joseph at pounds 12.99. Copyright Celador Productions Ltd 2004. All rights reserved. To buy a copy call Mirror Direct on 0870 0703 2000.

CAPTION(S):

CHUNKY: Kerry and Bryan before the diet; FROM SLUG TO STUD: Kerry and Bryan are enjoying a more energetic love life these days
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 12, 2004
Words:1091
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