Couple acheive 17th weight loss after ditching bad eating habits

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Jo Beveridge and John Durkin overhauled their lifestyle and saw an incredible 17th weight loss.  (Slimming World/SWNS)

Jo Beveridge and John Durkin overhauled their lifestyle and saw an incredible 17th weight loss. (Slimming World/SWNS)

A couple who weighed almost 40st between them look unrecognizable after seeing an incredible 17st (108kg) weight loss between them, almost half their body weight.

Jo Beveridge, 50, an accounts executive and John Durkin, 52, a warehouse manager from Burnley, Lancashire saw the pounds creep on during lockdown after treating themselves to takeaways as they became “all they had to look forward to”.

But indulging in the fatty food had an impact on their size, with Durkin seeing his top weight of 21st 8lbs (136kg) while Beveridge reached 17st 6lbs (110kg).

Unhappy with how they looked, the couple decided to ditch the junk food and daily meal deals for healthy home-cooked, low-calorie options, with some pretty impressive results.

Beveridge lost an incredible 6st 6lbs (41kg) and dropped five dress sizes, while partner Durkin lost 10st 11lbs (68kg).

“I’d been unhappy with my weight ever since our first son, Alex, was born,” Beveridge explains. “When Liam arrived a few years later, it became even more difficult to find time to eat healthily.

“I’d try to lose weight before a big event or holiday, but it would be a quick fix and I always ended up going back where I started as soon as I started eating ‘normally’ again.”

Read more: My weight loss journey took me from obesity to anorexia – but now I’m fit and strong – Yahoo Life UK, 7-min read

Jo Beveridge before her weight loss.  (Slimming World/SWNS)

Jo Beveridge before her weight loss. (Slimming World/SWNS)

Beveridge says the couple sought comfort in food during lockdown while away from their families and friends.

“Sometimes having a takeaway or indulgent meal was all we had to look forward to,” she explained.

“It meant we developed some quite unhealthy habits which were then hard to shake even when we came out of lockdown.”

The couple joined Slimming World in September 2021 and completely overhauled their diet, swapping supermarket meal deals and high calorie beer and wine with a takeaway for freshly prepared salads and low calorie meals made from scratch.

Read more: Woman uses her annual leave to kickstart 6st weight loss – Yahoo Life UK, 3-min read

At his heaviest, John Durkin weighed 21st 8lbs (136kg).  (Slimming World/SWNS)

At his heaviest, John Durkin weighed 21st 8lbs (136kg). (Slimming World/SWNS)

When they drink, they now have spirits with a low-calorie mixer and alternate alcohol with zero calorie soft drinks.

“Our pre-lockdown weekends would often involve a trip to the pub with a takeaway after, so we were a bit worried that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy that aspect of our lives anymore,” Beveridge explains.

“However with a few simple swaps we realized we didn’t have to miss out.”

Watch: A £40m pilot scheme launched to increase access to weight-loss drugs and cut NHS waiting lists

The pair also kicked started a new fitness routine, which included regular running, and Durkin managed to complete a marathon earlier this year.

“I properly caught the running bug once the weight started coming off,” the grandad explains. “It felt so much easier, and my recovery time was much faster.

“The eating plan is no nonsense, common-sense eating – a world away from the crash diets we’ve done in the past

“It’s changed the way we think about food. We plan our meals now and eat three balanced meals a day which helps us to stay on track.”

Read more: Dad details surgery-free 21st weight loss journey: ‘I knew I had it in me to do it naturally’Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read

Jo Beveridge and John Durkin after their weight loss.  (Slimming World/SWNS)

Jo Beveridge and John Durkin after their weight loss. (Slimming World/SWNS)

The couple say batch cooking has also contributed to their healthy regime.

“We often batch cook too, so if we don’t fancy cooking or don’t have time, there’s usually something in the freezer,” Durkin adds.

Unsurprisingly, after shedding almost half their body weight between them, they have now been crowned “couple of the year” by Slimming World.

“I was a bit nervous at the thought of joining and wasn’t really sure what to expect,” Durkin said of the moment they joined.

“I’m worried I might be the only man there or that I’d be judged for being the biggest in the room. It wasn’t like that at all though.

“After a few weeks, we really started to understand who we were slimmers. Once we’d nailed that, everything fell into place.”

The couple lost 17th between them, almost half their body weight.  (Slimming World/SWNS)

The couple lost 17th between them, almost half their body weight. (Slimming World/SWNS)

The couple’s diet before:

Breakfast: Toast/fast food breakfast or no breakfast at all

Lunch: Supermarket meal deals such as a sandwich, crisps and a drink

Dinner: Jar of ready-made sauce with chicken or crusty bread sandwiches with crisps and a chocolate bar

Snacks: Crisps, chocolate, biscuits or a cake

Diet now:

Breakfast: Cereal and skimmed milk or a cereal bar

Mid-morning: Fresh fruit

Lunch: Tuna and rice salad or jacket potato and baked beans

Dinner: A meal from one of Slimming World’s recipe books eg chicken tikka masala with home-made onion bhajis

Evening: A Slimming World Hi-Fi bar or a flavored fat-free yogurt

Additional reporting SWNS.