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Losing Weight: Six Months To Save A Life (Part 2) - Tonight

Steve, Gemma and Richard attempt to lose weight and save their lives in six months. Photo: ITV / Tonight

It’s the second instalment of Tonight’s Losing Weight: Six Months to Save a Life and we found out if Steve, Gemma and Richard manage to reverse a lifetime of eating a bad diet and not exercising and reverse their health in just six months.

The trio have been monitored by a specialist team at Leeds Beckett University - Carol a dietician, James a psychologist and Paul, who is a professor of exercise.

Credit: ITV / Tonight

Steve, 61
Starting weight: 20 stone 10 pounds

Steve lives at home in Chester-le-Street with his wife, Stella and son, Harry. Steve’s health came to crisis point just a few months ago when he suffered a huge stroke.

That was as close as they've seen me to not coming back home. And I felt that, and I felt it massively.

– Steve

Steve, who has type 2 diabetes, admits that he has ignored doctors warnings about the condition of his health for 20 years.

With a love of kebabs - eating around 2-3 calorie packed takeaways with his family a week - Steve overall, has a poor diet and a lifetime of bad habits. Will he able to take on the challenge, change his health and ultimately save his life?

Credit: ITV / Tonight

Gemma, 30
Starting weight: 22 stone

Taxi driver, Gemma lives in Warrington with her husband, Mike. Her job often means she’s eating at odd times and she can find herself pulling up to a drive-through.

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago, she takes metformin which helps to lower blood sugar levels and also helps with fertility - as Gemma and Mike are desperate to become parents.

Gemma has been told to lose weight in order to qualify for fertility treatment.

It's just a horrible, horrible feeling. To know that you're the reason that you can’t make you, your husband a dad.

– Gemma

With Gemma having strong motivation for wanting to lose weight and improve her health, will her journey be plain sailing or will she hit bumps in the road?

Credit: ITV / Tonight

Richard, 29
Starting weight: 18 stone, 11 pounds

Call centre worker and self confessed ‘weekend offender’ is Richard, who lives at home with his step-dad and mum, Kath.

Richard, like many across the UK, is a typical yo-yo dieter with nights out drinking not helping with his weight loss. But that’s not the only reason for Richard’s current weight.

I am such a secret eater, I’ll go down to the cupboard to get something to eat like a packet of crisps, I’ll have some biscuits with it. Oh there's some fizzy pop, and I wouldn't ever behave like that in front of other people so it is a secret eat.

– Richard

He felt like giving up entirely - with his dedication to his new way of life in the balance, will he find a new lease of life after having an inspirational talk with Steve, who vows he doesn’t want to see Richard in the same condition he has got himself in after ignoring doctors for 20 years.

It’s really common to quit a diet, Richard, is one of those, that is constantly on this churn of a diet, new diet after new diet, after new diet. And fundamentally, what we see, is that there is much more to it, than just what people eat and shaping their diet to losing weight.

– Professor Paul Gately, Leeds Beckett University

Steve loves swimming. But his weight held him back. He had not stepped foot in a pool for over 10 years. Paul takes him for an emotional first swim.

You have no idea how good that made me feel. Paul was so supportive what was unbelievable, He’s done me a massive favour getting me through those doors and introduced us to swimming again...because I loved it.

– Steve
Credit: ITV / Tonight

Steve, 61, after the six months is up has lost 7.5% of his total bodyweight with a 22 pound loss and with his type two diabetes playing a huge part in his ill-health has seen a 55% improvement to his blood sugar levels and received some hopeful news from Professor Paul Gately in terms of his future health.

I didn’t realise for somebody my age, my size that type 2 diabetes was still reversible. If I continue doing what I’m doing the medication will stop, the insulin injections will stop. I’m surprised by that but delighted and that’s now a new target.

– Steve
Credit: ITV / Tonight

Gemma, 30, six months ago had fitness levels of someone 50-60 years old, but is now looking she is looking at fitness levels average for someone of her age and with a total loss of 44lb she is straight out the blocks and onto a fantastic start.

I have worked so hard with my fitness and I’ve switched it up and I’m absolutely sweating and in pain from the gym and before when I was in pain I’d have give up, whereas this time it was just, I was just knocking through barriers.

– Gemma
Credit: ITV / Tonight

Richard, 29, has been on an emotional rollercoaster journey and has 4.5lb loss over the six months.

What I’ve learnt about myself is that sometimes I can blame other people, like at the start of the journey when I wanted to drop out, but ultimately if I want to do something I can do it and I will take responsibility for it.

– Richard

But this is just the beginning for all three’s weight loss journey…

So what this shows is that weight loss is tricky, and these breakthroughs don’t happen overnight, particularly for real weight loss. People’s lifestyle over the long term has got them to the point they’re at now and it takes time for those things to change, but when they do change, they change for the rest of their lives.

– Professor Paul Gately, Leeds Beckett University
Credit: ITV / Tonight

With a combined weightloss of 5 stone, there is still a long way to go. But the real question is, can they sustain this weight loss, not just over six months - but for life?

To find out how Steve, Gemma and Richard get on in the final episode watch, Losing Weight: Six Months to Save a Life on Thursday 10th January on ITV at 7:30pm.

Carol Weir’s top tips for changing your lifestyle for the healthier:

  • Drink plenty of water - sometimes, when you’re hungry you are just thirsty!
  • Eat five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Reduce your portion sizes for whatever you’re already eating - think about the size of your palm, not your arm.
  • Plan ahead - if you know you’re going to a party or out for a meal, think about your choices and how they fit into your goals.
  • Increase your physical activity - if you’re physically inactive currently, why not think about trying to get in 10,000 steps a day.