'How ditching fast-food helped me shed 5 stone'
Swapping takeaways for homemade meals has helped Dubliner Nathan Boylan lose five stone.
Having tipped the scales at more than 19 stone, Mr Boylan (26) has turned his life around and he has encouraged men struggling with their weight to tackle the issue head on.
Mr Boylan, from Kinsealy, north Dublin, said: "I want to encourage men to look after themselves and not be self conscious about going to weight loss groups.
"I was absolutely shocked when I stepped on the scales and saw I weighed 19 stone and half-a-pound.
"I knew I was overweight, I could see it in the mirror and I was always embarrassed to see myself in photographs so I never got in them. If I did go in a photo, it was never a genuine smile because I wasn't happy inside."
With encouragement from his mother Maeve, he joined Slimming World in November 2015 and he said it was a "massive change in lifestyle".
He was determined to change his eating and lifestyle habits and began by looking at what he ate and whether it was good for him.
"The next day I walked for an hour and when I came back I was out of breath. Now if I did it, it would be half an hour longer and I would not be out of breath," he said.
"The big thing for me was ditching takeaways - box food as I call it. It used to be that every weekend I had pizza or a Chinese.
"I still have the same food, the difference is that I make it myself using foods and methods that are part of the Slimming World plan."
He hit his five-stone target in December 2016 and has never looked back.
"I do all my own cooking now. I do get a Chinese take out every now and then, once in a blue moon, but it is not what I would have chosen before. It is a healthier option now," he said.
Mr Boylan is a qualified network administrator in computers but is now preparing to train as a consultant with Slimming World and host his own groups.
He thinks more men would take the step to join a group if there were more male consultants.
"It is harder for chaps to go although I would like to think that is starting to change. There are a few men who I notice will weigh-in and then leave.
"I think it is important to stay for the rest of the meeting because you get fantastic support off the group."