Wednesday 17 July 2019

Disciplined diet reversed my diabetes, says hotelier Francis

Hotelier Francis Brennan used willpower to control his diabetes. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Hotelier Francis Brennan used willpower to control his diabetes. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Celebrity hotelier Francis Brennan has reversed his type 2 diabetes with a life-changing diet that has seen him shed almost two stone in weight.

The hard-working owner of the Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry, and no-nonsense rescuer of hostelries on RTÉ's 'At Your Service', was diagnosed with the condition in March last year.

"I had no symptoms," said Francis who is lucky to have a vigilant GP who was monitoring him with regular blood tests.

The 63-year-old was put on medication but he was determined to try to control his blood-sugar levels by adopting a new eating regime and cutting portions.

"I had a constant headache for the first six weeks. I would say to others who are embarking on the same road that this is the time when the battle is won or lost."

Although surrounded by gourmet temptation at his luxury Kenmare hotel, he now exercises iron discipline.


One of his biggest sacrifices has been giving up the four potatoes he enjoyed every evening with his dinner prepared in the hotel's kitchen.

"I now stick to just one potato. But I make up for it by eating more vegetables."

He has also forsaken desserts to save calories.

Francis previously liked to indulge in a full Irish breakfast a few times a week before transforming his diet.

But he now starts his day with a bowl of porridge, yogurt and a banana.

Lunch may be a chicken sandwich.

"I was told to continue to have bread for roughage," he added.

His willpower paid off and he has managed to stay at around 11st 10lb for a year. The reward is a significant reduction in his blood- glucose levels and he is back to pre-diabetic status.

It means his medication dosage is drastically cut.

"I have never felt better. I am full of energy," he commented.

A typical day at the hotel can stretch to more than 12 hours and he is currently travelling the country for a new round of the television series. Francis is urging all people over 40 to be screened for diabetes.

He is fronting the awareness campaign for Diabetes Ireland this year. On November 14, it will offer free diabetes screening at Dundrum Town Centre.

For more information, visit

Irish Independent

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