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Come on, ladies... men are leading the way on Operation Transformation

THE men are outshining the women on this year's Operation Transformation after both male participants reached their weight-loss target three weeks early.

The three female leaders are now stepping up their efforts to reach their goal by the end of the show.

Last night's episode showed both Dublin man Killian Byrne and dad-of-four Adrian Brereton hit their overall target within five weeks instead of eight.

Adrian (41) shed a few tears when he discovered that for the first time in ten years, his weight had dropped under 17st.

At the start of the series, the Edenderry man weighed 18st 11lb. He was told to lose 1st 12lb but the strict exercise routine and diet has seen his weight plummet to 16st 13lb.

One of the many habits he has had to give up includes taking three sugars in his tea. Adrian celebrated his achievement earlier this week by offering a CD to nutrition specialist Dr Eva Orsmond with the song Bye Bye To The Fry.

Meanwhile, the Herald can now reveal that Killian has shed a total of 2st 2.5lb since the show started.

He told the Herald yesterday that he intended to drop 4st this year to ensure that he would no longer be clinically obese.

To his delight, Killian (39) was told that his blood sugar levels and cholesterol had dropped, which no longer put him at risk of type II diabetes, a disease which plagued his late father.

His fellow Dublin leader Natalie Cox did not fare as well this week as she failed to reach her weekly target. Instead of losing 4lb, she shed just 1.5lb prompting Dr Orsmond to question if Natalie was sticking to her diet plan. The Swedish medical expert then revealed to viewers that Natalie (24) had suffered from constipation because of her new eating habits, which mortified the young mum.

She was told to increase the amount of vegetables she was eating and stop over-exercising.

Natalie also confessed that it was at a time of the month where a body was more likely to retain fluid which might explain why she felt like a "balloon".

Fans of the show reacted strongly to Dr Eva's criticism and took to Operation Transformation's Facebook site to express their discontent and show their support for Natalie.

She thanked her followers for their support online early this morning. "Thank you all so much for the lovely words of support it means the world to me especially this week," she wrote.

"And while I'm not loving Dr Eva myself at the minute or my private stuff being aired, I think it's worth saying that, had she not mentioned those two points then anyone following the plan would have thought I was cheating and stuffing my face instead of what the real problem was, and I would have NEVER mentioned it ."

The other two female leaders, Grace Batterberry (32) and Kayleigh Yeoman (18) both lost one pound more than their weekly target.