You might not think you’ve got much in common with James Corden — Hollywood A-lister, talk show host, pal of Prince Harry.
But this time last year when he recorded a public confessional about his battle with his body, he told a story millions of us can recognise.
‘Every year for the last decade, probably even 15 years, on January 1st I’ve told myself and anyone that listens that this is it, this is the year I’m going on a diet, I’m going to lose a load of weight,’ said Corden. And yet nothing had ever stuck.
Even as an advocate for body positivity, Corden admitted he was fed up with how he looked, fed up with being unhealthy — and fed up with having failed to change all that for so many years. Crash diets, he confessed, just never stuck long-term.
It wasn’t about chasing some unrealistically skinny ideal either — he just wanted to feel better and be fitter, for his own sake as well as for his wife and three children.
And yet, even with personal trainers and chefs on tap (not to mention the pressure of Hollywood to motivate him), he hadn’t managed it.
What led him to make that video, and to recommit to making a real change for 2021 was a discussion with the health and wellness company WW (formerly WeightWatchers). That, he says, is when he learned where he was going wrong.
James Corden (left in 2008 and right with wife Julia Carey in 2021) has shed two stone with WW
‘I asked them: ”Can you help me with this? Why does this keep not working for me?”
‘They told me what I’m probably doing wrong is that I’m going on a diet — and that’s not the answer. They said if you stick with our regime, which is about wellness, and health, and feeling better, rather than just trying to lose a load of weight, it can absolutely work.’
Over the course of last year, he has proved that this approach works and is attainable, shedding 28lb.
He begins 2022 resolved to lose more weight with WW and urging others to join him and do the same for the sake of their health and mental wellbeing.
He is now flying the flag for the new programme WW has unveiled for this year, which will be serialised exclusively in the Mail tomorrow, continuing in the Mail on Sunday and in the Mail all next week.
Already endorsed by the NHS to help combat obesity, this new approach harnesses the latest nutritional and behavioural science to make weight loss even easier without the usual calorie-counting, restriction and extremes that the average ‘diet’ entails.
For Corden, and for many others who know they want to lose weight but struggle to achieve it, this is more achievable.
‘Let me tell you, WW really works,’ he says. ‘I am down 28 pounds since the start [in January 2021] and for the first time, the weight I’ve lost hasn’t come back. It’s game-changing and I feel incredible. And it’s so liberating to know I can still enjoy the foods I love most and never deprive myself.
‘What’s working for me is realising this isn’t a temporary solution, this is a new way of life.’
Even as an advocate for body positivity, Corden admitted he was fed up with how he looked, fed up with being unhealthy — and fed up with having failed to change all that for so many years
An estimated 22.6 million Britons will have embarked on a restrictive eating programme this week, according to new research by WW.
But by today ‘hanger’ will strike and many will lose their resolve. Which is where a more rounded, long-term approach to eating and nutrition comes in as a more effective solution.
The new WW PersonalPoints programme harnesses the latest nutritional and behavioural science to transform your relationship with food, lose weight and boost your physical and mental health without feeling deprived.
For it’s this feeling of deprivation that leads so many of us to fail almost before we’ve begun, says Channel 4 health presenter and NHS GP Dr Helen Lawal.
‘We are surrounded by information about fad and trendy diets, most of which encourage extreme calorie restriction and cutting out whole food groups like carbs,’ she explains. ‘Although sometimes they work for fast weight loss, they are an unhealthy way to do it and often dieters are unable to sustain that weight loss.
‘Not only that, but these drastic diets can have a detrimental impact on our mood and concentration, leaving us feeling worse.’
In fact, a WW-commissioned Censuswide survey found one in four people on very restrictive diets admit to feeling low or sad — and another one in five becomes so obsessed with thinking about food that they actually gain weight.
‘The truth is, restrictive dieting sets us up for a fall — and there is a better way,’ says Dr Lawal. ‘The PersonalPoints programme provides a more flexible and liveable path to sustainable weight loss.
‘For the first time ever, no two plans are the same and as with any WW programme, no food is off limit. Members are allocated a unique personal points budget and a zero-points food list based on the food they love — they can eat as much of these foods as they like.’
Central to the success of the new WW programme is an award-winning app which replaces the need for the weekly or bi-weekly weigh-ins of old. It even has a scanning feature which calculates the points of foods in restaurants and supermarkets to make it easy for users to stick to their plan.
‘WW use an updated algorithm to guide members towards foods that contain healthy fats, fibre and protein which are low in sugar and saturated fat,’ explains Dr Lawal.
A study by Kantar Health for WW shows that a third of people in the UK gained weight during 2021 — and yet obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes are clear risk factors for becoming seriously ill if infected with Covid-19, as well as for other serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
‘We know that if you can lose weight and bring your BMI down to within the ‘healthy’ range this can significantly reduce your risk of developing conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers,’ confirms Dr Lawal.
‘But for me, if you are embarking on a health journey, the key is to prioritise your happiness and mental health. Start small and build up habits which support your sense of wellbeing.
‘The WW app can support you in doing this with guided meditations for sleep and ready made workouts to help you move more. Members also become part of a virtual community — and support and accountability are key factors in maintaining new healthy behaviours.’