Ex-Liverpool defender Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock has lost an impressive 1.5 stone, after receiving major health warnings on I TV documentary Harry’s Heroes.
The 51-year-old was told he could die at any moment during the filming of the show.
The former footballer turned TV star had doubled his body weight from 12 and a half to 25 stone after adopting a junk food diet when his playing days ended.
Since filming for the recent series of Celebrity MasterChef, he’s gone from XXXXL to XXL, trimmed his waist from 48 inches to 44 inches and reduced his jacket size from a 56L to a 52L.
The famously tough centre half has struggled with his weight since hanging up his boots in 2003, with his diet typically ranging from fry up breakfasts to Chinese takeaways with plenty of side dishes for dinner.
But Neil is now as active as he’s been since his playing days and has switched to a new, healthy diet.
Though he still treats himself to a pint or two at the weekend, during the MasterChef final Neil told judges Gregg and John that he doesn’t drink champagne anymore, because he’s on a diet and needs to look after his body.
The improvement in fitness from working out and eating better has given him more energy, allowing him to spend extra time with his family and get out of bed earlier.
Neil said: “After training pretty much every day of my life for three decades, it’s easy to get unfit and be lazy when you stop playing.
“I miss all the lads but not the training, so taking part in Harry’s Heroes was a real eye opener and helped inspire me to change my lifestyle for better.
“It wasn’t nice to get a load of bad test results – my cholesterol was up, my blood pressure was high – so I knew I had to do something about my health.
“Losing my former Spurs teammate Justin Edinburgh so tragically this summer also made me realise that nobody really knows what’s happening inside their body, so everyone should try to make healthy improvements to their life where they can.
Neil continued: “Fortunately musclefood came along at just the right time for me and I’ve dropped around 10kg since starting their Do The Unthinkable diet and exercise plan – I’d definitely recommend it to other ex-pros who’ve let themselves go.
“My cholesterol is ten times better too, my blood pressure is back to normal now and I’ve also gained muscle by doing upper body exercises and weight training.
“It doesn’t mean I live like a monk though. I’ve cut my drinking and look after myself during the week, but I can still have a couple of pints while watching the football at the weekend.
“The problem was, I often used to have bacon and eggs or a fry up in the morning and I could never stop at just one main and rice when ordering a takeaway in the evening.
“I’d have bread with most meals too, but the calories soon add up if you’re having fifteen or more portions a week. I loved snacking on chocolate, ice cream and anything I could get my hands on too.
“But now I enjoy lots of veg with every meal. My favourite musclefood products are their healthy versions of Chicken in Black Bean sauce and pork scratchings.
“Their healthy snacks keep you going throughout the day. The diet keeps you feeling full, is focused on flavours and helps you to resist unhealthy temptations.
“It’s great to have decent, man sized portions delivered straight to your door, and ready to eat in under ten minutes.”
Neil said: “Exercising more has made me healthier and happier, and it’s benefited my family life. I’ve got more time to play with the kids and I’m even sleeping better – I now get up at 7.30am instead of 10am.
“I’ve got bad ankles, knees and hips so I can’t spend hours on a treadmill, but the short, high intensity Do The Unthinkable workouts are perfect for anyone with joint problems – the workouts are optional though.
“It’s still tiring. You’re on your a*** after 20 minutes and I start to hate musclefood’s Personal Trainer – that how I know it’s working.
“It’s like a little game against yourself – you keep trying to beat what you achieved the last time. You get into a routine, start to see the benefits, and that keeps you going.”
Neil continued: “I saw Harry Redknapp recently, for the first time since starting the plan, and the first thing he said was, ‘b***** hell, you look well!’”
“It’s great to surprise people I haven’t seen for a while and see the smile on their face. From my mates at the golf club to people on twitter, everyone is saying well done. Even my mum’s said how proud she is of her little soldier.
“I hope I can inspire others to get fit and active, change their diet and have a check-up with a doctor before it’s too late. If I can get healthier, anyone on the planet can.”
*The 12-week musclefood.com Do The Unthinkable diet and exercise plan sees high intensity workouts combined with low calorie and low fat meals which are delivered fresh to your door weekly.