In the lead-up to Tom Kerridge’s 40th birthday, he pondered his mortality weighing in at 30st.
Standing tall at 6ft 2in, the renowned chef had a body mass index (BMI) of 52.4, which is classified by the NHS as “obese”.
To put things into perspective, a person is considered “obese” on the BMI metric as soon as the scale reaches 30st (although there are some limitations to BMI accuracy).
“Say we live to 80,” Tom thought out loud to The Sunday Times. “I’m not going to get there. If I’m like this, I’m not going to make it.”
It was this disturbing notion that motivated Tom to get serious about his health and food choices.
Not a fan of a restrictive diet, Tom created the ‘Dopamine Diet’. So, what is it?
“It’s impossible to lose weight and keep the weight off for good if you don’t enjoy what you’re eating,” he told The Mirror in 2017.
Tom’s Dopamine Diet revolves around high-protein foods, vegetables and tinned beans.
“The cooking techniques mean there’s no compromise on flavour and you’re promised a generous plate of food,” Tom said of his recipe book, Dopamine Diet: My Low-carb, Stay-Happy Way to Lose Weight.
Then there are the “dopamine heroes” such as full-fat cheese, milk and yoghurt that he eats sparingly.
It may have taken Tom five years to shed 12st, but the Michelin-star chef did it in a healthy, sustainable way.
Five years on, Tom has kept off the weight which is a true testament to his way of healthy eating.
“I’m hoping this will help more people to lose weight and still love what they eat,” Tom said of his book.
Tom also gave up the booze, which is high in calories and provides no nutritional value to the body.
Thanks to his life-saving diet – as obesity is a risk factor for numerous diseases – Tom has been able to champion his career.
Tom published his new book, Pub Kitchen, back in September 2023 and opened The Butcher’s Tap and Grill in Chelsea, London, in November last year.
Most recently, Tom is one of the cooking judges on BBC Two’s Great British Menu, which is airing on Tuesday, February 6 at 8pm.