Chantelle Houghton has shown off the results of her incredible weight loss of almost 4st – and she tells us she’s feeling better than ever after overhauling her life 16 months ago.
The former Celebrity Big Brother winner, 39, oozed confidence in a white bikini as she hit the beach during a holiday to Tenerife last week.
Speaking exclusively, Chantelle says, “I feel amazing. I can’t tell you how great I feel. Not just in myself, but even my skin, hair and nails are better. I’m so happy. I have a spring in my step and I’m ready for summer.”
Chantelle now weighs 9st 6lbs and is celebrating being back in size 8 clothes after she hit just over 13st in 2021. “I’m 3lbs shy of reaching a total weight loss goal of 4st. I’m very happy with where I am, but I want to lose those 3lbs,” she explains.
The star adds that she’s not on a strict diet, telling us that healthier choices have become part of her lifestyle. “It hasn’t been brutally hard – it’s just the way I live my life now,” she says. “Over the years I’ve put on weight, lost the weight on a diet, then put the weight back on – it’s been like a yo-yo.
“And when I wasn’t on a diet, I wasn’t eating properly. I’d skip breakfast and lunch, then I’d get to the point where I was so hungry I’d just eat rubbish, like McDonald’s. Or I’d have a bag of crisps, a chocolate bar and a can of coke.
“Now, I’ve completely changed my diet and it’s sustainable. I don’t eat processed foods and I don’t eat sugary stuff. I just eat natural sugars, like fruit. I love food so much. I eat a lot, but now it’s healthy.”
Taking us through her daily diet, Chantelle says, “For breakfast I might have a couple of rice cakes with smashed avocado and a yogurt. If I was going to snack mid-morning, I’d maybe have some raspberries and blueberries or some cucumber.
"I also eat a lot of monkey nuts. For lunch I might have miso soup or sushi. And for dinner I have something like a tofu stir-fry or a big salad with steamed asparagus, broccoli, chia seeds and pine nuts. I’ve been vegan for the past five years, but I love vegetables and I absolutely love cooking so I don’t find it hard at all.”
When it comes to her exercise regime, Chantelle says she enjoys going for walks outdoors. “I don’t do workouts, but I do walk a lot with my dog. That’s really the only exercise I do,” she says.
“I’m always on the go, I’m not someone who just sits at home, but I do absolutely love walking. I probably go on three walks a week. I don’t set myself any goals, I just walk until I don’t want to walk any more. I just love being outside in nature.”
Chantelle – who married Ordinary Boys singer Preston in 2006, but split 10 months later – first started her weight-loss journey in a bid to focus on herself after breaking up with fiancé Michael Strutt in 2021.
“The break-up didn’t affect me, to be honest. We were friends before and we knew each other for many years. Of course no break-up is nice, but it was one of the best break-ups I’ve had,” she says. “It’s more that I wanted to start concentrating on me and my life. I felt like I was surviving in my life and I realised I needed to look after myself and focus on my health and wellbeing.”
The mum-of-one knew she had to make a change when strangers mistakenly thought she was pregnant.
“My tummy has always been my problem area. My limbs are like sticks, but the weight goes to my tummy and it’s always been the case,” she says.
“People used to come up to me thinking I was pregnant. I was in a shop and a lady asked me when I was due, and then the same thing happened just weeks later. It happened so many times that I just went along with it and brushed it off. It didn’t upset me because I knew I did look pregnant.”
While she’s achieved impressive results from the beginning, Chantelle says she started noticing a real change in her body 10 months into her health journey, and she’s lost an extra stone since September.
“I’ve noticed a massive difference in the last six months. It’s all about consistency and that’s when you get results. I’ve done it steadily and I think that’s why I’ve kept the weight off. It’s just part of my life now,” she says.
“I think they say that diet plays an 80% part in weight loss, so once I sorted out the diet and carried on with that, the weight seemed to drop off me naturally. I haven’t struggled with it at all, if I’m being honest. The fat shouldn’t have been there in the first place, so it came off quickly.
“I’m not being hard on myself because I’m not on a diet. I know that if I keep going, those last few pounds I want to lose will come off when the time comes. It’s not like I’m trying to squeeze into a wedding dress or I have a certain date in my head that I want to lose the extra pounds by. I’m just going about my day-to-day life and I know they will come off easily.”
Chantelle also says that her fitness levels have drastically improved since shedding the pounds, making life at home with her 10-year-old daughter Dolly easier.
“I think everything changes for the better.” she says. “Everything seems easier. I can run up stairs more quickly and I no longer get out of breath walking up hills.
“I’m also embracing self-care. I have a bookshelf at home rammed full of wellbeing and self-care books. I’m really into that. I meditate a lot. I think it’s really important to take time out for yourself and be aware of your feelings. I’m now one of those people that I always used to envy and wanted to be. I’m now that person and I love it!”
Chantelle adds, “I used to always be on autopilot and just get through each day, but now I’m taking care of my body and my brain. I feel like I’ve just been surviving for many years, but now I’m not just surviving, I’m living. And I’m loving life.”
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