Norfolk man Matthew Symons named Norwich Slimming World’s Man of the Year after losing more than six stone in six months

Matthew Symons has been named Norwich Slimming World's Man of the Year 2017. Picture: Matthew Symons

Matthew Symons has been named Norwich Slimming World's Man of the Year 2017. Picture: Matthew Symons - Credit: Archant

A man from Norfolk has been named Norwich's Slimming World 'Man of the Year' after losing more than six stone in just six months.

Matthew Symons stands with consultant Steve Little after being named Norwich Slimming World's Man of

Matthew Symons stands with consultant Steve Little after being named Norwich Slimming World's Man of the Year 2017. Picture: Matthew Symons - Credit: Archant

The Man of the Year title means Matthew Symons, 34, could go through to the semi-finals of a national competition, which will be held in July.

He joined a slimming group in Wensum in January because his health had been suffering following the sudden loss of a close friend in December 2015.

For a year he says he neglected himself and his unhealthy diet was a result of trying to fill the gap his friend of over 30 years had left behind.

MORE: Man who lost more than 7 stone is named his slimming club's 'greatest loser'

By January 2017 he weighed more than 22 stone and knew that he needed to change his lifestyle. His inspiration came from reading about Slimming World consultant Steven Little, 32, from Cromer, who had lost 6 stone and started a slimming group in Wensum.

Mr Symons said he had assumed that slimming groups were aimed at women before reading Mr Little's story.

'Deep down I'd been unhappy with my weight for some time but it took me a long time to face up to it. And then when I did admit to myself that I wanted to lose weight I still didn't want to ask for help,' he said.

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'It was nerve-wracking walking through those doors for the first time but I wasn't the only man there and having a male consultant made me comfortable and everyone was so supportive. Now I love going to group. There is lots of banter and laughter and I get some really good ideas too, from new recipe suggestions to ideas to boost my activity levels.'

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After six months with the group he weighs 16 stone and credits his rapid weight loss to an eating plan which gave a boost to his energy levels and motivated him to exercise.

He said: 'As a man I always thought that physical activity would be the best way to lose weight but when I was at my heaviest I just wasn't fit enough to do it.'

MORE: Lowestoft father-of-three loses eight and a half stone to become a better dad

Mr Little said: 'We're amazed by his transformation. He's a real inspiration to the group. We know some men assume slimming clubs won't be right for them but Matt shows that once they come through the doors they do wonderfully.'

The Wensum Slimming World group is held every Wednesday at Wensum Junior School at 7.30pm. Anyone interested in joining can call Mr Little on 07585 702854.

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