Health scare prompts county councillor to replace fizzy drinks with water to lose seven stone in 10 months
- Credit: Archant
A senior councillor has a lighter spring in his step after losing seven stone and dropping his diabetes medication in just 10 months.
Suffering a heart attack was the trigger to get sugar smart for Cambridgeshire county councillor, Mike Tew, who now wants to inspire others by sharing a message that it is never too late to live a healthier lifestyle.
Cllr Tew, who has Type 2 diabetes, said: “The heart attack was a real wake up call, it was a moment that made me realise that how you behave can mean life and death.
“Before my heart attack, I wasn’t very active, so I started off by walking around the block, pushing myself a bit further each time.
“I also used to drink a lot of fizzy drinks several times a day, which were high in sugar. I decided to cut them out and drink just water and eat a balanced diet, cutting out foods with any added sugar.”
“With these simple changes, I have now lost around seven stone and my doctors say I’ve reduced the risk of having a heart attack.”
Doctors at Papworth Hospital warned him that it was more than likely his lifestyle and excess weight had caused his heart attack and could cause another.
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“It was at that point I decided that I needed to make a change to live a healthier life,” he said.
The chairman of the council’s Adults Committee said: “I now enjoy a greater range of foods and as a treat, I have a couple of pieces of chocolate every evening.
“I now have a second chance to spread the word that simple changes in your diet can be life changing and have a real and positive impact on your health.”
Following his dramatic weight loss he has, on medical advice, stopped taking the medication that he used to help manage his diabetes.
Councillor Tew has seven tops tips for getting to a healthy weight:
• Start with small changes. As you achieve your diet and exercise goals, gradually introduce more.
• Eat well. Aim for 5 fruit and vegetable every day.
• Use colour-coded labels on food packing to choose products with low or medium fat, sugar and salt contents most of the time, rather than high.
• Swap sugary drinks for water, diet, sugar-free or no-added sugar options.
• Still enjoy a treat just less often, try for once a week.
• Get moving! Start with a short activity then slowly build up to be active most days, aiming for 150 minutes in a week.
• Stay positive, find someone or something to keep you motivated.
In 2015 the Government revised recommended daily maximum intakes for sugar. Young people currently have three times and adults twice the recommended daily amount of sugar.
Cambridgeshire County Council Public Health team supports the Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign.