John Barnes weight loss: What the retired footballer did to shed the pounds
John Barnes has been open about his weight loss journey throughout his career. He’s gone from being at his fittest when he played football as a teen, to piling on the pounds after retirement in 1999. But the 55-year-old has put his days of junk food behind him, after teaming up with football manager Harry Redknapp for Harry’s Heroes: The Full English. The ITV show, which aired in March, saw the pair take 12 football legends from the 90s with the aim to get them back to their peak. But despite being Harry’s hands-on assistant on the fitness show, John took the opportunity to shed the pounds, too.
Speaking in an interview, he explained: “I’ve let myself go and I have to do something about it because I know I’m unfit and have put weight on. I’ve decided to do it… I will do it,” he recently revealed in an interview.
So how did he do it?
Harry Redknapp put the players through their paces by plunging them into a new training and healthy eating regime akin to that of present day professional footballers.
Speaking of their success on the show, which was filmed last year, he revealied most of the players managed to “get back in shape.”
During an interview on The Jonathan Ross show, the 72-year-old said: “You look at the group there [who are involved in the show] and they were real top players but once you stop playing, it’s difficult,’ he explained during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show earlier this year.
“They’ve probably spent their old lives training and being careful with what they eat and so they probably let themselves go when they finished playing. Some of them got back in great shape, not all of them… Some of them.”
John’s weight loss comes after years of battling with his weight.
As a professional footballer, he weighed just 12 stone.
He credited his athletic physique to hours of intense training sessions, access to professional dieticians and a strict routine.
However, this all went out the window when he retired in the late 90s. The commentator shot up to 16 stone, as he lived on a diet of junk food and did minimal exercise.
In 2009, just ten years after leaving the pitch, John opened up about his poor diet.
When asked if he was healthy, he said: ”In mind yes, but not in body – I can’t resist fast food. McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC… I’d eat it every day if I could.”
He added to The Guardian: “I’m quite unfit. It’s the motivation that’s the problem, I need a goal. When I was a professional footballer I trained every day because I had to.”
But something had to give, and in 2012, John took part in Men’s health six-pack challenge.
He was pushed to get back in shape and get a six-pack in just four weeks.
Thanks to a nutritional meal plan and a Bulgarian bag, which helped him eat correctly, strengthen his core and feel stronger, he managed to lose an incredible two stone.
He said at the time: “I’ve watched what I’ve been eating and drinking: no booze, no sugar in my tea. I always need a challenge and a push to get fit – left to my own devices I won’t do anything.”