Cherwell health councillor’s diet gives him a new lease of life

Cllr. Andrew McHugh needs a new wardrobe after losing weight
Cllr. Andrew McHugh needs a new wardrobe after losing weight

Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing feels a lot healthier (and needs a new wardrobe) after losing nearly two stone to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.

Cllr Andrew McHugh took on the top health job in Cherwell District Council’s executive earlier in the year.

Andrew McHugh in 2016

Andrew McHugh in 2016

Fast becoming a shadow of his former self, Mr McHugh has used a low carbohydrate diet to lose the pounds and raise his feeling of well-being.

“There were two reasons I decided I had to lose weight,” he said.

“The first was a photograph my wife had taken of me. To say the photo didn’t match the mental image I carried of myself would be an understatement.

“The second a most important reason was after I was appointed to the Cherwell District Council Executive as lead member for Health and Wellbeing. After congratulating me, Nicola – my wife, said coolly, ‘Will you not be embarrassed to be the lead for health and wellbeing when you are four stone overweight.’

“That was it. I knew I had to do something. One of my first engagements in my new role was to attend the 70th birthday party for the NHS in Bicester. I was due to speak to Radio Bicester and decided that I was going to go public with a pledge to lose lose 14kg by the 71st birthday of the NHS next July.

“After the interview the reporter asked if I had meant to say 14kg as that was quite a lot to lose. It was, but having made the commitment on air there was no going back.”

Mr McHugh had already started his diet when he made the pledge. On May 23 he weighed in at 116.5kg (18 stone 5 lb) and is now 101.8kg (16 stone).

“I want to get to 100kg by Christmas but my target weight is 95kg,” he said.

Mr McHugh has achieved his wright loss using the Keto diet, eating no potatoes, pasta, or rice and staying off beer.

“I took to the diet very easily. I’ve not been hungry. I have just been eating differently. I have replaced potatoes, rice and pasta with cauliflower.”

Mr McHugh said with this diet, the weight loss happens because reduced carbohydrate intake causes the body to burn fat that is not replaced through carbohydrate intake. It is believed to aid supply of energy to the brain and reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, he said.

Mr McHugh advised those wanting to lose weight to seek medical or nursing advice, especially if they are pregnant or have long-term medical conditions.”

“I feel great,” he said. “My knees and feet no longer hurt. I feel fitter and healthier and I no longer feel embarrassed to say I am the lead member for Health and Wellbeing.”