Please wait, the site is loading...


Find out how Chef Tom Kerridge lost 11 stone in just three years

by Leah Hyslop

You’ve lost an enormous amount of weight. What prompted the change?

I was approaching 40 and I started thinking, ‘Where am I? What have I achieved? What I am doing?’ I had a reputation for being the last man standing at parties – big drinking, big eating – and I thought, ‘This can’t go on.’ It was a conscious decision to change.

How did you choose a diet?

I went through so many weight loss ideas. Calorie counting, low-fat, the 5:2 diet… there are so many types of diets. And it’s not like I had to just lose a bit to fit into my wedding dress – I was nearly 30 stone! I even looked for a beer diet… Then I started looking at low-carb. It meant I could still eat steak, but just not have chips. The good thing about low-carb is you can eat fat, which is great because it’s full of flavour. I found myself looking forward to dinner; there were so many full-on flavours I didn’t miss the carbohydrates.


Is it true you cut out alcohol overnight?

Yes, I’ve been teetotal for over three years. It’s easy in this industry to drink a lot – you have to have an understanding of how beer is brewed and gin is made. But it’s a social thing, too. Most chefs have some form of inbuilt party release button we’re always activating. It was very hard to break that habit. I still have to think about it every day and actively not drink.

Your new book is called Tom Kerridge’s Dopamine Diet. What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter; it’s called the ‘pleasure hormone’, because it makes you like stuff. It’s in food like burgers and fries, but also in green, leafy vegetables, fish, eggs and meat. I researched the foods I was eating and realised many were high in dopamine-releasing ingredients. They don’t make you feel elated, but they help make you feel you’re not on a painful diet, eating lettuce each day.


Writing books for the home cook is very different from your day job as a chef. Do you find it difficult?

Book one I really didn’t enjoy. When I left school at 16 I hated sitting down with a pen and paper, so writing a book was like being back there. This is book four, so I’m used to it now. Every recipe is handwritten, usually late at night. I normally write till about 4am, three or four days a week. Then I send the recipes to my PA, Alex, bless her, who writes them up.

Is exercise an important part of your new lifestyle?

I needed to find a way of releasing energy rather than partying. I started swimming, it was hard at first but I love it – not only because it’s active, but the pool is the one place the phone isn’t ringing. Plus, the amount of dishes or solutions to problems I’ve come up with when swimming is fantastic. Just find the thing you want to do – walking the dog, badminton, squash or golf. It is hard, though. When you’re 40 and overweight, the idea of going to a gym where there’s a 23-year-old personal trainer with a six-pack is massively off-putting. But remember, there are more people in the world that look like me than them. And if I can do it, anybody can!

There’s been a lot of talk about Britain’s obesity crisis. Do we have an unhealthy relationship with food?

I think we did, but we’re coming out of it. More people are understanding the provenance, history and heritage of food. And from Sainsbury’s magazine to Great British Menu to farmers’ markets, people are being encouraged to realise food isn’t just a source of fuel, but of entertainment and enjoyment. When I was 18, we used to hang around a park smoking and drinking. Now, 18-year-olds are wandering around with a gym bag and a protein shake. What they’re doing is so different. I don’t think it’s a fad – it’s through knowledge.

Your life has changed in another important way, hasn’t it?

Yes, since becoming healthy we’ve had a little boy! My wife (Beth, a sculptor) gave up booze with me. Now our little man is nearly a year old, the idea of having to get up with a hangover in the middle of the night is her worst nightmare. It’s been the most amazing trade-off. We’ve got our son and it’s the best thing. My focus is different now.


Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy

Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
viewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days


Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends


DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months


These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.


Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
gadsTest Until the browsing session ends
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year


These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.


Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year


These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months


Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years