Rachel Grunwell

Rachel Grunwell is a fitness writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Dieting brings back Buck

Buck Shelford sheds the weight. Photos / Supplied, Janna Dixon
Buck Shelford sheds the weight. Photos / Supplied, Janna Dixon

Six weeks ago rugby legend Buck Shelford was an overweight, pie-eating bloke for whom exercise was a distant memory.

Since then Shelford, 52, has shed 10kg off his 130kg frame and his weight is still dropping. His goal is to lose a further 10kg which will put him back at the weight he carried at his peak with the All Blacks more than 20 years ago.

Shelford is not shy about modelling his pot belly as it's all part of his before-and-after role as pin-up boy for diet company Jenny Craig in their latest TV advertising.

He admits his weight gradually ballooned after he hung up his boots - a legacy of too many meat pies, lashings of butter on his bread, not enough exercise and the fallout of coming through a tough battle with cancer in 2007.

Gone are the days when he filled up his plate with meat at hangis. Now Shelford is eating smaller meals more regularly and eating more salads and vegetables.

With the weight loss has come a new look.

"I'm wearing thin clothes again," he said.

Shelford has lost 5cm off his chest and 4cm off his stomach.

He wants to be a role model for Maori and Pacific Islanders who can be "shy about coming forward" to join weight loss programmes.

Obesity could spiral into other big issues, including heart problems and diabetes, so it was an important issue to tackle, he said.

"I've always exercised, but it's the food that puts the weight on," he says.

However, he has also increased his exercise, running and cycling for between 40 to 90 minutes a day as often as he can.

Jenny Craig consultant Natalie Russell said Shelford had shown an "amazing" commitment to losing weight.

"He has approached it with the mentality: follow it, do it," she said.

BUCK'S TIPS

* Search for the healthiest option on menus if going out for dinner.

* When using butter only use a portion that's the size of your thumbnail or head of a toothbrush.

* Eat salads, veges with lunch and dinners and drink lots of water - Buck has 1.5 litres a day.

* Eat a piece of meat about the size of your palm for dinner.

* When eating out for brunch, choose scrambled eggs on toast rather than eggs benedict.

- Herald on Sunday

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