Denise Welch's weight loss journey - plus her diet and exercise secrets revealed

The 57 year old is looking happier, healthier and trimmer than ever - here's how she got there!

The Loose Women presenter, actor and author is a proud advocate of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. She’s frequently seen on Instagram looking just fantastic and we’re wondering – how does she do it?!

The weight loss journey for Denise Welch started eight years ago. It began just before she married her husband and stopped drinking alcohol (opens in new tab) – a decision that was the "best thing" she’s ever done. But while some see the pounds fall away after giving up the drink, Denise saw them pile on when she substituted the drink for food.

As she told the in 2019, "There is this thing that if you take alcohol out of your life, you immediately lose weight (opens in new tab), but actually, it’s very often the case that the complete opposite is true."

Losing weight while keeping a positive, healthy mindset is not always the easiest thing to do. So we've dug deep into the archives and found out Denise Welch's secrets for diet and exercise! From weight loss plans and running to therapy, here's how she has kept up the weight loss and stayed swimsuit ready. Now, who's up for a run?

The Denise Welch Guide to Weight Loss

Lighter living

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Denise is a well publicised fan of LighterLife for weight loss. She lost two stone on the plan for her wedding (opens in new tab) in 2014 and has kept it off ever since. The brand offers meal packs and group support on a series of various plans, and Denise says it "taught me how to enjoy treats, in moderation, without slipping into bad habits of comfort eating again. In practical terms, this means that I now stop and think before I eat. I find it helps to ask myself, 'Are you really hungry, or are you just fed up, tired or stressed?' This helps me catch myself from falling into unhelpful eating patterns," she explains.

Manageable maintenance

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"I now follow the 5:2 (opens in new tab) concept every week with my LighterLife Foodpacks which works really well for me especially when I busy on the road. Find what works for you and stick to it, it's all about having a long term food balance instead of starving and binging," Denise told the Express in 2014.

"Once you have reached your goal weight there is a tendency to think, 'I've lost the weight. Job done, I can go back to eating normally'. Wrong! The only successful way to keep the weight off is to continue with the same thought processes as before when you were on a strict diet. Watching what you eat and your portions sizes will help you learn a healthier way of eating, and how to deal with the urge to binge eat or overeat."

But Denise makes sure to treat herself once in a while. As she told the Express last year, "I'll have a treat on a Sunday. I love fish and chips as my treat. Being on the LighterLife journey doesn't mean I can't have fish and chips, I can't have a dessert (opens in new tab), it doesn't mean I can't have these things."

"It just means that I make informed decisions to have them - rather than reaching for [unhealthy] food in times of emotional stress."

Denise Welch's emotional weight loss - thinking therapy

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But Denise Welch 's weight loss hasn't all been about diet and exercise. Before Lighter Life helped her to beat her emotional eating demons, Denise would often binging to the point of discomfort.

She revealed to the Sunday People in November 2015 that in addition to the support the plan offered, she'd undergone cognitive behavioural therapy to help her conquer her compulsion. "I wasn't eating normally," she said. "I was bingeing, secret eating. I wouldn't just think, 'Oh, I'll have a little bit of cheesecake'. I would keep going back for more and more. I would sneak into the kitchen after dinner. I would eat until I was so full that it felt like I was going to burst."

Speaking of the therapy, she added, "I learned to pause before eating and ask myself if I was really hungry or whether I was just tired, stressed, in need of comfort. I got in touch with my reasons for eating. There were times I considered lapsing. But the therapy teaches you to recognise the crooked thinking that is behind such moments."

Pound the pavement

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Denise Welch often talks about the exercise she did for weight loss through pictures of herself out running with friends and training for various events, such as the Great North Run. "I was the antithesis of the sporty girl when I was at school. I was the one who didn't want to go out into the cold in gym kit, so I would get detention instead," Denise said to Runner's World in 2016.

"I've got an addictive personality for everything that's usually bad in life. In the past I've never found this buzz runners talk about. It's only in the last few years I'm able to truthfully say I enjoy the running I do."

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And Denise is not one for conventional exercise either! When filming Calendar Girls in 2018, she took to an outdoor gym in Newcastle to get her daily dose of endorphins.

Who knows what Denise Welch will come up with next? Always looking for versatile and healthy weight loss methods, she’s a real inspiration.

Grace Walsh
Features Writer

Grace Walsh is a Features Writer for, covering breaking news health stories during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as lifestyle and entertainment topics.  She has worked in media since graduating from the University of Warwick in 2019 with a degree in Classical Civilisation and a year spent abroad in Italy. It was here that Grace caught the bug for journalism, after becoming involved in the university’s student newspaper and radio station.