Former Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley has a figure to die for. But the 36-year-old star – who waltzed into the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom last autumn – is literally half the woman she used to be after dropping an impressive six dress sizes over the years.
With a five year old son, Alfie – who she shares with husband Tom Pitfield – to take care of on top of her busy schedule, Catherine Tyldesley admits it’s hard to keep on track with her healthy lifestyle, but planning is key. Here, we look into her incredible transformation and how she managed to lose five stone and maintain a healthy weight.
How Catherine Tyldesley lost five stone and stayed healthy…
More fruit and vegetables
Five years ago the ex-Coronation street star was eating so much protein that she was having steak for breakfast.
She says, “At that point in time, if you went to the gym or had a personal trainer, the message seemed to be protein, protein, protein. When you are on a weight-loss journey and weight-train, you can almost develop a fear of carbs.”
In 2015, on ITV’s Tonight she spoke to experts about gut health products and took a test to see how well her gut was working.
The tests showed that Catherine’s microbes in her gut were not working as they should, due to the lack of fruit and vegetables in her diet. So, immediately she changed it – setting off her weight loss journey. No more steak for breakfast, but instead a more plant-based diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains with less meat and fish.
“My gut bacteria wasn’t flourishing. In order for it to work properly, diversity is key. And although I was eating some vegetables, you should really be aiming for 30 different plant-based products each week.”
In 2018, Catherine surprised fans after sharing a snap of herself at her heaviest weight on her Instagram.
The series of photos show Catherine performing weightlifting squats. Towards the end of the gallery (scroll through the embedded post below), Catherine shares a before and after picture of her at size 22 alongside her now toned physique.
And after shrinking from a size 22 to a size 10, she insists that simply making healthier choices has got her to where she is today.
Catherine said, “I took control of my weight and I slowly and steadily lost more than 5st. Along the way, I learnt just how important a healthy, balanced diet is. It sparked my huge interest in healthy living and nutrition.
“It’s about creating a lifestyle. If you want to sustain a healthy weight and feel good about yourself then you need to fuel your body with the right food.”
She also admitted that, even with son Alfie in tow, her previous eating habits couldn’t be more different from today. “I would skip breakfast and by lunchtime I would be really hungry, and I’d be reaching for more starchy food,” she said.
“Whereas now, I eat every three to four hours and I get a bit grumpy if I don’t. As a mum, that has been so much better for me. I feel a million times better eating in that way. Also, again, you’re not going to binge.”
Setting a personal challenge
Recently, Catherine set herself a 12-week transformation challenge, which left her feeling “stronger than ever” and with much better “energy levels” and “hormones”.
Sharing a picture of herself looking super toned as she lifted weights in the gym, she spoke about the challenge and confessed, “It’s been such a journey. It has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The knowledge I have gained for myself and my family is priceless.
“Yes it was hard, yes I had days when I wanted to throw in the towel, but I didn’t – and for that I am super proud of myself.”
She continued to speak about how she found it difficult to balance work, exercise and being a mum, and now feels she can.
“Being a working mum is not easy,” she said. “It’s incredibly difficult at times – balance doesn’t exist. You just manage best you can.”
Prepare for being on the go
While her hectic work schedule on Corrie could have tempted Catherine to snack on naughty treats, she previously revealed that prepping food was vital to staying in shape.
“It’s just fitting it around your schedule,” she said. “If I was working, I’d go on walks. I have been known to squat Shayne Ward. Squat a friend.
“On night shoots there are a lot of pies and bacon sandwiches, but I took stuff with me.” And when it comes to food, Catherine steers clear of fad diets. “We know that faddy yo-yo diets don’t work,” she wrote in an article, ‘that cutting out food groups can damage your health, and that the Mediterranean diet is the way forward.
“So, can fat be healthy? Yes, but it’s the fat found in natural foods like oily fish, eggs and avocado, with a little bit of dairy thrown in the mix.”
She finishes with a final piece of advice, “My rules are: keep it simple, remember portion control and a little bit of what you fancy can at times do you good.”
Sounds like you’ve got the balance just right!
What can you eat on the Catherine Tyldesley diet?
If you want to start eating healthier while living an active and busy lifestyle, here’s some ideas about what you can eat – based on Catherine’s own diet.
Omelette (three eggs) with wilted spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms.
Prawns or tuna with broccoli and four Brazil nuts.
Chicken and avocado salad with grilled asparagus.
Fruit, such as blueberries or an apple.
Homemade steak burgers with some aubergine fries.
Chocotrients superfood powder mixed into a coconut yogurt.