Football365 readers tell their stories of MAN v FAT weight loss inspired by this very website

Football365 readers tell their stories of MAN v FAT weight loss inspired by this very website

We have been working with MAN v FAT for more than 12 months now on Football365 – and we’re delighted to be able to tell the stories of two readers who were inspired to sign up for the weight-loss programme by this very website.
MAN v FAT was established in 2014 by Andrew Shanahan, who was frustrated at how his local slimming clubs were targeted at women, with MAN v FAT Football following two years later in 2016.
It has been endorsed by the Football Association and Sports England; gained recognition from the National Obesity Forum, Weight Concern and the British Dietetic Association; and in December it got together some of the MAN v FAT Football players at Wembley to kick off its 10-year anniversary celebrations.
In short, it’s a fantastic programme that we’re proud to support – and even prouder to hear stories from our own F365 readers about how they have benefitted from the discount code MAN v FAT continue to offer: simply add the promo code ‘F365’ at checkout to see the cost to sign up reduced from £9.99 to £3.65.
Once signed up, you get assigned a local club, then play weekly games of five, six or seven-aside football. But MAN v FAT results are not calculated only by goals scored on the pitch; teams are awarded and deducted weight loss and weight gain ‘goal’ bonuses and punishments that are added before points are calculated.
For example, any player to have reached 5% or 10% lost from their registration weight earns their team three goals. You can read more about how MAN v FAT works here, but it’s open to anyone with a BMI of 27.50 or over and can have a hugely positive impact on mental well-being as well as the obvious physical benefits.
But don’t take our word for it – here are the experiences of two Football365 readers…
‘Responsibility is a driver’
Since joining the club in Reading in January 2023, Julian, 43, has lost 10% of his body weight (11.5 kilograms) after deciding to lose weight for the sake of his children, aged five and three.
Chris, meanwhile, is a more recent recruit having signed up to the Peterborough-based club in June – but the 39-year-old is already seeing “major results” having lost almost 17kg in little more than six months.
The moment that made him decide to lose weight will sound familiar to millions.
“Since the pandemic, my company’s moved to working from home,” he says. “And I didn’t realise how unfit I’d become, and how much weight I’d put on, until I ran up the stairs once because my phone was ringing.
“I was out of breath by the time I got to the top of the stairs. I just thought: ‘Yeah, this needs to change.’
“That was the catalyst for everything.”

Man vs Fat Football players in action – Robbie Stephenson/JMP

Motivation and consistency are often seen as barriers to exercise, but MAN v FAT solves that age-old problem by ensuring that weight loss has a direct impact on the outcome of matches as much as goals scored on the pitch with players weighed every week before each game to track their progress.
Both Julian and Chris agree that having their team-mates depend on them to lose weight to give their team a match-winning edge is a huge motivating factor.
Julian says: “It certainly provides additional motivation and makes you stop and think before you polish off the kids’ dinner or pry open the biscuit tin due to the accountability to each other.
“Having that consistent accountability and seeing others success also helps motivate you to keep going, as becoming healthier is a journey which has its ups and downs.”
Chris adds: “I’ve tried to lose weight before and I’ve lost a little bit and put it back on, it’s always been a bit of a yo-yo. But that’s because I’ve never had people depending on me for it as such.
“Now I know that if I do my tracking, if I lose weight – even if I lose 0.1 per cent, it’s a loss – it’s helping the team. We can get beat 5-0 on the pitch, but knowing that we’ve still got a chance to win it [is incredibly motivating].
“Through the week, when I’m sitting there hungry and I’m looking at a chocolate bar and thinking I could have it, I’m like: ‘No, no. I’ve got people that need me to help out here and sort this out.’
“So I put it to the back of my mind and have a bit of fruit instead. Having that responsibility for other people is a driver for me.
“Even if you’re not the greatest footballer on the pitch, you can still win it because if you lose that weight and you’re consistent enough you do the business for the team and for yourself as well.”
‘Don’t hesitate’
The reach of MAN v FAT extends way beyond the pitch with online exercise classes, webinars and recipes available for players.
Julian has found himself giving a lot more thought to what he eats and drinks and has taken up swimming to supplement his weight-loss journey, while Chris credits MAN v FAT with boosting his well-being after being left in “a really bad place” following hernia surgery in early 2023.
“I was quite down about everything because I thought all the weight is going to go back on,” he says. “And it did – all the weight I’d lost prior to that went back on.
“But joining up with MAN v FAT gives you that something to look forward to every week.
“Football has always been great to have a laugh, just having a kickabout on the field with your mates, and it’s that sort of memory and enjoyment that you get from it that just gives your mental health a boost.
“I’m going on holiday soon and normally I’d be wearing t-shirts and hoodies and things like that, but I’m actually taking some basketball jerseys with me this time because I’ve lost that bit of weight and I’m feeling a bit more confident to go: ‘I’m on holiday, I should wear something a bit more comfortable and a bit more realistic for the weather.’
“It’s definitely helping my self-esteem and my body image as well as my mental health.”

Action from the MAN v FAT National Finals Day 2022

And if you’re reading this, considering joining up but a little hesitant about taking the plunge? Chris has a message for you: “Don’t hesitate.
“The first week I went down, I thought: ‘I’m going to walk in, I’m going to be the biggest guy there, I’m going to be the worst footballer there, I’m going to be the outlier, I’m not going to be up to speed, I’m going to let the team down.’
“And you go down there and it’s actually the complete opposite. You’ll be supported. There’s guys that will be a lot further on their journeys than you, but started where you’re starting.
“And they’ll be able to give you that help and motivation: ‘If that guy was my weight and now he’s down to that, and he’s looking like that and running around for half an hour because he’s got the fitness and energy to keep running, I can do it too.’
“That’s a big thing for me. I’ve met guys that are nearing the end of their journey that were where I was. There’s no barrier to it. If you want to do it, you can do it.
“MAN v FAT has been the best weight-loss programme I’ve ever done. I’ve had the best results of anything I’ve ever tried and I’ve made friends out of it as well.
“It’s not just on the Monday night when we meet up and chat, we’re chatting through the week. It’s a real community and a real family that we’ve got down there.
“The main thing I’d say is don’t hesitate, pull the trigger, get on it and start the journey now.
“You won’t regret it.”
MAN v FAT are offering Football365 readers a discount on new memberships – simply add the promo code ‘F365’ to see the cost reduced from £9.99 to £3.65.

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