From sandwiches to sand wedges… Amazing Loser Karl Pay

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The worst thing about being overweight is how much it holds you back from living the life you truly want to live. This week’s Amazing Loser Karl loved playing golf, but because of his weight he hadn’t stepped foot on a golf course for a decade. Just think of all the good times he’d been missing out on! And I bet you have similar stories about what your weight takes away from you.

For Karl, it took a serious wake up call to spur him on to taking action…

Name: Karl Pay

Age: 48

Start weight: 17st 12 / 250lbs / 113.4kg

Weight now: 13st 1 / 183lbs / 83kg

Total weight loss: 4st 11 / 67lbs / 30.4kg

What led to you deciding that you needed to lose weight?

I’ve struggled with food as long as I can remember, but as a young lad I did lots of sports so the impact of my overeating wasn’t noticeable. It wasn’t until I had an injury when I was 34 and had to give up my activities that the weight started to creep on.

After many years with a 42-inch waist, my sudden wake-up call came in 2019. While at work I had to be rushed to hospital as I was having chest pains. Luckily the test results came back clear, but after seeing the effects this scare had on those around me I knew I needed to focus on my health much more.

The consultant told me bluntly that this was a warning and my lifestyle had to change or next time it could be much more serious.

Yikes – that’s not something you want to hear. How did you decide to do it?

My sister-in-law was following the LighterLife programme and was having great success, so my wife suggested I give it a go. I figured I had nothing to lose, so in June I went along to my local LighterLife group in Maidstone and signed up the LighterLife Total plan with the aim to lose around a stone a month.

What did you eat before you lost weight?

Although my meals weren’t that bad, snacks were my real downfall and I loved pastries and bread. I would crave high-carb foods and I certainly wasn’t fuelling my body with good nutrition.

Breakfast: Boiled eggs with toast or as a sandwich.

Lunch: Tuna mayonnaise, tinned soup and bread.

Dinner: Chilli and rice, spaghetti bolognaise, gammon/chicken roast with all the trimmings.

Snacks: pastries, bread, donuts, chocolate bars, pork pies, cereals

What do you eat now?

My diet now is a lot more balanced. One thing I really liked about LighterLife is the products. I didn’t have to think about food – four a day gives you 100% of your daily nutritional needs, so the only thing I had to think about was which four I wanted. Simple!

My favourite LighterLife meal has to be the Thai noodles Fast pot, with the shakes and crispy peanut butter bar not too far behind.

Breakfast: Boiled eggs, Lighterlife chocolate shake.

Lunch: Homemade chickpea soup, tuna, mayo and salad.

Dinner: Chicken stir fry, chicken casserole or omelette and salad

Snacks: LighterLife Hazelnut Bar or popped chips

What difficulties did you experience before losing weight?

Before losing weight, I felt trapped inside my own head. I was unfit, struggled with my asthma, had pain in my joints and would take painkillers on a regular basis. 

And what is life like now that you’ve lost weight?

So much better! I’m much more active, and I now enjoy doing all those things I found a struggle before, like walking my dogs, playing football with my grandchildren, cycling and swimming. I’ve seen noticeable improvements in my general health too; I no longer rely on painkillers and my asthma is the best it has been for many years.

Amazing! Why do you think you were so successful in losing the weight?

My LighterLife membership included weekly cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) mindfulness sessions run by my Mentor, Tony, which definitely played a part. It was great to feel as if I had Tony on my side, and he was there whenever I needed a little extra encouragement.

I attribute my success to the ongoing support during my group sessions and continued encouragement from my wife. My family mean everything to me and as each week goes by they have less of me as I shrink but they are getting so much more of me! 


Very low calorie diets aren’t for everyone, which is ok, but equally they work really well for a lot of people. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of giving it a go?

From the very beginning of my weight loss journey I’ve had many conversations with friends and work colleagues about LighterLife and they’ve either started the programme or are thinking about starting as they’ve seen all the positive changes I have experienced, not only physically but mentally.

The advice I’ve given them is that at first it can be difficult, but the more you embrace the psychology around your eating behaviour in combination with Foodpacks, the greater success you’ll have. The CBT is a great insight into why your relationship with food is so poor and you can begin to work on that when you know exactly what your downfalls are and the likely causes of them.

What are you most looking forward to doing now that you’re a new, slimmer version of yourself?

I’m now living out the life I dreamt about all those months ago when I embarked on my weight loss journey. I’d not played golf in over a decade but now that I’ve not got my belly in the way, there’s no holding me back. It feels amazing to be back on the golf course!

Many thanks to Karl for sharing his story!

LighterLife is campaigning to help people live healthier and more fulfilled lives by boosting confidence, self-esteem and belief. The campaign aims to support people to live the life they’ve always dreamt of long after reaching their weight loss goals. LighterLife believe that a person’s transformation goes far beyond appearance or the number on the scale and is significantly more about changing your mindset and focusing on the life you gain. LighterLife launched Xpress Slimming Clubs in 2019, the first new national slimming club in 50 years, to bring their behavioural change expertise to more of the UK. Every Xpress meeting is free to attend and open to everyone, whether they’re currently following a LighterLife plan or whether they’re interested in finding a new approach to losing weight.

To find out more about LighterLife’s Live Your Dream campaign, visit


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