The City Fit Challenge is over - but who has claimed victory?

It’s not over until the fat lady sings, but after our City Fit Challenge – in partnership with Danio, Danone’s high protein yogurt of substance – there’s not much fat to be seen. We asked three busy office workers who were keen to lose a few pounds to undertake the 5:2 diet, which involves restricting your calorie intake to 600 for two days a week and eating sensibly for the remaining five. They were also given a bespoke fitness regime and professional nutrition advice to kick-start their health drive. All three contestants amazed the expert panel with their dedication to the challenge. But there can only be one winner... Or can there? In order to make the competition as fair as possible, we calculated the total percentage of weight lost by each participant over the course of the four weeks. City A.M.’s very own sales director Jeremy Slattery lost a respectable 4.5 per cent (11lb) of his overall weight, but he was overshadowed by both Ryan Orton and Neil Somauroo, who both lost 6.3 per cent – 12lb and 18lb respectively. City A.M. Life&Style editor Steve Dinneen caught up with the three contestants to find out how they coped – and to ask them whether they plan to keep up the good work.

Challenger one: Neil Somauroo
Job: Business owner
Age: 33
Height: 6’5”
Weight:
WAS 20 stone 7 NOW 19 stone 3
BMI:
WAS 34.4 NOW 32.3
DEBRIEF
I feel so much better – it’s unbelievable how much you can change over just four weeks. I’ve completely overhauled my diet – before the challenge I hated things like wholemeal bread and I ate a lot of simple carbohydrates like rice. Now it’s the opposite. The 5:2 has also taught me how to control the amount of food I eat, rather than piling food on my plate at meal times. Sometimes I lapse but that’s the joy of the 5:2 – you just get back on it the next day. The exercise is going well, too – I’m walking about five miles every day and I’m running laps as well as hitting the gym. The hardest part of the challenge is finding the time to exercise – the rest becomes habit. The challenge may be over, but I’m determined to continue with this healthy lifestyle.

Challenger two: Jeremy Slattery
Job: Sales director, City A.M.
Age: 47
Height: 6’
Weight:
WAS 17 stone 6 NOW 16 stone 9
BMI:
WAS 33.49 NOW 31.6
DEBRIEF:
I didn’t enter this challenge with just the four week window in mind – I want to continue living this lifestyle. Apart from a couple of lapses on my non-fasting days, I haven’t found the food element too difficult. Fasting is relatively easy if you eat the right high protein foods. The off days are more difficult – my industry has a tendency to do things to excess and it’s easy to be tempted by big meals and the accompanying drinks. But knowing I could do my fasting days when it suits me makes it easy to manage.

Challenger three: Ryan Orton
Job: IT recruitment manager
Age: 38
Height: 5’8”
Weight:
WAS 13 stone 7 NOW 12 stone 9
BMI:
WAS 29.9 NOW 26.9
DEBRIEF:
I’m really happy with the way this challenge has gone. People I work with are starting to notice that I’ve lost weight – my clothes definitely feel looser. My goal was to get back to match fitness as I used to be a keen footballer before my knee injury. I couldn’t manage a full 90 minutes before the challenge and I was in and out of the team. Last weekend I played the whole game and was awarded man of the match. I’m enjoying my new diet, too: it’s amazing to realise how much food we consume that the body doesn’t actually need.