Ben’s ready for anything after losing 15st 8lbs

  • Ben Muscroft lost 15st 8lbs to be named Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2019
  • His size meant he had to ask for a seatbelt extension on a trip to Asia – and missed out on visiting the Great Wall of China because he was so unfit
  • Since losing weight he has found love with girlfriend Karen and the two are now looking forward to seeing the world together

A man who was once so overweight that he had to stand at the foot of the Great Wall of China because he couldn’t get up the steps to walk it, has lost an incredible 15st 8lbs to be named Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2019.

Ben Muscroft, 42, from Sheffield, had struggled with his weight since childhood and remembers always being the ‘big kid’ at school. At more than 27st, Ben admits that life was a daily struggle before he lost weight and held him back in many ways.

He says: “Before I lost weight life was just hard. I couldn’t walk for more than five minutes, I always felt out of breath and I just had no get-up-and-go. I had knee problems which made me scared to walk long distances because I worried it would just completely give out under the strain of my weight.

“I couldn’t even roll over in bed. It’s such an everyday thing for most people but if I wanted to change position to get more comfortable, I actually had to get up and move to the other side of the bed.”

A trip to China to visit his brother showed Ben, a care worker, just how serious his weight problem had become. He says: “Just getting to China was a bit of a battle. I had to ask for a seatbelt extension in front of the entire plane which wasn’t the greatest of starts. Then the tray table wouldn’t lie flat so I had to eat my meals at a strange angle. It wasn’t a pleasant way to spend 20 hours.

Ben Muscroft, Slimming World's Man of the Year 2019
“I knew something had to change. My dad and sister were Slimming World members, so they encouraged me to join a group with them and I reluctantly went along. From that moment on my whole life changed for the better.”
Ben Muscroft, Slimming World's Man of the Year 2019

“Then when we got to China, my size meant I missed out of certain activities. We visited the Great Wall of China, but I was too unfit to walk any of it, which I really regret. I also became something of a talking point because many people had never seen anyone my size before – so the looks and stares were plentiful.

“I knew something had to change. My dad and sister were Slimming World members, so they encouraged me to join a group with them and I reluctantly went along. From that moment on my whole life changed for the better.”

Ben was pleased to learn that Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan meant he didn’t have to give up any of his favourite foods, he just had to learn to cook and prepare them in a different way. He says: “To be honest when my Consultant told me about all the foods I could eat while losing weight I thought it was too good to be true! I gave it my all though and in the first week I lost 10½lbs while enjoying meals like creamy coriander and mint chicken, which is my dad’s specialty!”

As well as the delicious eating plan, Ben soon realised that the support on offer at his Slimming World group was key to his success. He says: “I’d had a few weight loss attempts in the past, but without any support I soon went back to my old ways, often gaining back everything I’d lost and then some. What was different about Slimming World was that I was surrounded by like-minded people who were all on the same journey.

“Not only that – I met someone special too – my girlfriend, Karen. At the size I was I’d grown used to the idea that I’d never find anyone who wanted to be with me. My Slimming World group didn’t just change my life, it gave me a life I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have.”

Losing weight also made Ben think about how active he was and sparked a new passion for exercise. He says: “When you weigh more than 27st even the simplest tasks really take it out of you. I couldn’t walk the short distance to Hillsborough Football Stadium without getting out of breath. I started building up my walking and then started running, which I really enjoyed. In fact, I ran my first half marathon in 1 hour 50 minutes, which I was really proud of. I also enjoy boxing and yoga – it’s just become part of my life now.

“Joining Slimming World is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and the only thing I regret is that I didn’t do it 20 years sooner. It’s not just the health benefits – it’s freeing yourself from all of the things that used to hold you back. I’d advise anyone who is struggling with their weight to go along to Slimming World. Just do it!

“Next year I’m planning on returning to China with Karen so that she can meet my brother and I know this trip will be full of amazing memories. We’ve got our whole future ahead of us and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.”


Name: Ben Muscroft

Age: 42

Height: 5’7”/1.7m

Starting weight: 27st 8½lbs/386½lbs/175kg

Current weight: 12st ½lb/168½lbs/76kg

Weight loss: 15st 8lbs/218lbs/99kg

Starting clothes size: XXXXXL

Current clothes size: L/34in waist

Date joined Slimming World: March 2015

Group: Ben attends the Hillsborough group run by Consultant Christine Beecroft


Breakfast: Bacon, sausage and egg sandwich

Lunch: Fish and chips with peas and gravy

Snacks: Sausage rolls, crisps, pork pie

Dinner: A spaghetti Bolognese made from a jar or a pizza

Evening: A few cans of cider or two bottles of wine


Breakfast: Apple, orange, two grapefruits and fat-free natural yogurt

Lunch: Jacket potato with baked beans

Snacks: Fresh fruit

Dinner: Homemade creamy coriander and mint chicken

Evening: Fruit, coffee, Slimming World hi fibre bar


For further information please contact Lucy Knighton in the Slimming World press office on 01773 306852/07833 684131 or email lucy.knighton@slimmingworld.co.uk

In addition, you can view a video of Ben talking about his weight loss here.

Notes to editors

  • This story is NOT for syndication to any magazines without the consent of Ben Muscroft and the Slimming World press office (details above).
  • Slimming World and Ben Muscroft retain copyright of all images attached to this press release.
  • Slimming World’s Man of the Year was open to all men who attend Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland. On average three men attend every Slimming World group.

About Slimming World

Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969 and is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. There are now more than 19,000 weekly groups supporting 900,000 members across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Groups are run by a network of 5,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as behaviour-change techniques. Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people and recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating, encouraging and empowering members to make changes in a supportive, warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000. Follow Slimming World on Twitter at www.twitter.com/slimmingworld or become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/slimmingworld 

For the Press Office please email public.relations@slimmingworld.co.uk or visit slimmingworld.co.uk/press