The 30-year-old host of Sky TV's Fat: The Fight For My Life has been in the UK helping obese Brits to change their lives for the better and now he's here to share his top weight loss and exercise tips in this exclusive interview.
He also addresses 'those' Christian Grey rumours and reveals what his wife thinks about his sex symbol status…
What's the most important piece of advice you can give to someone that wants to lose weight?
First of all I think it's about getting the body in motion. If we live a sedentary life you're going to be depressed and lack confidence. So get out there and get active.
What about diet?
Most of us understand what healthy food is – it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that vegetables are good for you and that sugar is bad. So you need to use the things you do know and follow them. It's also important to kick bad habits. We have these learned behaviours that are embedded in our brain from an early age so you have to let go of that and be open to new ways of eating, exercise and thinking.
Why do you think so many people struggle to lose weight?
A lot of us, no matter our shape or size, feel like we don't deserve success. So for me, it's about just staying strong and feeling like you're in control. I tell my clients to feel powerful – you and only you own your power. You are the one who can make yourself eat right, work out and not touch the biscuits.
What would you say to people who are feeling disheartened after putting back on weight that they had lost?
I think a lot of us think we've failed when we've put the weight back on but when this happens you have to pay attention because you can actually learn something. You didn't fail. You just need to stay conscious and know where you went wrong and try again. It's cheesy stuff, I know, but every time you fall, it's a learning experience to get back up and do better.
How can women tone up?
Resistance training is amazing for toning up. A lot of women say, 'But I don't want to get big and bulky', but that won't happen because women simply don't have the same amount of testosterone that males do. Another thing I find very beneficial is interval training. I interval train in the morning and it does two things – it's great for kick-starting the day, for getting the body's chemistry going and it also keeps the metabolism working throughout the day so you're not sluggish. Interval training really works. It only has to be 10 minutes so there's no excuse!
Do you have any tips do you have for someone who doesn't have access to a gym?
Get outside. I think we think exercise has to happen in a gym but that's not true. There's no reason why you can't go outside. Look at programmes like Insanity where there's not one weight used and you're still getting great results. You're losing a lot of weight, your heart rate's up, you're getting anaerobic and going back to aerobic. So it's all about coming up with solutions and not excuses. If gym membership is too expensive, or you don't have a gym around you, get outside.
How do you suggest new mums get back into shape?
It depends, because some mothers breastfeed and the body's working really hard so you have to pay attention to that. If they're not breastfeeding and they've given their body sufficient time to recover, then I think they're ready for any type of training. Core training is best because the core has been neglected for a long time.
What's the biggest weight loss transformation you've seen?
It's definitely on the show that I've worked on [Fat: The Fight For My Life]. I I got to really know these people on the show. Seeing where they were and where they ended up was amazing for me. They took on something much bigger than them and they succeeded. But there's still the 'Are they going to continue?' question and some do and some don't. But just seeing what the human spirit can do in a twelve month period is really incredible on the show.
There were a lot of rumours that you were in the running for the Christian Grey role in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie – is there any truth behind them?
There were discussions but obviously it didn't work out! I was flattered to be considered though, definitely. I've spent a part of my life focused on acting so if there was an opportunity that I'm right for and I feel confident, I would definitely go for it.
How do you feel about your sex symbol status?
It's flattering! I mean… I guess you thank your mum and dad, I don't know! I don't even think about that side of things. I enjoy taking care of myself. It's flattering but it's definitely not something that keeps me going. My wife doesn't say anything about it. She tries to keep me under the thumb!
You split your time between LA, Toronto and London – where do you see yourself ending up?
Well, right now I have a three and a half year old son so I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to live so that he has a good life and can go to good schools. LA is really great but it's very fast-paced and it's hard to find families on the same wavelength. So in that sense, Toronto is more appealing! But I love the UK – I really do. The people are amazing and London is my favourite city! I love New York but there's something about London – there's so much diversity. It almost represents the world because you have so much diversity – it's a melting pot and you can do anything here.