If your New Year resolution is to say goodbye to your spare tyre forever and get into shape then the Hairy Bikers can help you shed the excess weight and feel fab instead of flab.
After all Dave Myers and Si King are living proof that you can ditch a lifetime of bad habits and trim down without skipping meals or missing out on flavour.
The popular TV chefs are a shadow of their former selves these days having shed a whopping six stone between them
They have come up with healthier versions of everything from pies to kebabs and best-selling recipe books and a TV series have followed ... and they have both managed to keep off the weight.
Dave, aged 55, admits he would never have been fit enough to take part in BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing in his pre-diet days when he tipped the scales at 18 stone.
The dance show meant training for up to 40 hours a week and he now works out with a personal trainer twice a week and says he would like to keep dancing as well.
“I’m now 15 stone – the same weight I was when I was 25,” he says happily.
“I realised I had put on a stone every decade. We were in good shape, we were fit fatties, but how long would we have been fit fatties is we hadn’t done something about it?”
He partnered dance professional Karen Hauer – “the queen of mambo” – in Strictly Come Dancing, but is now back with his more familiar TV partner and fellow dieter Si.
So is his fellow Hairy Biker now tempted to cha cha cha onto the dancefloor and face the judgement of Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood?
“Look at my face,” deadpans Si. “what do you think? No, no, no.”
Instead Si, who turned 50 yesterday, uses pedal power to help burn calories and is more likely to be seen on a bicycle these days than a motorbike.
He was 19.5 stone before dieting and says seeing the weight drop off and stay off was a big incentive ... as well as trying to lose weight on national television in front of millions.
They both laugh at the tale of a woman who put her husband on their diet without telling him and started feeding him their low calorie recipes.
“He was coming home and eating curries and all his favourite food, but he started to lose weight and got worried and went to see his doctor,” says Si.
“He thought he was dying, but he was dieting.
“He didn’t tell his wife how worried he was, but she confessed about the diet when she heard about his visit to the doctor.”
Dave says cheese is his biggest temptation while Si admits for him it is booze.
“I found out vodka had only about 50 calories in it and oysters hardly any calories so I was drinking vodka and eating oysters. The only problem was I felt drunk and randy all the time,” he roars with laughter.
Si and Dave said it helped becoming diet buddies and they encouraged each other to lose the weight after hearing the results of their fitness assessment from Newcastle University’s metabolism expert Professor Roy Taylor and nutritionist Professor Ashley Adamson, which showed their body composition was 40 per cent fat.
“I used to be scales-phobic. I didn’t possess them,” admits Si, “but we had to work the numbers.”
Dave adds: “Forget political correctness, we were clinically obese and that’s a hard thing to hear.”
It was a wake-up call that shocked them into looking at their lifestyles and making major changes which are now part of their daily lives.
“Most blokes work hard for their families and forget about themselves,” says Si.
“You’ve got to put yourself first in this case so you can be around for your family.”
Once they began changing their diet and exercising the weight started to fall off and Dave was able to ditch blood pressure and statins medication and says the threat of being borderline diabetic has disappeared.
He says he has never felt better and they keep coming up with ways of cutting down the calories while cooking like putting oil in a pan with a pastry brush instead of just letting it glug in.
The pair have just been to Asia filming a new TV series and say it can be hard to eat healthily while staying in hotels and travelling, but they now know the calorie value of pretty much everything they eat and take care what they snack on.
Si points out: “It doesn’t have to be complicated. You have to look at what you eat and what you do and balance them out. You don’t have to skip meals or flavour and we’ve become very good at making the things we love with less calories.
“Our tastes have definitely changed as well. I had a cup of tea the other day and it came with full fat milk and it just tasted horrible,” he says pulling a face, “and neither of us have butter on our bread anymore.”
Dave smiles: “Like most men we put on weight between our bellybutton and our chin. Part of our life is cooking and we love it. But you have to look out for the hidden calories. We used to stop at a service station and come away with a sandwiches, pots of little cooked sausages, crisps, a low calorie drink and a doughnut to go, but not anymore.”
Si agrees: “Our attitude to food has completely changed and we now think about what we eat. Breaking old habits is hard, but it can be done.”