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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Tim Hanlon

Man feasting on 'pure cheese' diet up to TWO KILOS a week sheds 4.5 stone

A man has told how he has lost four and half stone with a "pure cheese" diet of up to two kilos of Cheddar, Camembert or Comte a week.

Alan Pender - known online as Joe Bangles CBE - said that around 75 per cent of his diet consists of cheese.

And the 36-year-old has lost an astonishing 4.5 stone - dropping from 17 stone at his heaviest during the pandemic to 12.5 stone when he got married in November.

The construction manager credits his sleek physique on strictly following a Keto diet - which sees him eat fatty foods like cheese while shunning pretty much anything with carbohydrates in.

He said: “If you’re on Keto you can’t eat anything with it so I’m just having slabs of cheese. I’ll probably have gout. But then I suppose if you live like Henry VIII it’s inevitable.

Alan would once drink 10 pints on a night out (Media Exposure/Joe Bangles CBE)

“I heard that no one has ever actually died from gout which is quite reassuring. Externally I may look good but internally I’m shot to pieces. Saying that, if I can eat a kilo of cheese and lose half a pound then I’m not changing for anyone.

“Up until the point I perish of congested arteries or heart failure that is. Something’s got to kill you and I’d rather go happy.”

Alan says his usual breakfast consists of 200 grams of hard cheese like red Leicester because it is too “decadent” to “polish off Stilton at 5.30am”.

Instead, he goes for something “quite light and not too strong” before he enjoys a morning cardio-based gym session.

For lunch, he has another 250 gram “slab of cheese cut into chunks” while at work - where he often walks up to 20 miles a day inspecting various building sites.

Alan pictured with his wife Kirsty and daughter Orla (Media Exposure/Joe Bangles CBE)
Alan admits to being an “absolute gluten” before his new diet (Media Exposure/Joe Bangles CBE)

Then when he returns to his home in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, to see his wife Kirsty Pender, a 33-year-old makeup artist, and their one-year-old daughter Orla - the pair tuck into a cheese board three or four times a week.

“So we have at least 10 different cheeses in the fridge and around three to four times a week we choose a cheese board," he said.

“There’s about 1.2kg on any board and my wife and I easily polish one off. She eats as much as me. We tend the mix the boards up with soft and hard cheese. You’re supposed to eat them in a certain order depending on what you’ve got on the board.

“But we just literally pick five kinds of cheese at random. It could be a nice cheddar - by far the best cheese and most consumed - a Comte, a brie, maybe an Alpine cheese, a Caerphilly or a Stilton. It doesn’t have to be high-end.”

The pair eat the cheese by itself - with only a glass of water to wash it down.

Alan eats up to two kilos of cheese a week (Media Exposure/Joe Bangles CBE)
He is following the Keto diet (Media Exposure/Joe Bangles CBE)

“There are no gimmicks,” he said. “No crackers, no wine, no chutney. It’s just pure cheese washed down with a glass of water. We never get bored of it though. I heard that when you eat cheese it releases a drug as addictive as Class A drugs.

“We do have some days off because my wife’s an amazing cook and she’ll do something like fish or meat with vegetables. But even then you can have a cheesy sauce with it so there’s always a way to sneak in a gateway cheese.

“We might eat that a couple of times a week but I’d say that 75 per cent of my calories are cheese.”

Before adopting his unusual diet, Alan admits to being an “absolute gluten” who consumed up to 4,000 calories of things like bread, meat and pasta every day.

On top of this, he was a frequent binge drinker who would sink up to 10 pints of beer and a bottle of whiskey on nights out with friends.

When lockdown hit and he was stuck at home, his diet remained the same despite his level of activity drastically dropping causing him to balloon to over 17 stone.

This lifestyle never affected his work and he didn’t suffer badly from hangovers so saw no need to change.

But shortly after meeting his now wife, he said a few out-of-character words to her during a drunken phone call and decided to call drinking a day on November 18, 2021.

The pair married a year later and Alan hasn’t missed drinking since.

He is now training for the London marathon later this month - which he plans on fuelling himself with some water and Babybells.

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