By Aliki Kraterou
A man who was so addicted to ketchup he even ate it with BANANAS has shed nearly six stone after giving up the condiment in a bid to save his life.
Mike Rwigema, 23, from Birmingham, admits that he was addicted to ketchup and would put it in everything he ate – from bananas to rice.
But when doctors warned him his heart was not big enough to support his 18st 5lb frame, he cut out the ketchup and shed almost six stone.
Student Mike thought he was eating healthily after packing away meals packed with fruit and veg.
But he didn’t realise how many extra calories and sugar he was adding by smothering all of his food in ketchup – ploughing through up to a big bottle a WEEK, meaning he was consuming almost 2000 calories per month from ketchup alone.
Mike said: “My eating habits were very weird.
“Growing up I used to eat a lot of ketchup, it started when I was a child and it never stopped.
“I would eat literally everything with ketchup.
“I’d spread it on toast, dip a banana into it – I’d even drizzle it on top of bowls of rice.
“Any fruit or veg I’d eat, I’d always add ketchup.
“I’ve even eaten ketchup on tomatoes.
“I thought I was on a healthy diet because if you think about tomatoes, they’re actually healthy.
“But I didn’t realise what else is in a bottle of ketchup.”
At the age of 20 Mike went for a routine GP check-up and his doctor advised him to lose some weight because his heart was too small for his size.
He added: “I used to be asthmatic due to my size and I went to a doctor for a check-up an was told I have a small heart for my weight and I needed to reduce my weight and be more careful.
“When I was at my heaviest, it got too much for me, I wouldn’t fit in any clothes, go shopping – it was a depressing moment for me.
“I didn’t look big but my weight was affecting my health.
“I would never want to be out on a beach or on holiday.
“I had no idea how to start losing weight because I thought I was eating healthily anyway, so I signed up to a diet.”
Mike signed up to the 1:1 diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, and had an individual consultant who looked at his meals and helped him ditch the condiment for good.
He realised he was packing away a bottle of ketchup a week – which contains 281.23g of sugar per month
After reducing his calorie intake by cutting out ketchup and joining a gym, he is now a healthy 12st 5lb.
He added: “Within a month of me joining I had lost 1st 5lb
“Within three months I was within the recommended goal- I was trying to drop about a pound a week.
“I would have oatmeal or milkshakes for breakfast, eat more protein and vegetables.
“The key is moderation and water- especially water helped me a lot in my weight loss.
“I am very cautious about my calorie intake, I tend to watch a lot what I’m eating rather than what I used to do before, and I’m very aware of calories in sauces and condiments.
“I have meals three times a day and if I need a snack I ‘ll have some almonds or make myself an ice lolly with lemon. “
As for his ketchup addiction, Mike says he still eats it from time to time but as much as he used to.
He added: “The problem is, people think ketchup is all made from tomatoes but it’s actually not- half of the bottle is sugar and sweeteners and maybe 1% is tomato.
“I generally don’t eat ketchup at all anymore – but occasionally I do still treat myself to a little squirt.”