Mother whose five-year-long addiction to McDonald's McMuffins saw her reach 22 stone lose ten stone and banishes her McMuffin top for good
20:40 GMT, 5 November 2012
A woman has told how an addiction to McDonald’s McMuffins turned her into a life size version of her favourite treat.
Claire Meade, 38, from Nottingham ate so many McMuffins she was on first name terms with the staff in her local McDonalds, who didn’t even have to take her order.
The mother-of-two ate an average of two sausage and egg McMuffins every day for almost five years and was left her with her own giant muffin top, weighing a hefty 22 stone.
She finally decided to ditch her habit after becoming breathless playing with her children and failing to recognise herself in a holiday snap shot.
Then and now: Claire, who reached an unhealthy size 28 and tipped the scales at 22 stone (left) after five years of eating two McDonald's McMuffins a day, has now shed an impressive 10 stone (right)
Addicted: Claire, seen here with her husband Alan, said staff at her local Mac Donald's knew her order when she walked in and she was on first name terms with all of them
Her father had recently suffered a heart attack and Claire feared she would be next leaving her young children motherless – unless she broke her muffin addiction.
After swapping the 430 calorie treats for healthy home cooked breakfasts Claire has lost ten stone and waved goodbye to her muffin top for good.
She says: ‘Basically I realised it was going to kill me. I was fatter than my father when he had his heart attack and it hit me that I could be next.
‘As soon as that thought came into my head I got out of bed and joined Weight Watchers even though it was 3am in the morning.
‘The first thing to go was of course the McMuffins. I must admit I miss them, I would still love to eat one but I love my health and not having a muffin top more.’
Claire was a size 16 when she married IT business owner husband Alan in 2005. But when she fell pregnant with daughter Jenna she made the mistake of telling herself she was ‘eating for two’ as she tucked into plates of junk food.
After giving birth in March 2006 she vowed to lose weight and started taking the baby for power walks in her pram.
However her progress stilled when one morning she needed to stop and feed her daughter and found herself in McDonalds.
A new woman: Claire Meade now looks trim after cooking her own healthy breakfasts at home
‘I’d never been a huge fan before, but there was space for the pram and baby changing facilities. It was the easiest place to go.
‘I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet so ordered a McMuffin from the breakfast menu to go with my latte and thought it was lovely.
Soon Claire was popping in for breakfast every morning.
'When I looked back now I can see I was addicted. The staff didn’t even have to ask me what I wanted. I knew them all by name.’
The bigger she got the more it took to satisfy her cravings fr the greasy treats, and soon one McMuffin wasn’t enough.
‘It was gone in three bites and the baby would still be feeding so I would order a second.’
Soon Claire was pregnant again with her second baby and munched two McMuffins a day throughout her pregnancy.
She gave birth to a 10lb baby boy called Jacob in November 2009. ‘ I joked that he took after mummy,’ says Claire who now tipped the scales at 21 stone.
As soon as she was discharged from hospital she went straight McDonalds.
‘I was desperate for a McMuffin because the hospital food was so bland. It made my mouth water just looking at it,’ she says.
But soon she noticed she was breathless changing nappies and worn out playing with her daughter.
Then one afternoon flicking through recent holiday pictures Claire paused to wonder who the fat woman was captured in her shots. Then to her horror she realised it was her.
Distraught: Claire said seeing pictures of herself shocked her and prompted her to begin her diet and ditch the McMuffins
Scared: Weighing in at 22 stone, Claire knew her health was in danger when she regularly became breathless just playing with her children
‘I was distraught. I honestly did not recognise myself. I had no idea I had got that big.’
The facts and fats in Claire's favorite MacDonald's Sausage and Egg McMuffin
Calories: 430 Kcal (22% of a woman's guideline daily amount GDA)
Fat: 24 grams (36% GDA)
Protein: 23 grams (31% GDA)
Carbohydrates: 30 grams (11% GDA)
Salt: 1.7 grams (34% GDA)
Later that night in May 2011 she woke with a start thinking about her dad’s recent heart attack and how she might be next.
‘I didn't care that it was 3am, I woke my husband and asked him where the credit card was. I got out of bed and registered on line with Weight Watchers. I didn’t want to die and feared the McMuffin addiction might kill me if I carried on.
She was 22 stone and vowed to immediately give up McMuffins to reach her target of 12 stone.
‘At 430 calories each by eating two I was nearly consuming my daily allowance at breakfast alone.’
Instead she cooked tomatoes and mushrooms at home. ‘ I still went to McDonalds but when they asked if I wanted my usual I shook my head and asked for a coffee instead.’
In the first week she lost 12 pounds and after five weeks had shed two stone.
Finally after 15 months she reached 12 stone and a size 12 in August this year.
Now Claire hopes to shrink to 11 and a half stone before Christmas.
‘I can’t pretend I hate Mc Muffins now, the smell still makes my mouth water but I won’t allow myself one. I broke the addiction once, I’m not going back there.
‘I ate so many I turned into a human McMuffin but now I feel amazing.’