When they first appeared on our screens on Britain’s Got Talent, Stavros Flatley’s rounded tummies were their trademark.
But now the father-and-son dance duo are on a mission to shed their excess pounds and get fit, strong and healthy, after a scan showed that dad Demi’s weight was putting him at risk of serious conditions such as heart attack and diabetes.
The pair were taking part in the most recent series of ITV’s Sugar Free Farm when Demi, 49, realised the impact his size – and his penchant for sugary foods like chocolate, doughnuts and apple pie – was having on his health.
‘I’ve no fat in my arms or legs so I thought carrying weight just around my middle wouldn’t be a big concern, but I was wrong,’ he told The Mirror.
‘I used to make jokes and say I was pregnant, making light of it. But the doctor said it was the worst place to carry fat because it could lead to all sorts of health problems, like heart disease, strokes, diabetes and high blood pressure. I was putting my life at risk but eating less would cut my chances.’
The scan was the ‘wake up call’ Demi says he needed, and by following the teachings of the farm, which promotes the consumption of fresh, health meals and minimal sugar, he’s shed an impressive three stone.
‘When I was nearly 17 stone, after three minutes on stage I’d be sweating. I got really out of breath and if I bent down on one knee I had to pull myself back up holding on to something. And I had to breathe in while putting on my socks. I couldn’t see my feet for my belly,’ Demi recalled.
He now weighs 13 stone, and eats healthy meals breakfast such as rye bread and low-fat, sugar-free peanut butter, Greek salad with green beans or a tuna salad, or salmon or chicken with sweet potato and salad.
‘I’m never going to be stick thin, but I’m comfortable and full of energy,’ he added. ‘I’ve even swapped caffeine for green tea and bought a bike – I cycle 10-20 miles a week.’
And Demi isn’t alone in his lifestyle overhaul – son Lagi, 20, has slimmed from 13 stone to 11 stone after his time on the farm.
‘A lot of people confuse being overweight with being lazy. But that isn’t the case. For me, it was never that hard working on the farm,’ Demi said.
‘We do work hard in everything we do and I’ve always tried to instil that in Lagi. I was actually surprised how easy it was swapping chocolate for healthy things.’