Chantelle Houghton: ‘I’ve dropped two stone and two dress sizes’

Chantelle Houghton opens up about her jaw-dropping transformation thanks to a plant-based diet and explains why she’s never felt so confident

Chantelle Houghton

by closer |
Updated on

She’s openly struggled with her weight over the years, fluctuating between a size 8 and a size 16 at her heaviest, but as she poses for our photo shoot, Chantelle Houghton admits she feels like “a new woman” after losing 2st in three months.

The star, who found fame on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006,is a devoted vegan and credits her sensible diet and regular exercise with helping her shift the pounds. Chantelle, 36, tells Closer, “I’m around a size 10 now and I feel incredible. I’ve battled with my weight over the years and while I’ll never feel 100 per cent, I feel like I’ve finally got a good balance.”

Chantelle Houghton
Chantelle following her 2st weight loss ©Liz Gregg

Speaking about her transformation, the 5ft 7 star says, “Last year, I went up to a size 14 in clothes and I started to feel uncomfortable. I’ve been a vegan for six years and it makes me feel healthy, but the difference is that now I’ve cut out the rubbish. I walk a lot more, and I do three miles on my bike during the week. My stomach has become more toned as a result.”

But while she’s transformed her eating habits, Chantelle – who shares a seven-year old daughter with ex-fiancé Alex Reid – admits shifting her mindset has been key.

She says, “I used to be the type of person who would go to the gym for six months, get the weight off, then think I could stop. Six months later, it would all pile back on again. For many women it’s a constant battle, but you have to think of it as a lifestyle rather than a short-term solution. It’s always going to be a maintenance thing for me. I’ve come to realise that you can’t have the body of a 20 year old when you’re nearly double the age, and that’s OK!”

Far from being restrictive, Chantelle admits her vegan diet is plentiful. Breakfast is rice cakes topped with avocado, chilli, coriander and cayenne pepper; lunch is a jacket potato with salad; and for dinner, she’ll make pasta, paella, or a Tuscan stew with borlotti beans and couscous. While she doesn’t have a sweet tooth, the reality star does have one vice. She says, “I love eating healthily, but life’s for living! There’s nothing better than leftover freezing cold chips or bread and butter.”

WATCH Alexandra Cane on pressures after leaving Love Island leading to her transformation

And Chantelle believes there’s never been a better time to follow a plant-based diet. She explains, “It’s easy for me to be vegan; I don’t find it a chore. I don’t feel as tired any more. My digestive system feels better too and I’m less sluggish. I’ve always been veggie but I went plant-based because I watched a documentary about the way animals are treated.

“Years ago, when I’d eat out, I’d ask for the vegetarian or vegan menu and people would look at me like I had ten heads! There would be nothing on the menu, and you’d have to ask the chef to make you something from scratch, so I’d be filling up on stodge. Now, it’s all changed and it’s never been so easy. You can go anywhere on the high street and get great vegan sandwiches and cakes.”

Though Chantelle laughs as she recalls one particular incident. “I was at a wedding not long ago, and a guy on the table said ‘What are ya?’ When I said I was a vegan, he said, ‘Well, what’s that?’ and started criticising the food on my plate, which was actually delicious,” she says, “I ignored him and left him to his pint and chips!’

“I thinksome people are still ignorant towards veganism. They think we just hug trees all day, or that we’re weird hippies – luckily things are changing!”

Chantelle Houghton, Samuel Preston
Chantelle and her ex-husband Samuel Preston ©Getty

Chantelle also admits her relationship with her body has improved since ditching her FF breast implants several years ago. She says, “I never wanted big boobs growing up, but at the time everyone from Katie Price and Victoria Beckham was having them done, and I thought why not? I instantly regretted them because of the back pain – they grew up to a G and I couldn’t wait to get them out. I’ll never have plastic surgery now.”

Meanwhile, aside from her body transformation, Chantelle has recently had a non-surgical face lift, as well as Botox and cheek fillers, after feeling “down in the dumps” over her appearance. And she’s delighted with the results.

“I love my new look,” she says. “I feel about ten years younger. It’s given me a massive confidence boost. My face looked tired, sunken and drawn in, and I just wanted to put the “oomph” back in. Now I feel amazing!”

She spent two weeks undergoing her procedures at celebrity salon Tracie Giles in Knightsbridge, London, and believes the transformation has worked wonders for her inner confidence.

Closer Vegan Special
Read more in the Closer Vegan Special, out now ©Closer Vegan Special

READ MORE diet and fitness news

Sophie Kasaei reveals her food secrets after 2.5 stone weight loss

Why diet drinks can make you fatter

Ruth Jones: I'm done with diets

“Just days after I had my makeover, I was asked out by two different guys,” she giggles. “I declined as they weren’t for me, but it put a real spring in my step. Even the mums on the school run had to look at me twice, and my friends say I have an “aura” around me now. It might sound vain, but if you feel the part, I think it makes you look and appear more attractive.”

And while she’s revelling in her new-found confidence, Chantelle – who had a whirlwind relationship with fellow CBB star Preston, marrying in 2006 and divorcing a year later– is keen to find love again.

She adds, “I’m still in touch with Preston, which is lovely. He’s out in LA, writing music. We were so young when we met, and it didn’t work out, but it’s nice we can still be friends. I’d definitely like to meet someone now. When you’re younger and you meet someone, you gloss over the cracks – but I’ve grown as a person. I’ve been in the shadows for a few years, but I feel like a younger and more confident version of myself!”

Read more in the Closer Vegan Special, out now

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us