Gary Barlow's weight battle - Robbie Williams jibes, mirror ban and binging on takeaways

Former X Factor judge Gary Barlow has been open and honest about his weight loss journey throughout the years and how he managed to shift the pounds. Daily Star has taken a deeper look

Take That singer Gary Barlow is known to fans for his handsome good looks, charming personality and slender physique.

During the height of his career, the 52 year old made women around the world fall to their knees, as his sultry vocals caused fans across the globe to have multiple meltdowns.

But the star hit rock bottom when his band decided to part ways in February 1996 after three years of success and seven number one hits.

Shortly after, Gary's eating habits spiralled, catapulting him into a form of depression.

After reaching 17.5st, the Want You Back sinter decided to take matters into his own hands and went on a strict diet.

Daily Star has taken a look inside his weight loss journey.

Despite having millions of fans worldwide, the members of Take That were beginning to have issues as a band.

In 1995, singer Robbie Williams reportedly refused to adhere to the band's responsibilities and decided to part ways in order to pursue a solo career.

The band remained as a four but ended up disbanding a year later.

Reflecting on how the group breaking up affected him, the vocalist told Radio Times in 2011: "I realised afterwards it was a form of depression.

"I'd always played music since I was ten and then I'd gone through this rollercoaster ride of fame and I just couldn’t believe that it was all over and I was only 24."


Gary turned to food in order to make himself feel better, but it resulted in him developing bulimia.

In the late 90s, the former X Factor judge started binge eating and later became reclusive.

Speaking openly during his one-man theatre show A Different Stage, seen by Daily Star, Gary said he received constant jibes from members of the public that fellow Take That member Robbie Williams' had a more successful solo career than he did.

Trying to overcome his depression, he said: "One morning I caught myself in the mirror and I thought, 'Oh no, I've got to do something about this'. So I did, I took down all the mirrors - massive house not one single mirror."

"I got to 17-and-half stone, but it's not all the work of chocolate, the real heavy lifting here is being done a few times a week down the road at the local Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet.

The singer then confessed that he would make himself sick after consuming so much food.

Gary also admitted that he was trying to turn his back on his typical pop star looks.

He expressed: "Nine years [I stopped singing]. Just turned my back on it. I was trying to kill off the popstar, that’s what I was doing.

"I was eating away what a popstar looked like. I was just killing him off. Stopped dying the hair, stopped buying nice clothes, just wanted to look the opposite, physically and mentally."

Getting back on track

Gary realised that he had to do something about his weight and decided it was time to shift the pounds.

He told The Sun: "I had a rough period with food that I'm not proud of, where I really lost control of myself. I remember one particular day just thinking 'how have I got here?' I was just so disappointed with myself.

The award winning singing added: "So it started there for me and I turned my brain on to sorting out what I ate. The trouble is the food I love - Chinese, chips, crisps. They were giving me a couple of minutes of a food coma, taking me out of the real world. It's just not good, that."

Gary said keeping a diary of what he ate made him keep track of his diet and he was able to focus on where he was going wrong.

The TV personality also incorporated regular exercise and healthy eating into his diet.
Talking to Grazia about his progress over the years, he said: "I'm at a weight that I'm just so bloody happy with and I feel amazing. I'm full of confidence.

"It's going to sound shallow, but being happy with the way I look makes me spring out of bed in the morning and want to live life."


Father of three Gary has managed to keep the weight off since shedding the pounds and has thanked his wife Dawn, who he married in 2000, for her support throughout the years.

He said: "I knew she was the one for me because she understands me.

"She has known me through thick and thin. She has known me at 17 stone, when nobody wanted to call me anymore.

"Dawn knows how weight has always been my enemy, how with every mouthful of food I have always felt guilty."

Gary also confessed that the old images of himself has kept him on the straight and narrow as he vows to never gain too much weight again.

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