North Devon slimmers are celebrating after losing the equivalent of two-and-half double decker buses in weight.

In 2019 the 1,800 members of Slimming World groups around North Devon lost an incredible 5,267 stone between them - that's 73,738 pounds.

Members aged from 16 to 93-years-old attend groups around the region and have been able to lose weight without giving up their favourite foods and still tuck into curries, steaks, burgers, roast dinners, fry-ups, and fish and chips, even enjoying the odd glass of wine and beer too.

Clare Mutch who runs the Slimming World group at Sticklepath School in Barnstaple on a Saturday morning and has lost five stone herself, said: "A lot of people expect to be eating nothing but salad. But the minute you walk through the door you'll realised that nothing could be further from the truth.

"There's a real mix of people - men and women of all ages - and we have a great time.

"Plus, with Slimming World's Food Optimising eating plan no foods are banned. Instead everyone learns how to cook healthier versions of our favourite meals like Hunters Chicken and every week at group we share new recipes and handy tips."

Slimming World Consultant Debby Norris, who runs four groups at Grosvenor Church in Barnstaple, on a Thursday added: "It's great that we're able to celebrate this milestone and, without a doubt, all of these members have improved their health.

"That's so important because the latest obesity statistics from the Government show that there are more overweight people than ever.

"We are so proud of our members and really want everyone to know just how much is achievable with small tweaks to the way we cook, shop and eat."

Claire Holm runs the Swimbridge group. She said "Seeing the positive difference we make to people's lives is just so amazing. We help people overcome mobility problems, mental health issues, diabetes, low self esteem and much more.

"We are changing people's lives for the better and that makes me feel so good."

India Harris has three Barnstaple groups. She said: "I have members who were unable to run around and play with their children. Their weight loss has enabled them to spend so much more quality time with their kids whilst getting plenty of exercise and fresh air."

Slimming World consultants have groups in several areas - Bideford, Northam, Torrington, South Molton, Braunton, Ilfracombe, Swimbridge, Fremington and 14 sessions to choose from in Barnstaple.