Dieting is a divisive subject, not least with the current debate surrounding clean eating, but chef Tom Kerridge is open-minded.

The cheerful TV foodie has lost 11st over the course of three years on his self-devised regime, bidding bye-bye to big boozy sessions with his 'naughty boy chef mates', exercising daily and skipping certain types of carbohydrates like potatoes and rice, in favour of high-protein food like meat and eggs, as well as plenty of leafy greens.

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Now, he's sharing his recipes with the world in his latest cookbook, Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet: My Low-Carb, Stay-Happy Way To Lose Weight.

Finding the right one for you

"There are so many different diets and so many things that appeal to so many different people," he says, in his distinctive Gloucestershire burr. "This diet is high-protein led, and might not suit somebody else.

"The key to it is finding the one that suits you," adds the 43-year-old. "That's really important. Fitness bloggers, people into eating raw food - it's great because it takes all sorts. The idea of eating loads of raw food; I couldn't stay on that for three years but there are other people who could, and there are people who couldn't stay on what I do for three years."

The fact he was able to stick to his diet - the first he's ever tried - for so long was partly because it embraces an unlikely snack.

"Pork scratchings contain no carbohydrate - they're all protein," he explains with a chuckle. "I've lost the best part of 11-stone while eating pork scratchings. That's got to be the perfect diet, surely!"

At over 6ft, Kerridge, who made his name after winning The Great British Menu in 2011, made a pact with himself to become healthier before reaching his 40th birthday.

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First steps

"It's not hard... There are more blokes like me - 40 years old, fat and bald - there's plenty of us around, more than there are 40-year-old, six-pack, chiselled-jaw geezers," he reasons.

"You think it's hard to say to your peer group, 'I'm going on a diet', but it's just that first step because, actually, all your best mates become your biggest support system.

"There are more of them that will embrace and understand it, and probably join you on the journey than you think. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I'm no different to anybody else. I just decided I needed to do something, and that's the difference."

Losing weight has changed his life in all sorts of ways, not least because he says he has energy to burn.

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Bake Off rumours

And while he's soon to be seen in a new food BBC food series, the chef, who contributed to Bake Off's spin-off show, The Great British Bake Off: Creme de la Creme, rules out joining Paul Hollywood on the new series for Channel 4.

"For me, I love working with the BBC," says Kerridge, who owns the Hand & Flowers pub in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, with his sculptor wife Beth. "I'm very happy working with them. I love what the BBC stand for and I love working for them, so at this point, I wouldn't."

Being a healthy dad

Closer to home, he says his new lifestyle has made adjusting to being a father to 14-month-old son Acey easier, and he and Beth have made a pact not to work on Sundays.

"Being a dad helps you keep focused on staying healthy. You're consciously aware of what you're eating and what you're doing, because although I don't mind coming last in the sports day race, I want to be just last - I don't want to be miles left behind!" says Kerridge.

"In fact, actually that's not true - I want to win it!"