Claire Richards says she went on 900-calorie-a-day weight loss program earlier than becoming a member of Steps

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Claire Richards, one of many five-member lady group Steps, has opened up about experiencing an consuming dysfunction within the Nineties, earlier than she joined the band.

The singer, 45, mentioned she went on a restrictive weight loss program that solely allowed her to eat 900 energy a day, together with her meals comprising of simply “fish fingers, peas and baked beans”.

Showing on Vicky Pattison’s The Secret To podcast on Thursday’s (20 July) episode, Richards claimed she was instructed she needed to drop a few pounds though she was a UK measurement 10 to 12 in the beginning of her profession within the music trade.

She added that Kate Moss’s “heroin-chic” skinny look was what individuals aspired to on the time when it got here to physique picture, which in flip inspired her weight-reduction plan.

“It occurred after I was in TSD,” Richards mentioned, referring to her first band, The Scan-Dolls. “They did it to all of us as a result of we have been all fairly curvy ladies. I used to be most likely a [size] 10 or a 12 and wasn’t huge in any respect.

“However within the music world, and at the moment, that entire Kate Moss, heroin-chic, was a factor and so they needed everybody to be actually, actually skinny.

“So, we have been all placed on a weight loss program. That weight loss program was attention-grabbing as a result of we have been inspired to eat fish fingers, peas and baked beans and have like a 900-calorie weight loss program.”

After she auditioned for Steps, Richards claimed she was nonetheless underneath stress to drop a few pounds.

“The audition for Steps was [in] 1997 and by that point I had lower my hair actually quick, stupidly, and I used to be sporting this stripey catsuit which I wore within the video for ‘Final Factor on My Thoughts’,” she defined.

“And I at all times used to tie a hoodie round my waist as a result of I used to be actually aware of my bum as a result of I assumed I had a large bum… They sat me down, did my audition and so they mentioned, ‘Oh, we actually such as you. We wish you to be within the band, however you’re going to need to drop a few pounds’.

“It set me on a pathway of not likely consuming for four-and-a-half years.”


Richards mentioned that the years spent worrying about her physique picture broken her confidence a lot that she has by no means managed to totally regain it.

“I feel I’m a lot better than I used to be,” she reassured listeners, however added: “However I don’t suppose I ever will eliminate it fully as a result of it’s performed such a large a part of my life for such a very long time.

“I feel I most likely was anorexic. , I manged to type of cease what I used to be doing to myself, however that went from not consuming in any respect, to overeating.”

The “It’s The Means You Make Me Really feel” singer mentioned she went from being “dangerously skinny” to weighing 16.5 stone (104kg) at her heaviest.

Richards has beforehand spoken out about her wrestle with disordered consuming and expressed how anxious she was about picture filters which are standard on the web right now.

Final Could, she appeared as a visitor on Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Spinning Plates podcast and mentioned: “I’ve gone from being dangerously skinny to overweight and I actually do consider it’s all a part of the identical… if it’s an consuming dysfunction, it’s one excessive to the opposite.

“There’s a large lack of awareness, typically, and I feel particularly on the chubby facet of it. I feel individuals simply take a look at anyone who’s chubby [and think] that they’re lazy and have gotten no self-discipline.

“I’m not lazy and I positively have self-discipline however I discovered myself in that place,” she continued. “I wrestle on a regular basis and I’ve managed to keep up measurement now for a very long time nevertheless it’s a battle on a regular basis and folks simply don’t perceive that psychological facet of it typically.”

For anybody battling the problems raised on this piece, consuming dysfunction charity Beat’s helpline is obtainable 12 months a 12 months on 0808 801 0677. NCFED gives data, assets and counselling for these affected by consuming issues, in addition to their assist networks. Go to or name 0845 838 2040.

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