Denise Welch has revealed how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has helped her deal with food addiction.
"Until I gave up drinking, I never really had a weight problem," she said in an interview with new magazine Broccoli & Brains.
"I’d certainly never had a sweet tooth. I could take or leave a dessert. But once I stopped drinking, I started getting massive sugar cravings and the weight started going on."
The former Coronation Street actress and Loose Women panellist decided if she wanted to lose weight, she needed to change the way she thought about food and her health in general.
She signed up to a weight loss group which offered CBT.
According to the NHS, CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by "changing the way you think and behave".
It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
Reflecting on her experience of CBT, Welch, who appears without makeup in the magazine, added: "I initially found myself reluctant to go to the group. While in my job I am generally a bit of a show-off, I am quite shy in that private sort of situation. And, of course, it completely changed everything for me. Everything."
During the sessions Welch learned new techniques to manage her cravings, such as pausing before eating and asking herself whether she was really hungry, or just tired.
"I can honestly say I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. That might sound like a cliché, but in my case it’s very much the truth," she said.
Broccoli & Brains is a new magazine aiming to take a fresh approach to obesity with personal stories relating to food consumption. It has a cover price of £9.50 and will be available to order online here.