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Fern Britton weight loss down to gluten-free diet as well as gastric band, claims husband Phil Vickery

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She famously had a gastric band fitted round her stomach but Fern Britton’s husband has revealed his wife had another secret up her sleeve.

TV chef Phil Vickery admitted last night that a gluten-free diet was another massive factor in Fern’s dramatic weight loss.

This Morning star Britton, 51, hit the headlines last year after it emerged that she had a gastric band fitted in a bid to lose weight.

She lost more than 3st and Phil says gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley which is hard for the body to digest – is now rarely found in any of the couple’s meals.

Phil, who has written a book of gluten-free recipes, explained: “Fern has cut right back on carbohydrates and eats a really healthy diet now with loads of vegetables and fruit.

“She likes my cooking. Family meals are old-fashioned favourites, like cottage pie or chicken with lots of veg and salad.”

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Gluten is found in many processed foods as well as normal flour, which makes gluten-free baking difficult.

But after trial and error, Phil, 46, discovered how to do it with the help of a food technologist.

In the book he even includes one of his wife recipes – Fern’s honeyed baked beans on mustard drop scones.

He said they have a 70 per cent gluten-free diet and added: “No food is completely banned because saying ‘no’ simply makes you crave something. It’s all about moderation.”

Phil said a typical day would include fruit or porridge for breakfast, mozzarella salad for lunch and fish and vegetables for dinner.

And he claims that alcohol, steak and chocolate are only a weekend treat.

Phil Vickery’s Seriously Good! Gluten Free Cooking is out on May 14.