There were two things that spurred on Gregg Wallace to overhaul his health a few years ago.

'One was being on the television, and really not liking what I looked like,' admits the MasterChef co-host, 59.

'Because you see yourself far more than other people would [when you work in TV], because you’re dealing in yourself as a commodity. You’re not being a narcissist, I don’t think, you’re just taking a keener interest in what you look like, because that’s part of how you’re making a living.

'And I really did not like the size I was getting to, I didn’t like the way clothes looked on me, I thought I looked unhealthy. It wasn’t a particularly healthy image to send out to people watching.'

The other driving force was 'my doctor did a blood test and said, "your cholesterol’s going through the roof – if we don’t do something, you’re heading for a big heart attack".'

Wallace did ‘do something’. He lost four stone and got ripped, overhauling his approach to eating and taking up strength training.

Approaching 60, the broadcaster – who lives in the Biddenden countryside with wife Anne-Marie and their four-year-old son, Sid – feels healthier than ever. What he didn’t expect, though, was that a whole new career chapter would emerge from this too.

'I managed over a number of years to transform myself, and there was a fair bit of press interest in that.

'Then I started being approached by people asking for help, so I started helping and coaching people, until out of that grew the business GreggWallace.Health,' he explains, referencing the weight-loss programme he founded, which recently partnered with academics at Loughborough University. 'So, I’ve been quietly tiptoeing into this health and wellness space.'

Now, he has even launched a podcast.

Called A Piece Of Cake, the 12-part series sees Wallace chatting with a range of high-profile guests from across the health and wellness realm – including Joe Wicks, ‘manifesting queen’ Roxie Nafousi, Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella, and media health and nutrition expert Professor Tim Spector.

It marks the next step in the broadcaster’s 'own personal weight loss and health journey', expanding on everything he’s learned so far.

The key thing Wallace has learned from his own journey is the difference between going on a ‘diet’ and actually making sustainable changes.

'What I’ve learned about health and weight loss, is that it’s not about dieting. It’s not about being restrictive, it’s not about doing something crazy. It’s about eating properly.'

When he first set out to lose weight, Wallace admits, 'I just hit lots of diets I could see online – and they all had some short-term benefit, and none were sustainable. So then I started to take a closer look at nutrition.

'I realised you can eat three times as many chicken breasts as you could chicken thighs. And frozen pieces of cod – you put them in the oven with some olive oil – I realised you could eat 10 of them and you wouldn’t have as many calories as you would a piece of fried fish from the chip shop.

'So I was like, "hang on a minute". I suddenly realised I could lose weight without being hungry. I could still have a loving relationship with food, but this time round, it was going to be a two-way relationship. I was going to eat food that loved me back… That was a real eureka moment.'

As a professional foodie, he agrees retaining pleasure in eating is 'absolutely' important.

'This is this is why losing weight like this works – because it’s pleasurable. It’s not willpower, it’s not half portions, it’s not salads. The main problem we’ve got is when people don’t know how to cook, and the other problem is people don’t prioritise their food. There is so much rubbish, grab-and-go – that’s what we’ve come to rely on,' he continues.

'What I hear most of the time, is: "I’m busy and I don’t have time to cook". And I never want to embarrass people, but when I hear that, I instantly know they don’t know how to. Because if you know how to cook, you know it takes about 30 seconds to pour hot stock into couscous. It takes three minutes to grill a fish. That all you’ve got to do is chop some onions and garlic, then throw a tin of tomatoes in to make a tomato sauce for pasta.

'But if nobody’s ever told you this, you think cooking is 35 ingredients, 27 processes, and two hours of your evening, which it isn’t. We’ve been de-skilling the nation since the end of World War Two, to the point where nobody knows how to cook.'

What has he gleaned from his podcast guests?

Wallace has transformed his approach to eating Wallace has transformed his approach to eating (Image: Neil Genower/Plank PR/PA)

'It’s been fascinating. Probably the person that’s had the biggest impact on me is Ella from Deliciously Ella, I was so encouraged after speaking with her and so enthused. She has a completely plant-based diet – I don’t, I’m an enthusiastic carnivore – but I instantly went out and bought two of her cookbooks. And now I eat much more plant-based food at home than I’ve ever done. She’s had a big impact on me,' Wallace reveals.

Chatting with Tim Spector about 'the dangers of ultra-processed foods' was 'a real eye-opener', he adds.

'Also chatting with Joe Wicks and actually drawing a clear line between exercise and movement – that moving more doesn’t have to be exercise. I found him inspirational as well.'

He enjoyed venturing into the topic of manifesting with Roxie Nafousi, too.

'Because what that is, is just taking time out to consider your life, isn’t it? And seeing what direction you’re going,' says Wallace.

'All of these people have done so well, because all they ever wanted to do, is do good. It’s almost like success has happened to them by accident, they’re just passionate people.'

Gregg Wallace: A Piece of Cake is on Global Player, or wherever you get your podcast.