Hayley after her transformation and huge weight loss (Image: Hayley Ashton)

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A woman who weighed over 16 stone has made a remarkable transformation after losing seven stone in her bid to become a mother.

Hayley Ashton, 35, had been trying for a baby with her husband for three years when she decided to start try to lose weight to see if that helped.

At the time she weighed 16 stone and 2.5 pounds and had tried a number of “fad diets” over the years such as shakes and diet pills which did not work, according to the Liverpool Echo.

But she has now lost seven stone, weighing just nine stone 2.5 pounds, after 16 months with a diet programme called Slimming World.

She has also had IVF treatment last year and fell pregnant, with the baby due in August.

Hayley Ashton weighed 16 stone when she started her diet
(Image: Hayley Ashton)

Ms Ashton believes the pregnancy would not have been possible without her weight loss.

She said: "For me it wasn't about how I looked, it was to help have a baby.

"We'd be trying for years before I joined Slimming World and I knew my weight was going to be a factor in that. I was told I had Polycystic ovaries so I knew we would potentially need IVF.”

Ms Ashton lost seven stone in 156 months with Slimming World
(Image: Hayley Ashton)

She continued: "Even after I lost weight we still had to go down the fertility treatment and IVF route, but I spoke to a consultant who said if I hadn't lost weight I wouldn't have got accepted for IVF.

"And your chances of getting pregnant and the baby surviving through pregnancy are reduced."

Ms Ashton said she had been a “chunky child” despite eating healthy homemade meals, and that she picked up bad habits after moving to university and then taking on night shifts at work.

Ms Ashton says the weight loss was an obstacle to becoming pregnant
(Image: Hayley Ashton)

She would snack on crisps and chocolate and eat takeaways.

At her heaviest, Hayley was a size 18/20 which meant she had to buy plus size clothes and maternity jeans when she wasn't pregnant.

She first joined Slimming World in 2016 and managed to lose six stone in a year.

She reached her target weight of 9 stone 2.5 pounds a few months later.

The IVF was successful and Ms Ashton is due to give birth in August
(Image: Hayley Ashton)

Ms Ashton said: "There was no veg or salad in my diet before and no fruit. I used to home cook a lot but I used ready-made sauces and jars.

"My main thing was I didn't want to deprive myself. I wanted to still go out and live my life, I didn't want to be sat there eating carrot sticks.

"You get a certain allowance of sins on Slimming World and it's not calorie counting at all. I'm still able to enjoy myself and go on holidays and go out with the girls."

Ms Ashton has continued to go to Slimming World and food optimise throughout her pregnancy by following their pregnancy plan.

She is excited to meet her baby later this year.

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Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan claims members can eat an unlimited amount of low energy dense "Free Foods" such as fruit, vegetables, fish, lean meat, beans and lentils, pasta and potatoes.

Free Foods are low in energy density and higher in protein and carbohydrate, which helps to satisfy the appetite and keep us feeling fuller for longer.

A recent survey of the general population who had tried calorie counting found that 72 percent believed that counting calories took away from the freedom of enjoying food.

In a parallel survey of its members Slimming World found 75 per cent of respondents reported finding Food Optimising liberating and 81 per cent said that they’d learnt to cut calories without having to count calories.