Anthony Albanese has lost 15kgs by overhauling his diet and exercise regime in preparation for a gruelling election fight against Scott Morrison, Daily Mail Australia can reveal.
The Labor leader, 58, dramatically transformed his physique by giving up alcohol for three months, cutting out carbs and installing a treadmill in his Canberra office.
Mr Albanese decided he wanted to slim down last year in preparation for the Three Capes walk, a three-day, 48km trek in south-east Tasmania, which he completed in January.
But he also wanted to lose weight so he could would be fit for the upcoming election campaign against Mr Morrison which is expected in March or April.
In the latest Newspoll Mr Albanese trails with a 37 per cent approval rating compared to Mr Morrison’s 46 per cent – but Labor is ahead of the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis by 38 points to 37.
‘I was going on a walk at the end of last year, the Three Capes walk in Tasmania so I decided to get fit for that and also just to get fit for the campaign,’ Mr Albanese told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.
The father-of-one, who split from ex-wife Carmel Tebbutt in January 2019, continued his healthier diet and exercise regime after completing the walk and has lost 15kgs in less than a year.
‘Since then I’ve been doing things in moderation and been careful about what I eat and doing the right amount of exercise,’ he said.
Anthony Albanese reveals the secrets to losing 15kg
Diet: The Labor leader has largely cut out carbs and unhealthy snacks. He has eggs instead of cereal for breakfast, salad for lunch and meat and two veg for dinner instead of pasta or potatoes.
Drink: Mr Albanese cut out alcohol for three months and now only drinks on the weekend instead of during the week.
Exercise: The 58-year-old has installed a treadmill in his office, goes on long walks with his dog and plays tennis twice a week. He also rides his bike
Sleep: Mr Albanese said he’s sleeping better and is mentally fitter due to his weight loss
Mr Albanese, who enjoys red wine and craft beer, said the most dramatic change he made was to give up alcohol completely in the first three months of this year.
‘I went alcohol-free for three months and cut down on carbs – potato, bread, pasta, and just increased my exercise as well.
‘But I haven’t tried to do anything too dramatic other than giving up alcohol,’ he said.
The Labor leader now drinks again but consumes a lot less alcohol than he used to.
‘I don’t drink during the week and have some wine on the weekends and the occasional beer, but I’ve just been cutting back,’ he said.
Previously Mr Albanese would eat cereal for breakfast and pasta and potatoes with lunch and dinner – but now he’s largely carb-free.
‘Now I have eggs from breakfast rather than cereal and will typically eat meat and couple of veg for dinner,’ he said.
The 58-year-old – who was brought up by a single mother in housing commission in Camperdown in Sydney’s inner west – has also cut out snacking on fatty and sugary foods in between meals.
‘I’ll have a salad for lunch and have cut out chips and biscuits and try to eat healthily between meals as well,’ he said.
As well as improving his diet, Mr Albanese now exercises more regularly than last year.
‘I got a treadmill in the office in Canberra but I also walk my dog and go on longer walks than I used to and try and play tennis when I can,’ he said.
‘Tennis is my main exercise, my main sport, and I try to play twice a week.’
The Labor leader, who represents Grayndler in inner-west Sydney, also goes on bike rides around the city.
Mr Albanese said that since his weight loss he’s been sleeping better and generally feels mentally fitter as well.
‘We work long hours and if you’re physically fit I think it helps your mental capacity as well,’ he said.
Dietitian and exercise physiologist, Kate Save, co-founder of Be Fit Food, said Mr Albanese’s transformation would do wonders for his health.
‘Anthony’s weight loss transformation using a low carb diet approach and regular exercise will have not only benefited all of his joints – as even just 5kg weight loss can remove 20kg pressure from the knees – but would also have significantly reduced his chances of being one of the people who get diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in Australia every five minutes,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Plus even just five per cent total body weight loss can help to him to sleep around 22 minutes longer.
‘Just five to 10 per cent of total body weight loss is likely to have reduced his cardiovascular health risk by improving blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugars,’ she added.
Who is Anthony Albanese?
Mr Albanese is not the only politician who has embarked on a fitness drive this year.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, 49, has noticeably lost weight by cutting out fast food, sleeping more and cycling for 45 minutes every morning.
Mr Frydenberg steadfastly refuses to reveal how much weight he’s lost, spuriously claiming he never steps on the scales – but experts say he appears to have shed six to eight kilograms, a significant amount in just five months.
‘One can only hope the exercise regime holds and I don’t revert to type,’ he told Daily Mail Australia back in May.
As a boy growing up in Melbourne, Mr Frydenberg was sports-mad and almost dropped out of school aged 15 to pursue a professional tennis career.
But last year his fitness dropped to an all-time low as he gorged on hamburgers, Coca-Cola and lollies, gave up on exercise and struggled for a good night’s sleep because he was working so hard during the peak of the pandemic.
On a Christmas break with his family at their home in Hawthorn, in Melbourne’s inner east, Mr Frydenberg had a light-bulb moment and realised he had to change, and fast.
The father of two, who is married to employment lawyer Amie, resolved to ditch junk food and adopt a more balanced diet, swapping sugar and saturated fat for protein and vegetables.
He also gets up and 6am every morning to cycle on his exercise bike for 45 minutes before starting his hectic working day.
The result is a noticeable weight-loss that has left him feeling happier and healthier.
In the days leading up to his budget speech in May, the deputy Liberal leader received glowing compliments from family, friends and colleagues, all impressed by his trimmer physique.
Talking about his rapid turn-around, Mr Frydenberg told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Last year was a hard slog with less sleep and a diet worse than usual.
‘Burgers, Coca-Cola and lollies were my main food groups.
‘Fortunately, Christmas provided an opportunity for downtime with the family and some much needed exercise.’
The former investment banker, who became the member for the wealthy Melbourne suburb of Kooyong in 2009, said there’s still work to be done but is pleased with his fitness progress.
‘So far, so good,’ he said.