A CAERPHILLY county borough slimmer has praised a new football programme for helping him lose more than three stone in a little over the same number of months.

Matthew Maksimovic was, as he puts it, “an overweight, unhealthy couch potato and stuck in a rut”.

That is until he was browsing social media and discovered Man V Fat, a weight-loss programme designed to help overweight men kick the kilos by playing football.

Initially launched as a magazine, the initiative spawned a book in 2014 and a national rollout of weight-loss and football schemes the following year.

So far there is only one league in Wales, in Cardiff, but Mr Maksimovic is hoping that as word spreads, more will spring up across the country.

“I want to help other men like I used to be,” he said. “To date I’ve lost 44lbs in the space of four months by doing this.”

“In case anyone was struggling, feeling down or under motivated there is even a forum and a Whatsapp chat on hand to offer support 24/7. So those guys on night shifts like me can speak whenever we feel like.”

That community spirit is at the core of things, while weight-loss is a major part of the operation, there is more to it than that.

Mr Maksimovic added: “I can meet like-minded guys who are all there for the same reason. It meant no air heads, no-one all full of themselves like you get in the gym.”

Man V Fat founder Andrew Shanahan says that he believes quality advice and community spirit are just as important as weight-loss techniques and without all three Man V Fat would not be what it is.

“I want all men to have that support when it comes to losing weight. More than that, I want Man V Fat to champion their efforts,” he said.

Mr Maksimovic said: “Anyone thinking of doing this, wondering if they could do it or generally unsure or what they want, my advice is do it. My one regret is MvF wasn’t around sooner.”

For more information, or to sign up yourself, visit manvfat.com