Man addicted to Marmite cured by hypnosis and loses two stone

A dad who loves Marmite so much he has eaten it every day for 35 years is now enjoying foods he used to hate thanks to hypnosis. Michael Pryce-Jones, 37, goes through a 500g jar of the black sticky spread every week which he slathers over white toast.

The RAC worker reckons he has eaten more than 12,775 Marmite sandwiches in his lifetime – an average of one a day since he first tasted it as a toddler. He could not stand eating fruit or vegetables which would make him physically gag if he tried to put them near his mouth.

Michael carried on tucking into yeasty sandwiches into adulthood but then started piling on the pounds with his love of takeaways, chips and chocolate cookies. When the dad-of-two ballooned to more than 18 stone last year, he decided to take action to improve his restrictive diet and eat more greens.

He contacted cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist David Kilmurry and was diagnosed with ARFID — avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder. After undergoing several hypnotherapy sessions, Michael has now been able to enjoy fruit, veg and healthy chicken casserole for the first time.

The dad-of-two, from Malvern, Worcs., said: “I was about two when my food obsessions started. I was eating everything fine, apples and fruit and anything else two year olds eat.

"Then one day I started spitting everything out. My mum went to various doctors and did tests because not much was known about food issues for children back then.

“I ended up being classed as a fussy eater and my mum was told it was a phase which I’d grow out of. My mum wanted to help me, and get nutrients into me but I would only eat Marmite sandwiches and sometimes a blended roast dinner.

“Mum would make me Marmite on toast for breakfast and then I’d have a Marmite sandwich for lunch. If I refused to eat dinner I'd have it again. It’s not unhealthy but I wasn’t really eating anything else apart from that.

“I’ve had a Marmite sandwich every day for 35 years, without fail. It’s like a religion and it would feel wrong to have a different filling. People ask if I don't get bored but I never have done. I just love the taste of it.

"When I put on all the weight I knew it was important for me to try fruit and vegetables too though which is why I got help.” After just two hypnotherapy sessions with David, he was able to eat dried apricots and is now open to trying different foods.

Michael added: “Since the sessions with David, I can now eat a yoghurt with bits in and my wife makes batch meals of chicken casseroles. He gave me the lessons I needed to progress. I still have Marmite everyday but I am now open to other foods which is important.

“He gave me some dried apricot and that was the only thing I thought I would try again. For me it’s all about the textures. I wasn’t getting any fruit intake before. I could then drink a smoothie and I can drink them now.”

Michael has now shed more than two stone and has taken up weight training to get himself into shape. Hypnotherapist David, who runs clinics in Coventry and in London’s Harley Street, said: "Michael came in with quite an extreme phobia to the taste of food and was living on a very low-grade fuel intake.

"During the session, we used hypnosis and Michael was immediately able to eat and drink some new healthy foods which he has carried on with and are now normal to him. Also we motivated him to pick up weights and build his health up.

“We worked on Michael’s safe foods which included Marmite sandwiches. The sessions were about retraining Michael’s brain to accept and try new foods like fruit and vegetables.

“I’d then see if he could try foods in a fun way. I'm delighted with the progress Michael has made and he can enjoy a much more healthy diet and lifestyle."