Professional baker Reece Hignell felt like a whole different person when he competed on season 10 of MasterChef Australia.
And ahead of his return to the show in the Back To Win season, Reece opens up about losing weight, love and his new lease on life.
You're looking super fit and healthy! What inspired your recent transformation?
The biggest inspiration for my transformation was my experience on MasterChef. I was unhappy that I had put on weight whilst filming, but it wasn't until I saw myself on TV did I realise how unhealthy I had become. It was a slow process with a lot of discovery, but all worth it in the end. I am incredibly proud of my 35kg weight loss.
How do you look back on your time on season 10?
I feel a lot of gratitude – that Reece was insecure, he was someone who was not comfortable. Today, I am a very different person. I am incredibly comfortable, not just in my appearance, but my personality, too.
WATCH: See the moment Reece Hignall was eliminated from MasterChef Australia. Story continues below...
A lot of people talk about how hard it is to find the motivation to get fit and overhaul their food habits. How do you remain motivated?
When I read things about losing weight such as good health and fitness being a lifestyle choice and not a diet, I couldn't help but find it corny. I now realise what I put into my body is a lifestyle decision. If I am not on top of my health and fitness, I am more prone to health complications down the track.
You're a cake maker by trade. Does that get in the way of remaining healthy?
Oh, 100 per cent – cake is literally my favourite food! Working in food all day I am faced with constant temptations. The best way for me to manage this was to reflect on what I eat and transition to a fully plant-based diet.
You and your partner Dene Whitfield have been together for a while now. Is an engagement on the cards soon?
Well, I would like to say an engagement is on the cards, however I still haven't been asked! I am waiting, Dene!
How did he react to the news you were heading back to MasterChef?
Dene was super-excited for me to return – maybe even more excited than I was!