James Argent plans to lose SIX stone by Christmas and has turned Mark Wright for help
JAMES Argent is aiming to lose at least SIX stone before Christmas with the help of his fitness fanatic pal Mark Wright.
The former The Only Way is Essex star has already lost two-and-a-half stone following a gastric band operation after ballooning to 27 stone in lockdown.
James, 33, now hopes to take his weight loss to the next level by setting a target of getting under 20 stone before the start of 2022.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, a close pal said he was "determined" to keep pushing as he feels "so much healthier" after his op.
"James wants to lost at least a stone every month between now and 2022," they explained. "It’s a lot but he’s determined to do it because he is feeling so much healthier following his operation.
“He has been getting a lot of support especially from Mark who has been offering him advice and sharing exercise tips.
“He’s said to James he can join him over the gym anytime he likes, and James plans to take him up on the offer soon.”
James' latest weight loss drives comes a day after he was left outside in the rain when security failed to recognise him as he attended a charity football match.
Nonetheless, the star looked in good spirits ahead of the Sellebrity football event, which saw James Arthur, Jake Wood and Dan Osborne compete.
Our source added: "A few years ago James would have been offended but he took it as a bit of a compliment!"
James shocked fans last year when he ballooned to nearly 27 stone during lockdown, admitting he swapped his drink and drug addiction for food.
Revealing the impact the gastric sleeve has had on his life already, he recently said: "I'm so pleased sitting here today, two-and-a-half weeks after the operation.
"Weight is coming off each and every day. I'm feeling happier and healthier. I'm starting to feel like my old self again, this is really going to be a positive new chapter for me."
Pal Mark, 34, has been helping James to lose weight since before his gastric sleeve, but recently admitted it hasn't been easy.
Fitness enthusiast Mark, who launched his fitness app Train Wright with brother Josh, is doing all he can to help Arg make progress.
He said: "It's not been easy but, you know, it's just what you've got to do for mates and family – you've got to be there for them. Just got to do it as a friend.
"No matter how hard it can get at times, making him lose weight and helping him lose weight is nothing as hard as what it was and everything that he went through last year, you know?
"That was tough, and it's been tough now, but he's getting there. Now he's made a decision on what he's going to do to change it and hopefully it works out for him."
The former Towie co-stars, who have been pals since school, have always turned to each other in the tough times – and Arg has been leaning on Mark in recent months .
A pal of the pair also told The Sun: “Mark was straight on the phone to James to make sure he is OK.
"They’ve spoken a lot and James knows that Mark is there for him. Michelle will be too. They both think the world of him and want him to get back to his very best.”
The friend said that James has admitted he found his first week back in the UK after spending months in a Thailand retreat was "a bit of a head-f***."
He added: “It’s weird. James was looking forward to coming back then just getting home last week from Thailand was a nightmare because of all the travel delays.
"It’s been hard and a bit of a head f*** but in many ways James is used to it more than most of us as he has spent the last few months of his life living that way.
"He is looking to the positive and making sure he gets plenty of rest, eats right and does a bit of exercise everyday. James is absolutely determined not to fall down again and use his trigger as a force for good.
"He looks great, he is happy and healthy – and feels back to his best.”
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