English singing megastar, Ed Sheeran is an expert at writing lyrics and has sold more than 150 million records to date, but when it comes to constructing a healthy menu, the star who had a hit with “Shape of You” was forced to address his own physique after piling on the pounds with a terrible take on the ketogenic diet.

As a guest on Session 24 of Jake Shane’s Therapuss podcast, Sheeran revealed that he’d made an epic fail while trying to receive the benefits of a ketogenic diet. “This is so stupid, but I used to think that, like, no carb just meant, like, no, no, bread, no fries, blah, blah, blah, blah, and I was like; well, I can eat chicken wings.” But, while chicken wings can be a useful food when going keto, Sheeran should have consulted with some of his fitter buddies, like Thor himself; Chris Hemsworth, because his approach just didn’t fly. “So, I just ate chicken wings for about a year and a half. Those, I think those are carbs. Yeah, actually, I put on, like, I don’t know what it would be in pounds, but I put on, like, four stone…” Four stone equates to 56 pounds.

Ed Sheeran after his failed keto diet

To chicken wing or not to chicken wing, that is the question for Ed Sheeran

So, where do we start here? Firstly, a roasted chicken wing with the skin still on contains zero carbs, making it ideal for low carbohydrate diets. That same wing will also pack around 17.5 grams of protein, but here’s the rub: chicken wings may not contain carbs, but they do carry around 9 grams of fat.

Of course, if you figure this information into your daily calorific intake, then chicken wings should not be a reason for gaining weight. The star, who had a hit with “What Do I know,” was unlikely to have been eating within his daily calorie limit however, and was almost certainly not eating simple roasted chicken wings. Instead, they were probably deep fried, and if they had floury, crispy coatings, or sweet and sugary sauces as part of their appeal, then that’s where the carbs crept in.

Generally, in ketogenic diets, people try to hover at around 50g of carbs per day, but are derailed by those sneaky ingredients on the side like salad dressings or dips. While a roasted skinless chicken wing contains no carbs and around 42 calories, a fried wing could cost you a clucking 159 calories and 5g plus of carbs, depending on any additional coating. “I don’t have an off switch,” the British popstar admitted on the show, recognising that overindulging was perhaps the real reason that his waistline was expanding.

While Ed Sheeran failed epically on his keto quest, he has fortunately made some wiser decisions since then, and has now lost weight, telling Jake Shane; “I’m prone to putting on a lot of weight, and what I found is, just going to the gym regularly and trying to, like, (take control of) portion size.” Thankfully, the penny has dropped for Sheeran in that positive changes are made not through attaching ones self to any particular eating regime, but rather addressing the age-old battle between energy in versus energy out.