He’s become a firm favourite on this year’s season of MasterChef Back To Win but when the reality show cut to a flashback of Reece Hignell on last night’s episode, many fans didn’t even recognise him.
Reece appeared on the 2018 series of MasterChef at the age of 28 and since then, he’s lost a whopping 35kg through transitioning to a plant-based diet and joining F45.
After Channel 10 showed a clip of Reece cooking in the kitchen on season 10 of the show, people took to Twitter to express their shock at the chef’s insane transformation.
“I cannot wrap my head around Reece’s insane change from his Season 10 appearance. He almost looks like a different person,” one person wrote.
“Omg I didn’t watch Reece’s original season... he looked SO different back then,” another person commented on Twitter.
Others couldn’t get over how different Reece looked when he had hair, with many saying
“Holy s*** I totally forgot about Reece having hair in his original season! He looks so great without it, it hadn't even occurred to me,” a person commented.
“Reece has had a massive glow up,” a fan simply commented.
The owner of cake shop CakeBoi previously opened up to the Daily Telegraph, saying that his stint on the show in 2018 had left him battling with an unhealthy diet and poor fitness.
“The show was so stressful I didn’t see my health as a priority, I was more focused on the show rather than my health,” he said.
He also told The Newcastle Herald that he had to ‘reintroduce’ who he was when he was announced as a contestant on Back To Win, because ‘obviously I don't look like I did in season 10’.
"Even when I announced on social media I was returning to the show people didn't realise it was me. We've done a few challenges out in public for this series and everyone around me is saying, 'Look, that's this person and that person', and I'm just standing there like, 'Hello, I'm Reece',” he explained.
"It's kind of cool when they finally work out who I am."
Reece also revealed that the biggest inspiration for his transformation was his time in the MasterChef kitchen, in an interview with Woman’s Day.
“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,” he said.
Reece said the best way for him to remain healthy while being a chef was transitioning to a full plant-based diet.
Taking to his Instagram Reece addressed the attention his transformation has been getting online, thanking F45 for overhauling his fitness routine.
“Over the past 8 weeks I participated in a @f45_training 8 week challenge to improve my overall fitness and it seemed to do the job. I have been working out with @f45_training_mayfield since leaving @masterchefau and now have lost close to 30kgs. Overall I am so much fitter, stronger and happier than ever (with a little help from the physio). Thank you @f45_training_mayfield and @nextgenphysio helping me achieve my fitness goals,” he wrote.
Last night, Reece sailed his way through the immunity challenge, scooping up the top spot for the second week in a row with his gin tart.
Fans can’t get enough of the talented chef, with many calling for him to get his own show once he’s wrapped up in the MasterChef kitchen.
“Reece is just a big pocket full of sunshine and I love everything he says and does and please can he be my best friend already,” one person commented.
“There are few things in this world as pure as @reece_hignell giggling & clapping to himself, looking genuinely shocked that he performed well, & excitedly whispering to himself, "Go me!". Legit can't deal with this level of cuteness,” another fan said.