Hip-hop veteran Biz Markie was scared into getting fit and turning his eating habits around after medics warned the diabetic he could lose his feet.

The rapper, 50, realised he had to take control of his diet in 2011 after suffering from high blood pressure and testing positive for type 2 diabetes.

The Just a Friend hitmaker, who previously tipped the scales at 385 pounds (174.6 kilograms), has since shed 140 pounds (63.5 kilograms) from his frame by eating organic, and he admits it took some stern words from his doctors to make him change his ways for the better.

He tells ABC News, "They said I could lose my feet. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen...

"I wanted to live. Since I have to be a diabetic, if I didn't make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I'm trying to get off (the diabetes medication). The way you gotta do it is lose the weight. I'm off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest (sic).

Markie, real name Marcel Theo Hall, subsequently cut sugar from his diet and became a spokesperson for sugar-free soda company Zevia, and he is aiming to lose a further 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) in 2015 as the lifestyle change has also improved his stamina onstage.

He explains, "When I used to be on stage, I used to be out of breath. I couldn't walk that far. Now, I got so much energy. I can do a whole show."