Ed Sheeran worried about his weight when he first found fame.

The 'Shape of You' singer admitted he used to have ''zero insecurities'' about his appearance but felt pressure to slim down after comparing himself unfavourably to the likes of Justin Bieber and the members of One Direction.

He admitted: ''I was like, 'They're so photogenic and they've got six packs... and I should look like that.'

''But should I actually care if I'm fat or not? No-one's bought my records based on me looking a certain way.

''I had zero insecurities before I became a singer - and I was born with ginger hair.

''I didn't care. I'd have a beer belly, ginger hair, wouldn't wash and wear scraggly clothes.

''But as soon as you become in the public eye and people start picking holes in you, you start thinking things are bad for you. Like, 'Am I fat?' ''

And the 26-year-old singer admitted he has even tried fad diets to lose weight.

Speaking to fellow musician George Ezra on his new podcast, he recalled their first meeting in 2014 and said: ''I was doing no carbohydrates and just drinking vodka and slim tonic.''

But Ed drew the line at some extreme ways of losing weight.

He recalled: ''I was hanging out with a model ages ago, and she used to dip cotton wool balls in diet Pepsi and that would be her meal for the day. That's a bad diet tip.''

And the 'Castle on the Hill' hitmaker now keeps his weight in check with a more attainable routine.

He explained: ''Eat what you want and exercise every day''.

In the early days of his career, Ed admitted he embraced every opportunity he could to get noticed because he knew hard work was the key to success.

He said: ''My first album came out when Adele's 21 came out... and I'm not better than Adele.

''But everyone at the record label was like, 'James Blunt became massive because he worked harder than everyone else'.

''So I was like, 'Get me his diary and we'll do all of that times two'.

''I was doing all the things that other artists were thinking was uncool. I played on 'Hollyoaks'!

''And funnily enough, when I met Paul McCartney, he said, 'I saw you on 'Hollyoaks''. Weird, innit?''