"He was so omnipresent I said, 'Ed, even I'm sick of you. Go away.' And he did. He just went to the Far East with his girlfriend, had a great time, put on a lot of weight, ate food and came back," the music icon told Rolling Stone.
He did have one warning before Sheeran embarked on that journey, however. "One thing I said to him when he went, I said, 'Don't put on weight,' because he's very prone to put on weight like I am. And he came back heavy, but he lost it all for the album. He just went away and had a great time."
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During a sit-down with The Breakfast Club in January, the "Thinking Out Loud" crooner admitted he packed on the pounds while he wined and dined around the world. "I doubled in size," Sheeran told the radio hosts. "Sweatpants were the only things that fit and I thought everything had shrunk in the wash, but it hadn't."
"It was the beer," he continued, adding that he still indulges in it every now and then. "Well, I'm back on beer now, because I'm fine, but I cut out beer for a bit and started exercising, which was quite weird."
"I didn't realize how much I burned on stage," he continued. "I stopped touring and I just ballooned instantly." When he cut out beer and started exercising, though, he dropped 50 pounds.
As for John's thoughts on Sheeran's trip (weight gain aside), he said, "It was the most brilliant thing he could have done, because it refreshes your soul—not that I ever did it. I'm not one for going to the Far East and walking around with a backpack on; I just find that not my cup of tea. I'm too much involved with other things."
"He reminds me of me when I first started out; his enthusiasm and his love," John continued. "He's always doing something, whether he's writing his own stuff or he's writing with other people."
"This is why I wanted to start a management company, to say to these kids, 'I've been here. You need to do this. I can help you because I am who I am,' and he's been forever grateful. You know, I love him to death."