"I never once had any insecurities really about myself until people pointed them out. Your brain starts thinking about them," the 28-year-old said. "I was the same sort of age as the One Direction boys and Justin Bieber and all these people that were really in shape and had six packs and I was kind of like, 'Oh should I be looking like this?'"
Sheeran, who quit Twitter in 2017 as a result of negative comments, would be criticized on social media for his appearance with people calling him "chunky" and "fat."
"It all stems from other people's insecurities. So many people have so many things they're insecure about so it makes them feel better to point out someone else's," the "Shape of You" singer said. "Half the people that would say I was fat would be fat themselves."
While the negative comments were hurtful, Sheeran, who was then called "Two Dinners Teddy" by his friends, admits he needed the health kick.
"My problem was I'd go to the pub, have bangers and mash, a pie, maybe a pudding and then loads of pints. And then not exercise," he shared, adding that he started at 224 pounds.
Sheeran credits the support of his wife Cherry for helping him diet and exercise. "On tour, it's very easy to drink every single day because there's always someone visiting. I had to make a real effort on the tour," he admitted. "I started running. I've got into cycling as well."
Today, Sheeran believes in moderation. "It's not a given that we're meant to have six-packs. It's not a normal thing to be that ripped. Have a beer. Enjoy yourself."