This Guy's No-Nonsense Diet Helped Him Lose 130 Pounds and Get Fit
"I realized college was about to start and I didn’t want to be the ‘big guy’ anymore," says Tyler Licht.
Right around the moment that Winge hit his heaviest point, with his weight topping out at nearly 330 pounds, things began to take a turn. "I started to get a lot of headaches," he says, "so I went to the hospital get checked out." Among other problems, Winge's doctors flagged his high blood pressure, and told him he'd need to start taking prescription drugs to keep it under control if he didn't make a change soon. "That was the big turning point for me," Winge says. "I finally understood that I was destroying my life and my body."
Winge started with some of the more obvious contributors to his weight gain-phasing out calorie bombs like snacks and sugary foods like candy. He also started to focus more on portion control, consciously trying not to overserve himself, eventually working his way up to weighing individual ingredients. Training-wise, he also started to make changes: In the past, he'd mostly been hitting the weights, but ignoring the cardio side of the equation. To help keep himself more active, he added long walks to his daily regimen, trying to find more of a balance between heavy lifting and moving. "I still trained, and managed to keep 100 percent of my strength through the whole diet," he says.
This Guy Adjusted His Diet and Workout to Drop 20 Pounds and Get Ripped
"I try to keep my workouts and diet as simple as possible.” Along with changing his diet, Helwig also changed the focus of his workouts. He’d been working on getting bigger and stronger for the rugby field, but back in the US, he wasn’t playing anymore. “I realized that I could be a bit more vain and focus solely on looking better,” he says. He settled in for a slow burn, careful not to overdo the cardio. “I've always preferred a classic gym workout, five-day splits with focus on specific body parts,” he says.
Video: This Guy Made Two Big Changes to Drop 105 Pounds
At first, Winge says, his motivation was simply to get "healthy and normal." But as he started making serious progress with his weight loss, he started to gain more muscle definition, making it clear how much strength he'd been hiding. So far, he says, he's lost more than 180 pounds in two years. "I feel great. Small things like being able to walk up some stairs without getting sweaty and out of breath is amazing."
His latest goal is to deal with some of the excess loose skin leftover from his weight loss transformation. Winge says has surgery scheduled for later this year to have that excess skin removed, and then he'll focus more on his physique-losing weight and improving definition with the goal of competing in an amateur bodybuilding competition one day.
How This Guy Packed on Muscle After Switching Up His Workout Routine
"Lifting gives me a sense of satisfaction and mental toughness few other things can.” Gallery: 30 things you should never, ever do at the gym (Women's Health) Read More
That said, he admits still struggles with some confidence issues from time to time. He's getting plenty of support from his family and friends, however, and is even seeing an improvement in his dating life-not that he's letting it go to his head. "I still take it slow," he says, "and put a lot of time and energy into myself."
Gallery: 8 jaw-dropping weight loss transformations you have to see to believe
Here at Men's Health, we love to bring you stories of real men who change their bodies-and their lives. Our hope is that their dramatic transformations will help you get inspired to start your own weight-loss journey.
Between working out and eating right, there are lots of different ways to lose weight. On this list, you'll find guys who went keto, crushed HIIT workouts, and developed all-around healthier lifestyles. Many lost more than 100 pounds-and needless to say, their before-and-after photos are incredible.
Here are 8 incredible weight-loss transformations from 2018.
Barry Parkes always said 300 pounds would be his limit. But, a few years ago, that number came and went. “That’s when it really hit me,” he said.
A Few Diet and Workout Tweaks Helped This Guy Pack on Muscle and Get Shredded
Kai Barlow tried HIIT, but it only led to rapid weight loss, which isn't what he wanted. He started doing pull-ups and bench presses — and packed on lean muscle.
Now, Parkes, a who works as an assistant principal in Idaho Falls, weighs 203 pounds. How’d he do it? By taking one step at a time with his Fitbit, and counting his calories in and calories out.
“It had to be something permanent,” he explained of his weight loss strategy. “It couldn't be cutting out carbs, cutting out protein, because I knew that’s not reality. I’m not going to do that until I die.”
Gordon Gauss is dedicated to one thing, and one thing only: living a longer life for his two-year-old son. But for a guy whose weight crept up to more than 400 pounds, the goal didn't always feel achievable.
Throughout his college years, Gauss found himself going outside less and less, performing fewer physical activities and simply eating more. By the end of college, he was about 350 pounds and experiencing depression.
“My depression kicked into high gear. I really just stopped caring, so I just put back on all the weight, and then some," he said.
By January of 2018, his weight hit 437 pounds. Spurred by the anniversary of his father-in-law's death, Gauss decided to lose weight. He had the help of a mental health professional to help manage his depression, a trainer to help push his body, and his son and wife as the reason to keep going.
A Few Tweaks to His Diet Helped This Guy Get Ripped in His Forties
“People that I had known for years literally didn’t recognize me. "
In just 10 months, all of these habits helped Gauss drop down to 272 pounds, accounting for a 165-pound weight loss. “I went from not being able to walk for 10 minutes without my knees hurting, my shins hurting, my back hurting, and being completely winded for 20 minutes,” he said.
Twenty-year-old Hunter Croteau is still getting used to his new body. After all, he recently achieved one of the most stunning physical and mental changes humanly possible: In just eight months, he's dropped an astonishing 170 pounds with the help of weight loss surgery.
Following the death of his beloved grandfather, Croteau’s weight began to skyrocket. “It got to the point where I was eating 6,000 calories a night,” he said. “Binge eating, ordering out $30 worth of takeout, eating it all myself.”
By the time he graduated, he tipped the scale at 360 pounds. But, one day, a stranger entered his life at his grocery store job.
“I had this customer come through on an electric cart, buying a ton of diet drinks. I ended up talking to her a little bit and helped her out to her car,” he said. “Before she left, she was like, ‘Listen, I wouldn't say this to anybody else, but I can tell your weight really bothers you.’ She said her daughter had this surgery. So that kind of like planted the seed in my brain."
Just a few months later, Croteau received a gastric sleeve and stuck with the advice of both his mental health and nutritional advisors, which helped him drop to a staggering 190 pounds.
Two Crucial Diet Changes Helped This Guy Lose More Than 100 Pounds
After years focusing on work and neglecting old exercise habits, former college athlete Jake Patricio found himself at 349 pounds.
“You have to be able to be honest with yourself: Find out what your problems are, and what hurts you the most about yourself," he said. "If you want to fix it, you have to just do it. Take the steps-even if they're baby steps.
At 6’7”, Deandre Upshaw has a hard time hiding in the background of any room-and weighing 400 pounds made it nearly impossible. “I've always been sort of a gigantic,” Upshaw said. “I think I was 5’11’’ in the eighth grade.”
But, like most people, Upshaw got too busy living his life to care about weight: “College happens, and you gain weight, you lose weight, you gain weight,” he recalled. A few years after graduation, Upshaw met his now-fiancé, Stuart-and he gained even more weight as the pair wined and dined their way to falling in love.
For Upshaw, there was no magic moment, instant of clarity, or epiphany; one day, he just woke up and decided to lose weight. But instead of falling for gimmicks or trying hyper-specific fitness routines and diet tricks, Upshaw did some research and talked to his doctor to find out what would work best for him.
He ended up undertaking a simple weight loss plan: Calories in, calories out. He lost seven pounds in the first week-and kept going, until he dropped 150 pounds via exercise and healthier living. When it comes to weight loss, “there is no secret pill, potion, or magic trick,” Upshaw said. It takes work, and it isn't a quick journey.
"I didn’t lose 150 pounds once," he said. "I lost one pound 150 times."
Joey Morganelli knows tragedy better than most. When Morganelli was 13 years old, his mother died of cancer. Three years later, his seemingly healthy father had a heart attack and died in front of him. Over the next few years, Morganelli began to push down his feelings about the loss of his parents with an intense food addiction. At his highest weight, he came in somewhere around 400 pounds. "You don't have to be hungry to eat. That's how I gained weight so quickly," he said.
Briana And Ryan Culberson: 'If You're Hungry On Keto, You're Doing It Wrong'
They've lost more than 100 pounds combined.
But, luckily for Morganelli, he had people around him who cared enough to step up and say something. In college, a microbiology professor pulled him aside to express his fears over his student’s health. He asked him to watch the Netflix documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Some people might have been offended by the professor's suggestion, but Morganelli said the film had a powerful effect on him.
“I just decided that I wanted to be mentally healthier and physically healthier because I wanted to start living my life,” he said. The first thing he did was give up fast food. Next, he downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, and decided to go vegan, which helped him get down to a healthy 250 pounds. “I wanted to grow up and live a life that I could be proud of, rather than saying I just sat and at ate all day and died at 42 of a heart attack because I didn't want to face my fears," he said. "The hardest thing you can do is face yourself."
In 2016, Wilson Velasquez-a self-described nerd with a Marvel figurine collection to prove i -set out for a fun-filled day at Six Flags with a few of his coworkers. But when he attempted to board one of the park’s roller coasters, he found his 320-frame could no longer fit. By the end of the visit to the theme park, Velasquez had made up his mind: It was time to change everything.
First, Valesquez joined Planet Fitness. I didn't know what the hell I'm doing," he said. "I just got there and I saw all the equipment and saw the other guys just doing stuff. It's a mix of emotion when you go into a gym as a big guy." But he stuck with it, performing full body workouts and walking for 30 minutes on a treadmill. “I lost maybe 30, 40 pounds just working out alone,” he said. “Not even doing anything crazy, not even worrying about eating.”
Next, he started counting his calories and started being more thoughtful about his food choices, which helped him lose more than 110 pounds, and helped him get back on that roller coaster earlier this year. But, he’s the first to admit that getting there is a lot of work.
“It's not instant,” Velasquez stressed of both his before and after photos and all those you see on the internet. “It didn’t take a week. It took me 14 months to lose a hundred pounds.”
As a kid, Kam noticed he was always bigger than other kids. His weight issues compounded during freshman year of college, when his mother died after battling cancer.
Kam went to therapy to deal with his grief and other mental health issues. But as he began eating foods that comforted him, his physical health took a turn for the worse. In a way, he ate those foods to find something he could control. Kam was already overweight by the time he graduated-and it didn't help that he went to a job that had him sitting at a desk for hours on end.
But then, at the age of 24, Kam looked at a few photos of himself from an outing with friends and no longer recognized the person he saw in the image. “It was just like, holy sh*t, what happened?”
After yo-yoing on gimmicky diet tricks, he finally committed to a fitness routine and a ketogenic diet. He managed to lose 90 pounds in 10 months.
Best of all, Kam explained that he’s been able to find something more inside of himself, too."My confidence, I can feel it in my core. It’s just a matter of persisting," he said. "2018 is my year."
The 20-year-old from North Carolina had a typical Southern upbringing, spending plenty of time playing outside and participating in sports.
As he entered high school, Hathcock suffered a series of injuries that he ignored for too long, including tendon tears in both knees, which sidelined him for good. After he was forced off the field, his social circle shrank - and he coped with the loneliness by eating. Over the next year, he continued to gain weight."In the ninth grade, I was 185," he said. "I started 11th grade at probably 300."
He had a "light bulb" moment when he ordered himself some XXL shirts and size 44 pants, and they didn’t fit. "That's when it really sank in. I jumped on the scale and I saw 320 pounds," he said.
Hathcock began to lose weight by tracking his calories in and calories out, making sure he stayed in a caloric deficit. In four months, Hathcock lost 40 pounds. Next, he started researching workout routines and went back to the gym, where he spent most of his time in the weight room and doing high-intensity interval training.
Exactly one year from starting his journey, Hathcock dropped down to 198 pounds. But he wanted to add some bulk to his frame, so with the help of a new gym routine and a higher-calorie diet, he made his way back up to a muscular 212 pounds.
Read his full weight loss story.
Briana And Ryan Culberson: 'If You're Hungry On Keto, You're Doing It Wrong'.
They've lost more than 100 pounds combined.
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