After Sam Tyler booked his dream vacation to travel to South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, he knew there was one thing he wanted to do before getting on a plane.
By the time the 19-year-old tipped the scales in 28th place, he was severely overweight and believed it would be uncomfortable to travel at his height.
Speaking to our sister newspaper The Mirror, the 21-year-old told them all about his weight loss journey.
He said: “The second I booked my year abroad I booked my gym membership.”
âI thought about flying everywhere and because of the heat, and I knew it would be uncomfortable. Before, I had made sporadic attempts to try to lose weight, but with that in mind, I knew I would.
“I had spent so much money traveling and wanted to make sure I took advantage of it.”
Sam, who works for a supermarket, joined a gym right in front of his store in 2019 after booking his flights. He also looked at what changes he could make to his diet.
He said, âI used to eat normal home cooked meals before, but I ate massive portions. Things like spaghetti bolognese and sausage and mash. I ate a lot of pasta.
âI also used to snack a lot. I like chocolate and sweets a bit, and I drank a lot of beer.
After deciding to change his lifestyle for good, Sam says he “didn’t want to go on fad diets” and instead cut back on his daily calorie intake.
âI started tracking my calories and ate less. What I ate was stuff that would fill me up more, âSam explained.
Each day, he ate a protein bar for breakfast and usually had a salad for lunch, using MyFitnessPal to track his calories. He also cut back on snacks almost entirely.
For dinner, he continued to eat home-cooked meals, but significantly reduced the portion sizes.
âI still ate a lot, but it was the food that filled me up longer,â he said.
He also made sure to go to the gym five times a week, rain or shine, usually after his shifts.
âI was only doing cardio, it was always cardio in the gym,â he said.
And within a week of starting his fitness journey, he had lost seven pounds, which prompted him to keep going.
After cutting back on calories for the first time in early September 2019, Sam says it wasn’t until the end of October that he really started to see a difference in himself.
He recalls, âI was at my friend’s sister’s 21st birthday party and a lot of my friends saw me and said, ‘Oh my God you’ve lost so much weight. That’s when I started to notice.
“Every time people said things like that, it made me want to lose more.”
While many people like to attend weight loss groups for support, Sam preferred to go it alone after an unsuccessful attempt at age 16.
âMy favorite thing to do was spend an hour at the gym listening to music.
âThe progress was constant. Each week I could run faster or longer. It made me feel so much better about myself, âhe said.
By April, seven months after starting his weight loss journey, Sam had lost a phenomenal 13th.
âMy clothes were falling off me. I looked at myself in the mirror and couldn’t recognize myself, âhe said.
Sadly, Sam’s travel year has been put on hold due to the pandemic – but that hasn’t stopped him from maintaining the weight and at 6’3 he now has a slim 15th 4-pound frame.
“I still go to the gym four or five times a week and eat less,” he said, adding that he no longer needed to track calories in such a religious fashion after learning more about nutrition. .
“I walk all over the place and play tennis and football once a week,” he added.
Sam’s best advice to anyone looking to lose weight is to give themselves something that will motivate you, like he did on his trip abroad.
âIt could be a charity event where people sponsor you – like a Tough Mudder or something,â he said.
Sam is planning his own extreme challenge to push his body to its limits, with the goal of trying the 3 Peaks Challenge next summer and hoping to reach the top of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours. .
But his big overseas trip is always at the top of his list as soon as he’s cleared to travel – and he hopes he can get there soon.
He laughed, âI have my little plan.
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