Weight loss: Man shed 7st and transformed body by cutting out one food group from diet

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Aged 24, Luke Anthony had been living on takeaways and energy drinks for years. Eventually, he decided to change his life in a bid to get rid of his depression and anxiety. At his heaviest, Luke was 17 stone and had a 38-inch waist. He was too embarrassed to go to the gym, or even take his top off when on holiday in 35 degree heat with his friends. In a bid to transform his body and life, Luke began working out at home and became more conscious about what he ate. He told Express.co.uk his story from being the lad his friends nicknamed him as ‘Potato’ to a seven stone lighter bodybuilder.

Speaking about why he wanted to lose weight, Luke said: “I was in a really low place mentally and physically with very little confidence or support.

“I didn’t have the will or the want to do anything to be honest. I felt very alone.

“I had always been on the heavier side with my weight, always had the name calling from strangers through school and college, friends and even some members of the family. 

“My first job, I was bullied on a daily basis. My environment was very toxic and unhealthy. 

“The tipping point was when someone said that my jumper was too tight, this was a new jumper and a XXL. The next day my diet began,” he added. 

Luke explained what his life was before losing weight: “I was very lonely, I struggled to leave the house for anything other than work unless it involved alcohol or food, I didn’t want to do anything. I would sit and play on my computer for hours on end. 

“It got to the point where I didn’t even want to leave for work so I found a part time job so I didn’t have to leave the house as much.

“I went on a holiday with friends, I couldn’t even take my t-shirt off the whole time I was there. I didn’t even go in the pool.

“Those closest to me, or who I thought were close to me, never understood and thought it was normal for them to name-call me etc but in fact it caused massive anxiety, depression, self doubt and just made me go inside my shell even more.” 

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Looking back on what an average day of meals would be, Luke said: “Breakfast, I would have been cereal, toast with chocolate spread, peanut butter, a couple of chocolate bars and a bag of crisps.

“Lunch was always a pizza and chips, bowl of noodles, some more toast and a pot noodle. 

“Dinner – dinner didn’t really end until I went to bed, it would have been something like Spaghetti Bolognese, lasagne, pie etc along with chips, crisp, chocolate, pot noodle. 

“Literally as much as I could eat every day. Along with about 10 energy drinks daily.” 

As for the first thing Luke did, he said he “started with changing my diet first and creating a meal plan then incorporated high intensity home workouts”.

“I did 40 minutes Monday – Friday in my front room; jogging on the spot, press ups, burpees, sit ups etc. 

“I did this for four weeks before I started to feel and look a little different, that is when I invested in some weights and a home multi gym.” 

In terms of how his diet changed, Luke shared: “To start with, I completely cut out all junk food. 

“I’d have protein shake, eggs and Quorn sausages for my breakfast.

“My lunch would be chicken and veg or tuna and rice, and I would have this twice so one meal at 12:00 and then one and 15:00.

“My dinner would be the same as my lunch, either chicken and veg or tuna and rice.” 

Luke said he would have “no snacks”. 

“Now, after learning more about nutrition and the industry I work in, my diet is very versatile, some people would say I eat a hell of a lot to say I am dieting. I tend to eat four to five times a day between 8am and 8pm and I do have snacks. 

“I eat pizza every day using Lo-Dough bases, they are so low in calories that I can enjoy these along with my normal meals.

“I snack smartly with a cake bar every day using Lo-Dough’s amazingly indulgent cake bars and brownie mix,” he revealed. 

In terms of why he wanted to become a bodybuilder, Luke said: “I have always had an interest in strongman competitions you would see on TV and Bodybuilders in men’s health magazines, always something that would catch my eye and imagine if I could ever do or look like that myself but always had either self doubt or others around me telling me I could never look or do that, it just wasn’t ‘possible’ for me. 

“When I started to lose weight, I told myself that I would always push myself out of my comfort zone and that I would never let someone tell me I couldn’t do something again.” 

So how did he do it? “When I started to post my journey on Instagram I was spotted by the protein company I had been using the protein powder with,” Luke explained. 

“I was approached to join their team as part of the transformation and I was invited to a photo and video shoot with them. 

“This is where I first met some bodybuilders and strongmen who I had been following on Instagram throughout my journey and who had inspired me to even start my own journey. They all made me feel welcome and at home and that is something I had not felt before.” 

Luke was then introduced to Dr Emilia Thompson “who, at the time, was a bodybuilder herself and a coach working with other bodybuilders along with improving their mental health and relationship with food”. 

“I asked Emilia if we could start coaching, I had seen a bodybuilding category which was solely focussed on body transformations. 

“We had 12 weeks to improve my relationship with food along with getting into physical shape to make me comfortable to step on a stage half naked,” he continued. 

“We actually over-achieved on this as I also entered a second category for beach body in which I placed in the top five and took home a trophy. 

“The fire was then lit and I had found the sport and the community that I wanted to do and be a part of.

“Since this show I did another one six months later at a much bigger show and that solidified that this is what I want to do.” 

As for how Luke feels now, he said: “I am now myself, truly myself, confident, outgoing, secure. I am not pretending to be someone I am not, I am not pretending in any situation of my life. I am in full control. 

“I wake up and love everything I do, I am supported in all aspects of my life, my partner, my career, my own training, my clients, everything feels right and natural.  

“I do still get anxious but I have learnt how to manage this and how to control and overcome this with different types of methods including mediation.” 

Luke’s advice for anyone looking to lose weight: 

– It is down to you, the moment you start to rely on someone else to motivate you is the moment you start to make excuses. 

– It has to start with you and you wanting to make a change. 

– I have learnt that there is no such thing as bad foods, it isn’t a particular exercise that is magically going to do the work for you.

– It’s an amalgamation of your environment, your support bubble, your knowledge on nutrition and training, your stubbornness to leave what you think you know and your laziness to be willing to learn something new. 

– Consider a coach or personal trainer relevant to you and your goal, someone who suits you is also the best step you could ever take, but they have to be suited to you and understand you.

What is so great about Lo-Dough as a snack? 

“Every product Lo-Dough has created is amazing, all low in calorie which means I can eat more throughout the day within my calorie target,” Luke said. 

“All high in fibre which means I am looking after my gut health with really having to try and without having to take fibre supplements or eat endless amounts of veg just to reach my 25-30g a day.

“The bases are a great way to lower your overall carb intake for your usual wraps and pizzas making it easier to create bigger and more indulgent meals instead of sacrificing chips for example.

“The new vanilla sponge mix is an incredible cake substitute without losing the taste and texture of an actual cake,” he added.

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