Weight-loss success: 3 things man did to lose 220 pounds

After his engagement ended, Jarred Aslett examined his life. He had been slowly gaining weight since graduating college and now weighed 480 pounds. That made doing things that he loved, such as hiking, surfing and snowboarding, too difficult. At times, he drank too much alcohol to cope. After evaluating his health, he reduced how much he was drinking and signed up for a gym membership while focusing on his mental well-being.

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“I also went to therapy for the first time and started dealing with a lot of issues that led me to the over drinking and the unhealthy habits,” Aslett, 32 of Twin Falls, Idaho, told TODAY. “I was able to just focus on my health and get after it.”

The first thing he did was skip the extra cocktails.

“A lot of my weight gain came from drinking, that was just drinking to escape reality,” he explained. “I never quit completely, just got it under control.”

At the same time, he joined his brother at the gym. The first time, they worked out for an hour and a half. While Aslett could move for 90 minutes, he still struggled both physically and mentally.

“I used to be an athlete, too, so I was familiar with the gym and lifting. But the first time in the gym was very emotional when it hit me how far I had let myself go,” he said. “I wasn’t lifting weights as heavy as I used to and it just all hit me that I have got a long road ahead of me.”

He continued going for five days a week and he’d focus on different muscle groups each day. He also started walking his dog every day.

“We just walked a mile and that would be good,” Aslett said. “Now we’re doing 4 or 5 miles a day, no problem, and I take her on hikes on the weekends.”

Eventually he started riding an exercise bike at home thanks, in part, to the COVID-19 shutdown. He started with a 5-mile ride and worked his way up to 30 miles.

“At the beginning I was doing a lot more cardio,” Aslett said. “Once I started working out, we went into lockdown so I built a home gym in my garage and 90% of the weight I’ve lost was done in that home gym with just very basic things I had.”

At the same time, Aslett also changed what he was eating, cutting down on junk and fast food and reevaluating his portion sizes.

“I wasn’t a binge eater or anything like that. I was just eating all the wrong things. I was eating just like convenient meals, like frozen pizzas or macaroni and cheese or fast food,” he said. “I started counting my calories and the whole time I didn’t do a specific diet — it was just a calorie deficit.”

In 15 months, Aslett lost 220 pounds to weigh 260 pounds. He hopes to get to about 230 pounds and undergo skin removal surgery before deciding if he wants to lose more weight. Working through his feelings made a huge impact on his success.

“Therapy has been the most important part of this transformation. Where I grew up being a man, you don’t talk about your issues, you just stuff them down, which led to me drinking,” he said. “It gets harder before it gets better when you’re working through it. … It has definitely been very helpful.”

His physical transformation had helped him return to many of the activities he loved before his weight had stopped him from being able to do them.

“This last winter when I had lost about 80 pounds … I went snowboarding again,” Aslett said. “This winter, I’ll be back at a normal weight to where I’m very excited for the snow to hit so I can go all winter this year.”

Aslett shares tips on what helped him lose weight and adopt healthier habits.

When Aslett first started working out, he went to the gym with his brother, which motivated him to continue. After he started losing weight, he made his Instagram account public. Sharing pictures and updates kept him consistent.

“I have over 300,000 followers so they have really helped with accountability,” he said. “There’s a lot of people watching now and it just keeps me excited about moving forward.”

Aslett focused on eating fewer calories and that helped him lose weight. He felt relieved he didn’t have to follow any strict eating plan.

“You don’t have to get bogged down in all the details in the diet culture,” he said. “Do your own research and listen to credible sources.”

“Discipline is so much more important than motivation,” Aslett said. “The motivation is not always going to be there but the discipline has to be there if you want to be successful.”

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This content was originally published here.

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