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Man sheds 250 pounds after losing job and girlfriend - then becomes a ripped personal trainer

Mirror logo Mirror 6/07/2017 Nicola Oakley

(News Dog Media) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc (News Dog Media) A man who tipped the scales at 400 pounds (181kg) decided to lose the weight after being told by a doctor to change or "you're gonna die," and shed a whopping 250 pounds (113kg).

Luis Trigo, 30, of Atlanta, Ga., dropped down to 150 (68kg) pounds over a few years, then started to train and build his muscle mass, now weighing in at 170 pounds (77kg).

Luis was overweight throughout his school days and was classed as obese by the time he was in high school.

But it all started to snowball when he got to college and got a job.

"I really didn't pay attention to my nutrition because I was just trying to get through my grades or I was just trying to get through the work day.

"I just stuffed whatever was available - I never really paid attention to my health. Before I knew it I was in the 300s" he told podcast Steel Shredded.

At a height of 5-foot-7 he weighed 350 pounds (158kg) in early 2011 when he decided to quit his job to focus on nutrition.

(News Dog Media) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc (News Dog Media) "I couldn't even stand at work. My job was in warehousing. I was standing around - I could barely handle it, within a couple of hours my feet were killing me, I was leaning on things, I was constantly sluggish, I was tired," he said.

Unfortunately, his long-term relationship ended at the same time, sending Luis into a spiral of depression and causing him to gain another 50 pounds (22kg) in just two months.

Luis admits he was "as wide as two people" and had to buy two plane seats when he went on holidays.

Having heart palpitations, he consulted a doctor who diagnosed him as pre-diabetic and ran ultrasounds and an EKG.

The doctor told him: "If you don't change now, you're gonna die. You're 24 years old and you're 400 pounds (181kg)."

(News Dog Media) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc (News Dog Media) Luis confessed: "That was the turning point for me right then and there. I started that month, which was April 2011.

Luis actually says he wasn't so much affected by what the doctor said, but rather the fact he felt like he was "wasting" himself and his potential.

"I can sit here and die or I can do something about it and live the life I was supposed to," he said.

At first, he set about cutting out fast food and sugar - like fizzy drinks and fruit juices - but still ate bread and pasta.

"My exercise at first was very humbling. Basically I walked up and down the hill by my house because that's all I could really handle.

"I barely could even get to a mile of exercise. At first it was just a very slow, steady journey."

He admits he teared up the first time he exercised as he realized how bad he'd got and how out of shape he was.

Along the journey there were emotional setbacks for Luis and times where his weight loss hit a plateau.

He would lose 15 pounds, then gain back 5 pounds after becoming frustrated with his weight loss stalling, and tried every diet from paleo to Atkins.

Learning how carbohydrates work helped him to overcome these 'plateaus' whenever he reached them, Luis says, and he also started learning about nutrition and personal training.

"When you're trying to lose weight, carbohydrates are absolutely unnecessary.

"If you're just trying to lose weight, your body only needs fats and proteins. I had to learn that carbohydrates were something that I needed maybe if I needed a boost in the morning or whatever."

(Facebook/ Luis Trigo) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc (Facebook/ Luis Trigo) The biggest hurdle

"It was just learning to accept that I needed to be patient. That was the biggest hurdle. That was the hardest part was learning 'okay, I'm not going to get this off quickly without surgery. I'm going to have to embrace this journey.

"I would lose 15 pounds (6kg) and something would happen - I would get frustrated, I was stuck for a couple of weeks so I would eat back about 5 pounds (2kg) within a couple of days.

"It was just part of the process of learning patience and eventually I became more consistent."

When he lost 100 pounds (45kg) he was hit with the realization he still had 145 to go.

"I was so happy but then I looked in the mirror and I got really sad. I was really upset because it was like, 'man, I can't believe I gained so much weight to the point that losing 100 pounds didn't do anything'."

That evening, Luis went out and bought a large 'meat lovers' pizza and ate the whole thing.

"My body, the way that I looked after losing 100 pounds (45kg) was still god-awful. It looked absolutely horrible. It didn't really start looking good until I was in the 180s."

The main realization Luis has taken from his incredible journey is that it's all about your mental attitude.

"The game is 90 percent mental," he said. "If you can get your mind in the right focus, you can accomplish anything you want."

Luis is now a personal trainer and says it's nice to be able to hear every excuse in the book and tell his clients he's made them too.

"That's what really separates me, is the fact I was so massive and I can understand my clients so well."

Luis' tips for others

"The biggest thing is to understand that this is not a battle, this is a campaign.

"It is going to take a while and if you really want the results, you need to trust in the process and the people who know what they're doing.

"You need to understand that you cannot exercise bad eating habits. Always eat right, even if you don't exercise.

"You must trust in the process - if you knew what you were doing, you wouldn't be there in the first place."

Listen to the whole story of Luis' journey on the Steel Shredded podcast, or check out his Instagram and Facebook pages for more photos.

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