From 10,000 calories a day to just 1,800: How fast food fanatic who once drank 24 sodas a day lost 370lbs the hard way


From 10,000 calories a day to just 1,800: How fast food fanatic who once drank 24 sodas a day lost 370lbs the hard way

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UPDATED:

20:16 GMT, 1 June 2012

A man who once clocked in at 680lbs has told how he lost over half his body weight with a simple diet and exercise regime.

Neil Burns, 44, from Richmond, Kentucky, was so morbidly obese he was virtually housebound, describing his home as his 'prison'.

Now, two years on, at 310lbs, the 6ft 4in father-of-one is well on his way to reaching his goal weight of 270lbs.

Neil Burns weight loss

Neil Burns weight loss

Transformed: Neil Burns, who once weighed 680lbs (left) has lost over half his body weight thanks to a simple diet and exercise regime. He now weighs 310lbs (right) and is close to his goal weight of 270lbs

In a new interview with Good Morning America, he described how he found the impetus to cut a 21-year fast food habit that saw him consume 10,000 calories a day in value meals from McDonalds and Dairy Queen.

'I couldn't walk or move,' he admitted. 'It was just miserable.'

Mr Burns, who would also drink 24 sugar-loaded sodas every day, said that his trigger moment came one day when he stepped on the scales.

'It was like a ton of bricks hit me,' he wrote on his website. 'I started and haven't looked back.'

Now, his diet is a far more healthy 1,800 calories a day, and consists of lean options like turkey sandwiches, spinach salads with chicken and protein shakes.

He has also embraced exercise, doing two
sessions daily; one of weights to tone, the other of cardio for burning
fat. Together, they help him burn an average of 1,000 calories a day.

Neil Burns weight loss

Bad habits: Mr Burns became virtually housebound after existing on a 10,000 calorie-a-day diet of Dairy Queen and McDonalds value meals, along with 24 sugar-loaded sodas daily

Zumba classes have become a particular favourite – as much for the ladies who attend as the fitness factor.

'Being a single guy in a room full of single women… I thought my odds are pretty good!' he said.

In fact, he loves the classes so much, he has even become a qualified instructor.

Mr Burns keeps himself motivated with a number of tactics that he calls his 'Jedi mind tricks'. They include his workout buddy, Tanya, who calls him if he fails to turn up at the gym, and admitting to himself when he cheats on his diet.

'I yell at myself and say out loud, “I
just ate an 18-inch pizza and a two litre of Mountain Dew.” [I] yell …
and get all of my anger out,' he said. 'Getting it out in the open. It's
just the only way to go.'

Fitness fanatic: Mr Burns, second left, loves Zumba classes so much, he recently qualified as an instructor

Fitness fanatic: Mr Burns, second left, loves Zumba classes so much, he recently qualified as an instructor

His most inspirational idea, though, was the 'Skinny List'. It featured 37 activities he could not enjoy at 680lbs, that, one by one, he found he could enjoy.

They included simple activities like vacuuming and sitting in a chair with arms, as well as riding a horse and fitting into the driver's seat of a sport's car.

The GMA interview saw him complete the latter – the last item on the list – as he took a spin in a Mustang convertible.

Now a motivational speaker, Mr Burns spends his time helping inspire others to lose weight too.

'There's nothing you can't do when you put your mind to it,' he said. 'Your mind, body, heart and soul. There nothing you can't do.