Man Lost Over 200 Pounds By Making These 7 Major Diet Changes
Here is exactly how he did it.
Gregory Galanis, 42, is a weight loss success story. The Canadian, who lives in North Carolina, lost a whopping 200 pounds in less than one year. According to Galanis he didn't use Ozempic, crash diet, or get surgery. Instead, he battled his food addiction and made a few effective lifestyle changes.
"I reached the point where I couldn't even walk from the pain," Galanis told Newsweek. "I was a ticking time bomb, and I needed to make a change if I didn't want to die at the ripe old age of 40."
On August 2, 2021, the 6 foot tall, 420 pound man was 200 pounds over the "healthy" weight range, according to body mass index (BMI). Within one year he got down to his goal weight of 200.
He claims he "delved into the science and math" of how weight loss works. "I taught myself about how many calories I needed to consume per day in order to lose the weight," he said.
"I learned about my personal metabolic rate and how that changes over time. I learned what foods to eat that kept me full longer. At that point, I was too heavy to exercise. I lost 220 pounds just by changing my diet," he added.
He stopped eating all beef, pork, and chicken, replacing it with lean fish. "I also cut out all alcohol," he said. "I've learned how to cook vegetables in various ways, using all types of different spices, and cut out dressings and sauces. I eat fruit to satiate my sugar cravings. I still count my calories religiously and expect I always will."
He starts his day with a 250 calorie bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and a touch of protein powder, giving him a "good serving of protein to start my day." He also meal preps. "Before leaving the house for the day, I bring with me a small cooler with cut-up veggies and fruit," Galanis said. "Usually baby carrots, celery, apples, and bananas. That keeps me going in between actual meals." For lunch, he likes homemade tuna salad, which he might eat"over a bed of lettuce." He drinks black coffee in between lunch and dinner and has a protein bar. For dinner, he usually has vegetable stir fry with fish or shrimp. He tries to grill the veggies and fish.
"I have found that spices are the new spice of life, and my saving grace when it comes to preparing meals," Galanis said. "Not only can I mix up the flavors, but there are no additional calories to spices."
Galanis also learned that it isn't just about what you eat, but when you eat it. He now finishes eating any food for the day by 7 p.m.
"I estimate that I would eat a minimum of 3,000-5,000 calories each day, just from my visits to fast food restaurants," he said. "My addiction to food and my psychological dependence on it was real and continues to be a challenge. If I were to say that I'm completely over it, I'd be lying to myself and everyone reading this. I've learned to live with my addiction, and every day is a battle of it's own."
In order to lose a lot of weight, Galanis maintains that someone needs to want it "more than anything else they've ever wanted" and adds that getting to your weight-loss goal is "only the beginning." He said: "For me, I've realized that it's a lifelong challenge that I'll need to fight for the rest of my life. My advice would be to acknowledge it and then to tackle it head-on. It's mind over matter."
Galanis also revealed that he uses the Samsung Health app to track everything he eats during the day. He also uses Healthline to calculate his metabolic burn, based on his weight and activity level.
Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, confirms that losing over 200 pounds in a year is "a LOT" of weight loss, but it is possible," she says. "I typically recommend a bit slower weight loss to try to preserve more muscle mass and of course recommend including exercise to boost metabolism and maintain muscle mass." She maintains that he did four things correctly:
The first good thing he did was acknowledging his "addiction" to food/fast food. "He learned that for him it is all or nothing so he completely cut it out. He talked about how he needed to make it something he wanted more than anything else because the commitment is so large," Collingwood says. "I have seen many clients who 'say' they want to do something but aren't willing to put the work in. Behavior change is hard, but he committed to it 100%."
Second, he did research to do it the right way. "He calculated his caloric needs, cut out junk calories from sweets, alcohol, fried food, sauces, etc. and kept in lots of fruit/veggies, whole grain (oats), and lean protein (mostly seafood/fish)," she explains. "He tested different foods to find out what fills him up the most and gives him the most satisfaction."
Accountability was key for him, Collingwood adds. "He kept track of his weight, his calories, etc. using apps."
Finally, he was prepared. "He created lower calorie dips and found out how to use calorie free spices instead of sauces for flavor," she says.