A man has lost nine stone – over a third of his original body weight – after ditching a 10,000 calorie diet he’d adopted in the style of bodybuilders on the internet.
Brandon Pickup, 22, a personal trainer from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, weighed 23 stone until 18 months ago - the result of force feeding himself a 10,000 calories a day diet consisting of steaks, burgers and fried breakfasts.
Obsessed with weightlifting, Pickup said he was inspired by bodybuilders he followed online, including World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall, who ate 10,000 calories a day.
“When I set out all I knew was I wanted to be as strong as I possibly could and I didn’t care about the effects that had on my body,” he explained.
“I had a passion to get strong and was inspired by Eddie Hall and the bodybuilders I followed online.
“I took on board what they did and caved in to the pressures to eat loads of food.
“I had an obsession to get strong and wanted to go all out.”
While Pickup managed to lift 53 stone at his peak, he was also faced with an expanding waistline and an unhealthy amount of fat.
He added: “My mentality was to eat as much as I physically could, regardless of how fat it made me.
“I was willing to do anything to be the strongest and I started eating at least 8,000 calories a day.
“It made me feel awful but I was getting really strong."
He was motivated to change his diet after his father Jason, 48, suffered a stroke and sepsis, causing Pickup to think seriously about his own health.
“I realised I needed to start living a healthier life and that I was putting pressure on my heart”, he said. “I wondered if I’d end up in that position.”
He radically changed his diet, reducing it to 4,000 calories a day – six 400 calorie meals a day with snacks.
He also added cardio to his six-day-a-week weightlifting routine.
Pickup, who is currently in training to compete in the World’s Strongest Man championships, now weighs 14 stone and says he is much happier.
“I now wake up and look at myself in the mirror with a smile on my face,” he said. “I can now see the results of everything I have worked towards since I was young.
“This is what I have always wanted and I am so proud of myself,” he added.
“I hate how I used to look but no one used to say anything, although I could see the look on people’s faces. I have a much more positive outlook on life now.”
Pickup’s diet before his weight loss: minimum of 8,000 calories a day
Breakfast - eight slices of bacon, four slices of toast, four eggs and an ice cream, protein powder and peanut butter smoothie.
Lunch - Four beef burgers with bread and cheese and a full pint of full fat milk.
Dinner - Typically restaurant meals like large fish and chips, steak and chips with a cheesecake for dessert.
Snacks - Cakes, chocolate and muffins.
Pickup’s diet now: 4,000 calories a day
Breakfast - Protein powder shake consisting of egg whites, oats, peanut butter and blueberries.
Mid-morning - Chicken, potatoes and vegetables.
Lunch - Lean beef, white rice and peppers.
Dinner - white fish, rice and broccoli.
Snacks - almond nuts, dark chocolates, berries and fruit.