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Man loses 156 lbs. in 9 months with diet and exercise: ‘If I can do it, anybody can’

Like many struggling to lose weight, Missourian Jeff Brinker has tried every fad diet under the sun.

At his heaviest, Brinker, who travels frequently for his sales job and has "lived on expense accounts" for decades, weighed about 540 pounds. Coupled with his other former business — a catering company that also competed in BBQ contests — Brinker said it became "really easy to eat too much."

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Image: Jeff Brinker to FOX Television Stations

"I didn’t want to come to terms with why I ate the way I did, why I had an unhealthy lifestyle," Brinker said in an interview with FOX TV Stations.

In 2016, Brinker had weight loss surgery and saw some success — he lost about 100 pounds — but he "fell back into old habits" pretty quickly.

"I never addressed the issue between the years of what I was supposed to be eating," he said.

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Image: Jeff Brinker to FOX Television Stations

Brinker’s children, both in the Air Force and "very fit," had pleaded with him to lose weight for years. He had started to "whittle it down a little," he said, but it was a trip to his doctor’s office in September 2021 that fueled his incredible weight loss journey.

"He asked if I wanted to be on diabetes medication, then started rattling off a list of other medications. I said no," Brinker recalled. "I came out of doctor’s office and haven’t had sweets since, haven’t had a beer since."

Brinker immediately reduced his calorie intake to 1,200 a day, but he now says that probably wasn’t enough food.

"I probably crash dieted for the first four or five months," he said. "Now I eat 1600-1800 calories a day, but I’m burning that much at the gym."

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Image: Jeff Brinker to FOX Television Stations

Not long after he left the doctor’s office, he downloaded an app to track his food intake and measure just how much he’d been eating before he quit "eating garbage" cold turkey.

"I was a little astounded. I was kind of bury the head in the sand prior to that," Brinker said. "I’m like, there’s no way I’m eating that much, and I was."

Brinker spends 90 minutes at the gym every day and doesn’t keep any sweets in the house. Since September 2021, Brinker has lost an astonishing 156 pounds.

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Image: Jeff Brinker to FOX Television Stations

At 57 years old, Brinker feels better than he has in 30 years. He’d like to lose another 30 pounds, but "when it happens, it happens."

"For whatever reason, late in life I decided to get my mind right, and the body followed," he said.  "I would love to say it was hard and difficult but it really wasn’t. I knew I had to do it."

Asked if he has any advice for others trying to lose weight, Brinker said "you have to own it."

"For me it was acceptance. I didn’t realize how obese I was," he explained. "We all walk by the mirror every day. When you gain weight you do it incrementally. And you really don’t see it until it’s uncomfortable on an airplane seat.

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Image: Jeff Brinker to FOX Television Stations

"I contend that if I can do it, being overweight most of my life, anybody can do it," he continued. "You have to accept where you are and you can’t have the things that you want. What do I need to survive and be healthy versus what’s out there. You have to say no."