Real life weight loss: How this California man lost 242lbs in two years

Matthew Rivera lost an incredible amount of weight, going from 487lbs to 242lbs in just two years with lifestyle changes

Real life weight loss: Matthew Rivera's story
(Image credit: Elie Khadra / Barcroft Media)

After a breakdown in family relationships, Matthew Rivera spiralled into depression and found comfort in food that resulted in rapid weight gain. The 27-year-old, from California, started gaining weight whilst still at high school. 

At his heaviest, he weighed 487lbs, his weight started affecting his everyday life - he couldn't fit comfortably in the car, walk down a block, it caused constant back pain, even tying his shoe laces became problematic. It also started affecting his relationship with his family and friends. 

Matthew told our sibling YouTube channel Truly: "I couldn't answer phone calls from [my mum], I wouldn't respond to texts from her, and I got to a point that one time I moved out of the house." 

Watch Matthew's inspiring weight loss story below:

Moving to a new place kickstarted Matthew's decision to lose weight, which he did in two years through a diet and exercise regime. He has lost an incredible 242lbs in just two years; from 487lbs to 245lbs. 

Starting a healthy regime has helped Matthew to improve his mental health and consequently, not only has his relationship with his family improved, but he also inspires others around him to adopt healthy eating habits. Learning to eat healthily is the foundation of any weight loss journey, and it means radically changing a lifetime's habit. 

Sorting your diet out involves changing your mainstays, swapping processed meats like burgers and bacon for leaner fare such as chicken breast, oily fish and higher-quality steak, cooking them on the best air fryer and best health grill rather than dousing them in saturated fats. 

How to lose weight using keto: avocado and tuna

(Image credit: Jennifer Burk on Unsplash)

Switching up sugary products and simple, refined carbohydrates such as fries for high-fibre vegetables and whole grains is the other big change. that needs to be made. Fibre improves digestion in the body, while vegetables and whole grains tend to turn carbohydrates into sugar and glucose a little bit slower than processed "white" carbs.

Matthew's journey is not over - the dramatic weight loss has left him with a lot of excess skin. Matthew is planning on getting skin removal surgery soon and continuing to inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle. 

He said: "Hopefully by sharing my story and my journey with others, it might inspire others to push themselves."

Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.