Real life weight loss: How this man went from 405lbs to a bodybuilder in 3 years

Levi Garrett transformed his body and went from obese to a beast with three years of consistent weight loss, diet and exercise

Levi underwent a dramatic weight loss
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A MAN who weighed 405lbs has lost half his body weight in three years, transforming himself from obese to beast – and even taking part in a bodybuilding competition. Levi Garrett, 35, from Rhode Island, was bullied as a child and found comfort in food - a habit that carried over into his adult life. 

He said: “It got to the point where I would weigh myself every once in a while, and it would just say ‘error’ on the scales.” When Levi’s step-daughter fell pregnant at 16, Levi and his wife were determined she would finish school, so his wife stayed home and Levi was the sole earner - and again he began to “eat his feelings”. 

In 2018, Levi went to hospital after experiencing intense chest pains at work - and doctors told him that the next one would be a massive heart attack. He said: “I came home and looked at my grandson and said ‘I will be there every step of the way.’ And that was the day everything changed.” 

Watch Levi's inspiring weight loss story here:

Committing himself to a cleaner diet and consistent exercise, Levi lost 230lbs - shocking his wife by competing in a bodybuilding competition. He said: “I always had an infatuation with bodybuilding because I grew up watching wrestling. I told my wife ‘I’m going to get onstage and pose’." 

Now at a happy 200lbs, Levi is a fitness coach and works out six times a week and has to eat 3,900 calories a day just to maintain his current weight. He said: “I want to be the best me I can be, the best version of myself, mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I look better than I ever have, and I know it - and own it.”


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Levi eats a lot every day, but that's to maintain his intense training regime and grow his muscles. Those 3,900 calories are a lot healthier foods than they used to be, from replacing toast, bacon and cheese with porridge in the mornings to taking advantage of lots of lean protein sources, like chicken, steak, fish and the best protein powder for weight loss and maintenance. 

You don't have to add lots of saturated fats to meat in order to keep it healthy: the best air fryer and best grill use a fraction of the added saturated fats and calories that other methods like roasting or frying might. Less added calories mean space in Levi's mean plan for more whole foods to fuel his training and recovery. 

And Levi trains hard, hitting the gym up to six times a week and deadlifting up to 450lbs. Compound moves like the deadlift, squat and bench press work lots of different muscle groups at the same time, making them perfect for anyone looking to build muscle and burn fat very quickly. The deadlift alone works your hamstrings, quads, glutes, lower back, arms and core. 

Levi follows this up with isolation exercises like the bicep curl. You should always do big compound lifts first, while your body is fresh: you can then target and work on individual muscle groups such as your arms, core or legs. 

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.