Watch: This New Jersey man conquered his drug addiction and lost 340lbs

Christopher Stanley battled drug addiction and food issues to achieve an astonishing 340lbs weight loss

Real life weight loss
(Image credit: Future)

At 6'1" high and 550lbs, Christopher Stanley’s weight was taking over his life. The 32-year-old of Kearny, New Jersey, struggled with food addiction from a young age, resulting in him being nicknamed ‘Jelly’ in high school. Prior to his transformation, Christopher had never been at a healthy weight in his life. 

Christopher told Truly: “I have been medically obese my entire life…I was never a fit child.” At his heaviest, Christopher weighed 550lbs and could barely perform daily tasks. 

He said: “I've broken a massive amount of chairs and couches, and I was sweaty all the time, I couldn't move, I was in pain, I could barely walk, I was a mess.” Christopher was also addicted to recreational drugs, taking them daily.

In 2011, Christopher decided to change and started going to the gym, putting the best exercises for weight loss into practice, but it was not until he found a 12-step support group last year that he has been able to tackle his drug addition and eating issues. He said: “It was like, boom, fixed. And I was at 375(lbs) in January and then today I'm 210(lbs).” Overall, he has managed to lose an amazing 340lbs.

Christopher told Truly: “My nickname for my entire life was 'Jelly'. I wasn't called 'Jelly' for any other reason, but just being fat, right? I’m not embarrassed of it and I don’t introduce myself as 'Jelly' anymore because that feels weird. The nickname was part of a personality, a whole type of person that I’m kind of not anymore.”

He may have learned how to lose weight on your stomach, but one thing that has not changed is Christopher’s sense of humour which is evident when describing himself now. He said: “I use the word ‘thinfluencer’ because, it's funny I think it's funny to like just put the word thin, as in ‘thinfluencer’, just mocking influencers."

One of our biggest takeaways from Christopher's journey was his new approach to food. He partnered with a friend to create a food plan, so they could hold each other's diets accountable, and he goes into the kitchen with a "plan of attack", weighing and measuring everything he eats. 

While this is understandably very strict, and certainly not necessary for everyone looking to maintain a healthy weight, the act of planning and recording what you eat has proven to be very efficient when it comes to losing weight. 

One study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that it's good to keep a food diary in which you can record what you eat, your daily intake of macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) calories and other key health metrics. 

Keeping a food diary has been shown by the study to effectively double your weight loss progress. Take a leaf out of Christopher's book and keep careful track of what you eat to drop lbs. 

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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.