A man moved to a remote village and cut contact with loved ones. He reappeared months later 137 pounds lighter and says he’s broken a decades-long cycle of weight loss and gain.

Bryan O’Keeffe earlier than and after shedding pounds.Bryan O’Keeffe

  • Bryan O’Keeffe, 34, had tried every thing to drop some pounds so determined he wanted to do one thing drastic.

  • He moved to a distant village, give up his job, and minimize off contact with family members for seven months.

  • He moved for 5 hours a day and cooked from scratch to lose over half his physique weight.

Bryan O’Keeffe had struggled together with his weight his complete life, making an attempt each food regimen and exercise regime below the solar however feeling like he was dropping and gaining the identical 40 kilos repeatedly.

So he determined to do one thing drastic.

O’Keeffe, 34, from Eire, weighed 338 kilos when he moved to a small village in Spain, give up his job, and minimize off all communication together with his household and pals.

Seven months later he had misplaced 137 kilos, greater than half his physique weight, and went house to Eire to shock his family members, capturing their reactions in a TikTok video that has been considered over 32 million instances.

Within the video, O’Keeffe mentioned that after 15 years of making an attempt fad diets and exercises, he determined to cease specializing in the scales and as a substitute on being mentally resilient and constructing self-discipline.

Chatting with Insider, O’Keeffe mentioned that dropping the burden was extremely arduous, and he acknowledged that his strategies have been excessive.

New medicine equivalent to semaglutide which have helped individuals drop some pounds after years of struggling mirror how being chubby is not merely an issue of poor self-control and a scarcity of will energy. And specialists usually advise individuals to drop some pounds step by step by slowly increase wholesome habits with out an excessive amount of restriction.

However a drastic, temporary interval of weight reduction lasting one to 3 months may be helpful for individuals who have so much to lose and have misplaced perception of their potential to succeed, earlier than transitioning to a extra sustainable way of life, private coach and fats loss coach Jordan Syatt instructed Insider.

A wholesome and sustainable charge of weight reduction for most individuals is one pound per week on common, or 0.5% of your physique weight, however overweight and chubby individuals can safely drop some pounds sooner resulting from having extra to lose.

Private coach and dietitian Mike Matthews believes that folks with greater than 100 kilos to lose can safely lose as much as 4 kilos of weight per week.

“I positively would not suggest it for everybody, nevertheless it was the proper state of affairs for me,” O’Keeffe mentioned.


O’Keeffe gained weight all through his 20s

O’Keeffe was an chubby baby, however going to boarding college as a young person and taking part in a number of sport helped him to slim down, he mentioned.

When he went to school, nonetheless, the everyday pupil way of life of ingesting and consuming take-out, mixed with an harm, resulted in O’Keeffe gaining weight “aggressively,” he mentioned.

All through his 20s, he tried all kinds of diets and exercise kinds — from keto to Crossfit — went to weight administration clinics, and even had a balloon fitted in his abdomen that was supposed to scale back starvation, which he later had eliminated. He’d lose some weight for a couple of months however would at all times regain it, normally coming again as much as round 330 kilos, he mentioned.

“Weight-reduction plan and weight reduction is seen as an enormous stress on the physique, and the physique works to eradicate that stress by shutting down and resultingly, guaranteeing you climb again to your beginning weight,” Dr. Nick Fuller instructed Insider.

Dietitians warn that fad diets like keto are too restrictive to be sustainable, whereas analysis suggests banning meals could make you extra prone to crave them and fewer prone to persist with a nutritious diet.

In 2017, O’Keefe misplaced 70 kilos in 5 months after shifting to London and entering into a very good routine together with his food regimen and train. However he mentioned every thing fell aside after he celebrated incomes his grasp’s diploma. He put the burden again on in half the time it took to lose it after he began ordering massive takeouts most nights.

“Weight reduction was the factor I needed essentially the most, however I wasn’t keen to place the sacrifices in to get it long run,” O’Keeffe mentioned.

O’Keeffe moved to a tiny Spanish village to take away temptation

On the finish of 2020, aged 33, O’Keeffe moved to the Spanish metropolis of Palma, on the island of Mallorca, the place his brother, who was working as a health care provider, inspired him to hitch him and make a change. However the cycle of weight reduction and acquire continued.

Round October 2021, O’Keeffe as soon as once more pledged to interrupt it.

He reasoned he was struggling as a result of it was really easy to entry indulgent meals, and his social life centered round foods and drinks. So he eliminated these elements of his life by shifting to a tiny Mallorcan fishing village “in the midst of nowhere” known as Cala Figuera, which solely had one store open in winter.

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O’Keefe’s considering displays analysis on what are often called obesogenic environments, the place quick access to and the commercial of extremely processed, calorie-dense meals encourages individuals to eat unhealthily and stay sedentary life, contributing to rising weight problems charges.

O’Keefe additionally minimize off all contact together with his household and pals, telling them he was going to “work on himself” and would not converse to them for 3 months.

They have been, at the very least to his face, largely supportive, O’Keeffe mentioned. However there was extra pushback when he instructed them he was persevering with on the finish of the three months.

“I simply felt like I would tried every thing, and possibly it was going take one thing as excessive as this to alter,” he mentioned.

He moved consciously for 5 hours a day

O’Keeffe started by strolling his canine for an hour a day, earlier than going to a dusty previous native health club, in addition to swimming, working, and stretching. Quickly he was doing aware motion for 5 hours a day.

O’Keeffe challenged himself by figuring out daily, even when injured, to construct self-discipline and resilience, although he knew he was overtraining, he mentioned.

“I wanted to push myself to the restrict,” O’Keeffe mentioned.

“There is a vicious cycle with weight reduction the place you eat since you’re sad about being chubby, so then you definately acquire extra weight and it makes you extra sad,” he mentioned. O’Keeffe needed to create the alternative — “a cycle of positivity and reinforcement” — and persistently really feel he was reaching one thing to drive him onwards.

A month in, he give up his job to focus 100% on weight reduction, dwelling off his financial savings and saving cash by cooking meals from scratch.

O’Keeffe tracked his meals utilizing the MyFitnessPal app and intermittent fasted to assist him persist with his purpose of two,200 energy a day and 200 grams of protein, he mentioned.

The Worldwide Society of Sports activities Vitamin recommends consuming between 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Nevertheless, overweight individuals are suggested to goal for much less (1.2–1.5 grams each day per kilogram of body weight) given their total body weight is bigger.

At one level, when he was about 56 kilos down, he craved McDonald’s however determined it wasn’t price it when he realized the closest one was an hour away.

O’Keeffe’s plan was working and the burden stored coming off.

O’Keeffe at all times knew he would want longer than three months to lose the burden

O’Keeffe by no means thought three months can be lengthy sufficient to lose round 140 kilos however he thought saying so would make it simpler for his family and friends.

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The one particular person he did converse to was his father, who he would name twice every week when his mom was out. He has “pretty superior” Alzheimer’s, and O’Keefe mentioned he knew he would not keep in mind the decision.

After 4 months he additionally began talking about coaching with an acquaintance who’s a power and conditioning coach — however did not inform him what he was doing.

Round that point, O’Keeffe’s youthful sister texted him, “Are you content?”

He replied: “Sure,” although that wasn’t essentially true, later realizing that he was “fulfilled.” He was pushing himself extremely arduous, however was feeling good about his achievements.

“I used to be reaching one thing that I would needed greater than something for 15 years,” O’Keeffe mentioned.

O’Keeffe shocked everybody when he returned house

As summer season approached, O’Keeffe deliberate to go house and shock his family and friends, solely telling a few individuals about his plan so they might movie their reactions however conserving the extent of his weight reduction a secret.

In July 2022, he confirmed up on doorsteps trying like a very totally different particular person from seven months earlier.

“It was superb,” O’Keeffe mentioned. “Everybody was simply so shocked and so completely happy for me. I am going to always remember it.”

It is the little issues which have struck O’Keeffe most since dropping the burden, like with the ability to sit in an airplane seat comfortably: “I was locked in, I would go away with a seatbelt mark. After which once I sat for the primary time within the airplane seat, I felt I used to be like swimming in it,” he mentioned.

Bryan O'Keeffe

Bryan O’Keeffe retains this picture as his cellphone background.Bryan O’Keeffe

O’Keeffe’s sister signed him as much as Bumble and he was amazed by how a lot consideration he obtained. He now has a girlfriend who lives on the Spanish island of Tenerife, and has moved again to Palma.

Because the summer season, O’Keeffe has eased up on train and began consuming extra to assist construct muscle, he mentioned, however needs to pare again once more after having fun with indulgences together with his family and friends.

O’Keeffe did not publish on social media whereas shedding pounds, however now shares instructional content material and helps others with their very own journeys, which additionally encourages him to remain on monitor, he mentioned.

O’Keeffe is assured he’ll hold the burden off this time not simply because he misplaced extra than ever earlier than, however as a result of — as he’d hoped — he is constructed resilience and a life-style he enjoys.

Learn the unique article on Insider