• Unhealthy eating habits while playing football caused Tyler Licht’s weight to climb past the point of obesity.
• After deciding to lose weight before college, he committed to a more restrictive diet and started working out five days a week.
• Since then, he’s completed a dramatic 130-pound weight loss transformation.
In high school, Tyler Licht, a 19-year-old college student from Mountain Home, Arkansas, played football. His coach thought that, as a lineman, “bigger is better”—which it is, at the line of scrimmage. And Licht’s parents were both great cooks. So throughout his late teen years he slowly packed on pounds, fueled by big meals and lots of sugary soda. The extra weight left him lethargic, with frequent headaches and sickness. At his heaviest he had 312 pounds on his 5’11” frame. He was 18.
Licht wasn’t happy with himself, and as high school ended he resolved to do something. “My turning point was when I realized that college was about to start and I really didn’t want to be the ‘big guy’ any more,” he says.
Inspired by a YouTuber named ObeseToBeast, he tackled his diet and started working out. He started counting calories, restricting himself to 1700-1800 a day. “I didn’t worry too much about what I was eating macro-wise,” he says, “but cut out drinks with calories and fast food.” He hit the gym, with lifting and cardio—his earlier years of football workouts made it easy to get back into the groove. Soon he was lifting 5-6 days a week, and doing cardio 4-5 times a week.
Now, about 16 months later, he’s lost more than 130 pounds. He’s down to 180 pounds, and thanks to a program called “The Buff Dude’s Cutting Routine.” While 180 is a respectable weight for someone who’s 5’11,” he’s looking to drop another ten pounds, then work on strength and muscle mass.
Already, the response from people around him has been dramatic. Former high school teachers don’t recognize him. “Girls,” he says, “are a lot more talkative and casual around me.” And he’s healthier, too. His headaches are gone; he doesn’t have knee pain from carrying all that extra weight. He can climb stairs and generally feels more capable of physical activity.
As for advice about how to follow in his footsteps, Licht says it’s all about finding some kind of exercise—even something small and simple—that you can really dedicate yourself to doing routinely. “My biggest advice for someone starting out is to find an active activity you like doing and immerse yourself in that,” he says. Keep at it, and you too will see the gains.