Dad who was ‘addicted to food’ loses 14 stone in a year after ‘miracle’ weight loss jab

By Staff 10 Min Read

Bryan Spark, 48, weighed 33st (209kg) at his heaviest having piled on the pounds and knew he needed to make a change after being diagnosed with binge eating disorder and sleep apnea

A man who piled on the pounds with food and fizzy drinks lost over 14 stone in a year – thanks to Peloton bike and a weight loss injection drug.

Bryan Spark, 48, weighed 33st (209kg) at his heaviest and knew he needed to make a change. With an “addictive personality” he ditched alcohol ten years ago but replaced the drink with food. The dad-of-three quickly piled on the pounds and jumped up from 18st to 33st over the next nine years.

Whilst not eating a lot of junk food, Bryan would eat “huge” portions and feel the need to eat “all the time” – often clearing his family’s plates as well as his. Gorging on sweets and chocolate between meals and drinking over two litres of fizzy drinks every day. But after a diagnosis of binge eating disorder and sleep apnea enough was enough for Bryan and he decided to make a change.

He was approved for Liraglutide (also called Saxenda) injections – which work by making you feel fuller and less hungry – and began using a Peloton bike. Over the next six months, Bryan went on to lose 9st. His supply of injections eventually ran out – thanks to a shortage – but Bryan persevered.

Over the following six months, he went on to lose a further 5st thanks to diet moderation and cycling and now weighs 19st. Bryan, a full-time carer for his wife, from Dumfries, Scotland said: “I’ve got a very addictive personality. I was drinking a lot and when I decided to stop drinking, I decided to start eating. I needed something to replace the alcohol and now I’m addicted to the likes of the Peloton!

“I put on weight very quickly. I hated myself, it was awful. A couple of years ago I noticed I’d gained more. It felt slow at first but then I realised I had to start buying new clothes – 3XL, 4XL, 5XL and all of a sudden 6XL. Two years ago I really felt myself getting out of control. But now I feel fantastic. Somebody asked me how I was feeling and I just said lighter. I’m as fit as I’ve ever been and mentally I just feel night and day. Now I can actually pick clothes I want to wear.”

Bryan struggled with his weight for most of his life and when he was diagnosed with a binge eating disorder it “scared” him. He said: “Binge eating sounded like what I had, rather than just being greedy. I thought if I didn’t get on top of it, it was going to kill me. My calories in my breakfast alone was 600 calories and some days I would have two bowls – not because I was hungry, just because I wanted it.

“After breakfast, I’d drink sugary drinks or coffee. For lunch, I’d have at least four bits of bread and then crisps or chocolate. Then I’d go to the fridge and keep picking at stuff until dinner. Then for dinner, I’d have more than anybody and if anybody left anything I’d have theirs as well.

“At night I would have crisps and just watch the telly – and then I would have a big bowl of cereal with sugar again, every night without fail. And that was the bare minimum I would have.” Bryan was admitted to a weight loss clinic in January 2023 where he was approved for Liraglutide.

He also began using a peloton bike at the same time. He said: “I started off around 0.6mlgs for a month and then it double every few months. You inject yourself every day with it into your tummy. It was almost instantaneous. It sounds mad but it was instantly quelling my hunger. The amount I was eating before was shocking but it felt like a miracle drug.

“The peloton is completely the base of it. I do 3 days on, 1 day off and also if it’s dry I go out cycling as well. So I’ve been doing two lots of cycling a day. I’m doing at least 20/30 miles now.” But when his supply of Liraglutide stopped due to a shortage, Bryan was worried he’d slip back into his old ways. He said: “I was worried. I knew for a fact that was the thing making me not hungry. The reboot comes back and your brain thinks you need something sweet again.

“I feel hungrier again now but I don’t eat as much anymore. So it’s just changed my thought process completely. I’m now doing my exercise and not relying on the injection.” However, Bryan isn’t finished with his incredible journey yet, as he hopes to knock off a further 3st. My goal is always to get down to 16st. I’m at 19st now”, he said.

Adding: “My weight loss will slow down and it has but my body is changing. I’m happy being fit and healthy. That’s my main objective now. If I don’t get down to the 16st It’s not my main priority anymore. I use a smaller bowl for my cereal now. Handful with semi-skimmed milk.

“My lunch I’ll have two or three Ryvita with peanut butter – if I’m going out cycling – otherwise a boiled egg. And then at night I’ll have my dinner and I’ll make sure I’ll have the smaller plate of food. I’ve never been proud of myself, it’s a hard thing for me to do. But looking at people’s reactions to what I’ve done is helping me build confidence.”

Diet before:

  • Two large bowls of cereal with sugar
  • Two litres of sugary drinks and coffee
  • Four bits of bread with crisps and chocolate
  • Constant snacking
  • Large dinner portions of pasta and curries

Diet after:

  • One small bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk
  • Two Ryvita with peanut butter or boiled eggs
  • Small plates of dinner
  • Lots of water

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