Former semi-pro footballer shed eight stone after giving up fast food-heavy diet 3 years ago

Former semi-pro footballer shed eight stone after giving up fast food-heavy diet

It can be worryingly easy to live an unhealthy lifestyle after withdrawing from regular exercise, especially if that previously formed a large part of your life.

Many of us have read stories of former professional sportspeople gaining weight and experiencing health problems after retirement changed their regular routine, but it happens away from the professional level as well.

21-year-old construction worker Connor Donnelly kept up his fitness through organised sport when he was younger, especially semi-professional football, but when he gave up on the game after a series of personal problems, it led to drastic weight gain.

Once a sport-mad youngster, minimal exercise and a diet heavy in fast food saw Connor's weight climb to more than 21 stone before he decided to take action with a healthier approach to both eating and exercise.

There was a history of heart problems in his family, and - with the help of encouragement from his mother, grandmother and girlfriend - he eventually made the change he felt was needed.

Connor, from Stratford, began suffering from depression, and this contributed to him giving up his main passion of football.

Without a regular pattern of exercise, he says he "didn't care about anything anymore," and would regularly eat fast food for two meals a day and snack on chocolate and sweets.

By contrast, he now opts for peanut butter or greek yoghurt rather than chocolate bars, and has ditched his regular breakfast of a sausage and bacon roll for green tea and brown bread.

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This, in combination with a new fitness plan from online fitness company LDN Muscle, has helped him bring his weight down from 21st 6lb to 13st 7lb.

In addition to ditching the fast food for a diet rich in fruit, veg and nuts, Connor used LDN Muscle's Cutting Guide, having learned about the company via social media.

Now qualified as a fitness consultant, he has his sights set on a return to competitive football - perhaps even at the same semi-pro level he enjoyed before.

“I have started playing football again and have a very promising 2017 lined up, during which I will hopefully go semi-professional again," Connor said.

“My family have all kept me going throughout this process; keeping me hungry, driven and focussed; helping prepare my meals and picking me up whenever I needed it.”

Alongside the Cutting Guide, ab packs and HIIT workouts, Connor made the following changes to his diet:

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Before:

Breakfast - Sausage and bacon roll

Lunch - Fast food meal

Dinner - Fast food, burgers and pizzas

Snacks - Chocolate and fizzy drinks

After: 

Breakfast - Green tea, brown bread

Lunch - Fruit, protein shake and chicken breast & veg

Dinner - Lean protein source with veg

Snacks - Nuts, peanut butter, greek yoghurt