‘If I can do it, anybody can do it’

Like many people struggling to lose weight, Missourian Jeff Brinker has tried every fad diet under the sun.

At his heaviest, Brinker, who traveled frequently in sales and had “lived on expenses” for decades, weighed about 540 pounds. Along with his other former business – a catering company that also entered BBQ competitions – Brinker said it became “really easy to overeat.”


Image: Jeff Brinker arrives at FOX Television

“I don’t want to explain why I eat the way I do, why I have an unhealthy lifestyle,” Brinker said in an interview with FOX TV Stations.

In 2016, Brinker had weight loss surgery and had some success — he’s lost about 100 pounds — but he’s “back to his old habits” pretty quickly.

“I never mentioned what I was supposed to eat between the years,” he said.


Image: Jeff Brinker arrives at FOX Television

Brinker’s children, both in the Air Force and “very healthy,” have begged him to lose weight for years. He’s already started “losing a little bit of weight,” he said, but a trip to his doctor’s office in September 2021 fueled his incredible weight loss journey.

Brinker recalls: “He asked me if I wanted to take my diabetes medication, then started rummaging through the list of other medications. “I left the doctor’s office and haven’t eaten sweets, haven’t drank beer since.”

Brinker immediately reduced his calorie intake to 1,200 a day, but now he says it’s probably not enough food.

“I might have been on a diet for the first four or five months,” he says. “Now I eat 1600-1800 calories a day, but I’m burning just as much at the gym.”


Image: Jeff Brinker arrives at FOX Television

Not long after leaving the doctor’s office, he downloaded an app to track his food intake and measure how much he ate before giving up “junk” cold turkey.

Brinker said: “I was a bit surprised. Before that, I had buried my head in the sand.” “I thought, there’s no way I’m eating that much, and I did.”

Brinker spends 90 minutes at the gym every day and doesn’t keep any sweets in the house. Since September 2021, Brinker has lost a staggering 156 pounds.


Image: Jeff Brinker arrives at FOX Television

At 57, Brinker feels better than he has in 30 years. He wants to lose another 30 pounds, but “when it happens, it will happen.”

“For whatever reason, at the end of my life, I decided to make my mind stable, and my body to follow,” he said. “I’d love to say it’s hard and hard but it really isn’t. I know I have to.”

When asked if he has any advice for others trying to lose weight, Brinker said “you have to own it.”

“For me, it was acceptance. I didn’t realize how obese I was,” he explains. “We all walk in front of the mirror every day. As you gain weight, you do it incrementally. And you don’t really see it until you feel uncomfortable in the plane seat.


Image: Jeff Brinker arrives at FOX Television

“I figured if I could do it, being overweight for most of my life, anyone could do it,” he continued. “You have to accept where you are and you can’t have what you want. What do I need to stay alive and healthy compared to what’s outside. You have to say no.”

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