99 Cent Diet: Papa Joe Aviance Loses 250 Pounds By Walking, Spending Almost Nothing

By iScienceTimes Staff on June 5, 2013 1:12 PM EDT

papa joe aviance
Papa Joe Aviance cut junk food and fast food out of his diet, only buying food at a dollar store. After 18 months, he'd lost 250 pounds. (Photo: Twitter: PapaJoeAviance)

Papa Joe Aviance, a Los Angeles musician, says he lost 250 pounds in 18 months by eating nothing but food purchased from a 99-cent store.

Aviance was inspired to lose weight after "Last Night a DJ Saved my Life," his collaboration with the singer Lula, took off in 2009. Aviance kept seeing his overweight self in the music video as it aired on MTV and VH1, and was disgusted.

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"I was 450 pounds -- I was two cheeseburgers away from diabetes or high cholesterol," said Aviance. "I'd been drinking a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew every day, and if I went through any local drive-thru, they knew my name-that's how often I used to eat that stuff."

Aviance, who said he'd been big for most of his life, was sick of hating himself, and that "it was now or never." So he swore off junk food and cleared out his kitchen of all temptations, anything that was going to prevent him from shedding pounds: "cookies, candy, sodas...I was only going to drink water or unsweetened iced tea, and no more fast food," Aviance said.

Despite the success of "Last Night a DJ Saved my Life," Aviance was struggling financially. He'd lost his day job and couldn't afford a gym, so the 450-pound DJ began walking around the block for some no-cost exercise. At first, he struggled to go even short distances.

"The first time around the block -- I couldn't even do it, it was just mounds of sweat," he said.

Soon he was walking more and more each day, until he could walk for miles, and when a friend suggested he check out the dollar store for inexpensive food, his diet regimen took off.

"A friend told me I should check out the 99-Cent Store," Aviance said. "Since I couldn't afford Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, I decided to see what they had...Oatmeal, raisins, nuts, bananas, apples, oranges, bell peppers, spinach, salad dressing, tuna fish, eggs...I was shocked. I was blown away. It was a huge savings. I literally spent no more than $50 a week on food."

Within three to four weeks, Aviance told Yahoo, he already noticed changes from his low-cost healthy meals, and within three months, he was taking his clothes to the seamstress to bring in the waistlines. He became a neighborhood fixture from his morning strolls, inspiring others to walk.

After 18 months, Aviance had lost 250 pounds. He now tours the country as a health and wellness expert, aiming to get obese teens and adults to turn their weight problems around.

"I want people to be as happy as I am, and part of that is being healthy," Aviance said. "The sidewalk is my treadmill. Every morning I walk right outside my door and go. They can do it, too."

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