In his 20s, at his peak of conditioning, Robert del Llano looked like an athlete. Del Llano weighed a rock-solid 215 pounds and sported a size-32 waist while sticking to a strict bodybuilding workout routine and diet plan.

Several years later, the worst physical version of Robert emerged. A new job took him from Miami to Pittsburgh, which created a host of bad habits, including neglecting the diet portion of his training regimen. Client meetings and after-work outings meant poor food choices and lots of alcohol. And just like that, del Llano went from lean and muscular to tipping the scales at a whopping 315 pounds.

In his own mind, del Llano would try and “hide” his weight gain in a pair of what he called “roomier” jeans, while telling friends, family, and coworkers he was in “off-season” mode.

“In reality, I was an out of shape guy who had been ‘off season’ for years,” del Llano admits.

The weight gain not only affected his appearance, but his health as well. Robert eventually suffered from a bleeding ulcer that required a blood transfusion. The near-death scare opened his eyes to what his poor food choices was doing to his health.

One of his first changes was his diet, dumping the junk and unprocessed foods and staying committed without sacrificing his busy work schedule He gave Trifecta a try, and fell in love with its a La Carte plan.

“Coming from a bodybuilding background, I always prepped and cooked all my own meals,” he says. “I never found it tedious, because I love to cook. I really take great pride in making healthy, great tasting real food by using different spices, colors and textures. Fortunately, Trifecta’s A La Carte meal plan lets me order my ingredients and still cook my own meals.”

In the fall of 2020, Robert accepted the TrifectaME 90 Day Transformation Challenge and became the contest’s winner. Robert now shares what it takes to go from in shape to out of shape to back in peak shape. Robert’s story is indeed inspirational.

How did relocating from Miami to Pittsburgh and starting a new job play a role in your weight gain?

Being in a new place with several new and different food options — mixed with lack of self control — was a recipe for disaster. My coworkers and I would regularly have lunch at an “all-you-can-eat” sushi restaurant, where I would easily eat 70 pieces of sushi in one sitting. Eventually, my colleagues would joke that I was the cause of the restaurant closing its doors.

What was always your biggest obstacle in getting your workout and diet started consistently?

Even at my heaviest, I continued weight training. But during that time, I was still pretty much eating anything and everything whenever I wanted. And the only cardio I was getting done was getting in and out of my car. This clearly shows that nutrition plays a huge role in transforming your body.

I always planned on getting my nutrition back on track, but there was always one more pizza to eat and a new beer to try or two, three, four, five, and most night six. But my worst binges consisted of drinking cheap “gallon bottle” red wine all weekend to wash down the pizza, burger, wings, or Chinese food. I had no idea how many calories, fats, and carbs I was consuming daily. I realized I wasn’t burning any of it off, so it was all getting stored as fat.

So what finally gave you that breakthrough moment?

I had my epiphany as I was getting ready to entertain clients in a suite at a Pittsburgh Steelers game. As I put on my size-46-waist jeans, I had trouble buttoning the waist. Panic set in as I began to realize I now needed a size48 to fit comfortably in my jeans. Reality hit me like a sledgehammer: I looked in the mirror thinking, “Not only am I severely overweight, I look and feel like crap and well on the way to having a size 50 waist!”

I decided to begin eating how I ate when I was bodybuilding: I ate five meals a day which consisted of lean meat, fish, and chicken with steamed white rice and broccoli. I eliminated all the fast food, sweets, and sugar. I did have one cheat meal a week, usually on Saturday or Sunday and I ate whatever I wanted. I knew that in order for me to be successful, I needed to be consistent. I understood that if I wanted to lose weight, this was how I would need to eat for the rest of my life.

Did anything — or anyone — else inspire you to make a change?

My mom. She is an amazing woman—and has no filter. She began telling me how fat I had become and that I was too ‘good looking’ to let myself go like I had. Knowing how competitive a person I am, she challenged me and said I would never be able to get a six-pack again. I’m very proud I was able to prove her wrong.

So what changes did you make to help drop some of the weight?

I eliminated the junk, replaced it with real, minimally processed food. My food was divided into five daily meals spaced apart every two to three hours.

The only thing I have eliminated totally from my diet as well as my life is alcohol. On June 26th 2021, I will have been sober for five years. I have not had a drop of beer, wine, whiskey, moonshine, champagne, or any sort of alcohol.

Were there any challenges in sticking to this new diet?

Once I faced the reality that out of my own stubbornness, pride, and plain stupidity I almost died, there was no turning back for me. Especially when I was 100% in control of the

outcome. Certainly, there were moments I got off track, but when I slipped, Trifecta helped me stay accountable and pick myself up to get back at it.

What led you to Trifecta?

I learned about Trifecta following the bodybuilding and fitness community. I researched the company and loved what I learned. I ordered their Cod and Salmon, because fish is a big part of my daily nutrition. Everything they do from organic food, sustainable packaging, to the online toolkits and resources, I was hooked. There is a level of personal touch that their team has that made me feel like they are here to actually help me and not just sell a product. Trifecta became a part of my everyday nutrition strategy and remains an integral part of my diet to this day.

How much time do you save in your busy schedule by no longer needing to meal prep?

I save a ton of time daily. While I have tried the Keto, Paleo, and vegan meal plans, I prefer to order the A La Carte meal option from Trifecta. They all taste amazing!! But for my preference to count my macros, A La Carte Plan works best. All of my ive to six daily meals have protein, but depending on the time of day, or if I’m trying to lean up or put on a little more muscle, some will have complex carbohydrates and some will have only fibrous green veggies.

What’s your message for other 315-pound men who don’t know how to start a weight-loss plan?

Don’t get discouraged. If you have the willingness to transform your body you can do it. I always tell everyone, if I was able to accomplish such a dramatic transformation, anyone can do the same or better. I am no different than anyone. I was just a person who got tired of all the excuses, tired of feeling embarrassed without a shirt and tired of feeling sick all the time. If you are willing to put in the time, make positive life changes and put in the work you will be able to transform your body and mind into anything you desire. Always remember, if having a body that you can be proud of was easy, then everyone would do it. It’s the things that require work that will be most important in the long run.

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