When the word "diet" comes to mind fast food chain Chick-fil-A might not sound like a viable path to weight loss success. But one Texas man says the chicken chain has been pivotal to his 140-pound weight loss.
By the age of 18, Alton Ward had tried many fad diets with no success. "I tried all the diets," he said, according to local news station ABC10. "Jenny Craig, Atkins, no carbs ... juice diets, the lose-10-pounds-in-five-days, all the different things, and none of it worked for me."
Weighing more than 350 pounds before heading off to college at Texas A&M University, the teenager knew he was at risk for a major health crisis if he didn't act soon.
Ward needed to do something different in order to successfully shed the excess weight. Chick-fil-A seemed like a manageable starting point.
Since he liked the fast food chain's items and considered its portion sizes to be reasonable, he figured he would make it a significant part of his diet.
The teenager's diet plan consisted of boiled eggs and oatmeal for breakfast. For lunch, and sometimes dinner, he ate Chick-fil-A's grilled chicken wrap or chicken strips. His favorite meal was the grilled chicken sandwich. Ward also frequently ate Chick-fil-A's salads.
But the fast food chain doesn't get all of the credit for Ward's weight loss success. He said he still made plenty of important decisions about what he ate.
"I wouldn't say all of it was Chick-fil-A, because I [had] to make my own decisions," Ward said. However, the "tasty, healthy options worked for me and ... my palate."
Exercise also contributed a great deal to his weight loss. Along with a balanced diet — cardio and strength training were key components to helping him reach his weight loss goals in less than one year.
Ward has been successful at keeping the weight off for several years. Now 25, he doesn't eat Chick-fil-A as frequently as he used to, but maintains his focus on exercise and keeping up a healthy lifestyle. He also speaks to youth who are struggling with weight challenges.