Skip to Main Content

A Vegan Diet Helped This Man Lose More Than 100 Pounds!

Before his transformation, Eric O’Grey weighed in at 280 pounds and had a 50-inch waist. He was 51 at the time, and his doctor told him that unless he made immediate changes, he would probably live less than five years because of his poor health, which included type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. His medications cost more than $1,000 per month.

Eric decided to take action when he saw President Clinton interviewed on CNN and talking about The China Study and the healing power of a plant-based diet. He bought the book and hired a nutritionist who told him that he could cure all his medical problems by going vegan and avoiding processed sugar. She taught him how to eat and cook using organic whole foods. At the time, he’d never had a meatless meal, and most of his meals were ordered through his car window or delivered to his home. However, going a vegan was easy for Eric, who says he adjusted comfortably in just a few short months. He was most surprised when he learned that being vegan didn’t mean just eating salads—he could eat satisfying comfort foods, including rice, potatoes, pasta, lasagna, and other favorite foods such as Chinese stir-fry and Mexican cuisine.

In addition to switching to a plant-based diet centered on whole foods, he started to exercise. At first, he was unable to tie his shoes without being out of breath. Then, by walking every day with his adopted dog, Peety, his stamina began to improve. Now, in 2012, he is running an average of 40 miles each week and plans to run five full marathons and between 15 and 20 half-marathons this year!

Today, he takes no medications, is down to 175 pounds, and has a trim 32-inch waist. His type 2 diabetes is gone, his total cholesterol is 130, and his blood pressure is 96/60. At 53, he says he can compete athletically with most 25-year-olds.

While his physical transformation is certainly admirable, equally important are the other changes that he’s experienced. Eric says that is energy is through the roof, even though he sleeps about half as much as he did before. He describes the difference in his mental clarity, saying, “It feels like I am awake for the first time in my life.” Plus, he feels great knowing that his food choices are helping not only his own health but also the environment and, of course, animals. But no matter what makes you decide to go vegan, its positive impact is destined to ripple outward.

“It is my greatest wish that others will achieve the happiness I’ve achieved, which is possible just by making this one dietary change in their lives,” says Eric. But you don’t have to be a marathoner to see great results. Many will see a drastic improvement just by switching to a vegan diet and walking for a half-hour several times each week! And this is why he joined the PETA Pack, because it combines everything he enjoys: healthy plant-based nutrition, running, and a love for animals.

Want to jump-start your weight loss, improve your health, and help animals? Join the PETA Pack today!

Commenting is closed.
  • RL says:

    can someone PLEASE send me a link to a GOOD vegan diet

  • Nalin says:

    Congratulations. I have a similar weight now and have become a vegan for the last two months. Because of my health I do not think I will be able to jog. Walking 40 miles a week is not practical. I was wondering if running helped you to loose weight more than Vegan Diet?

  • chander kumar soni says:


  • kayo says:

    Inspirational!! Good work!!

  • Suzanne says:

    This is incredible…great job!

  • JW says:

    Congratulations! I’ve struggled with my weight for the last several years. I made the decision to go with a vegan diet 6 weeks ago and so far have lost 30 pounds. I think going vegan helps because it eliminates so many temptations that contain animal products. And when I’m tempted I think of the animals that provided those products. It really makes a difference!

  • Mary says:

    What a stunning transformation. Good for you Eric! And for the animals!

  • Stephanie says:

    WAY TO GO, ERIC! From one PETA pack member to another, you are an inspiration. I had *at least* 37 pounds to lose at the start of training this year, and have already lost 5 by sticking to my vegan ways and RUNNING for the first time in my life. Yay! Pets to Petey!

  • Robert says:

    Awesome story! Keep up the good work. Go Vegan!

  • Larry says:

    Why don’t the comments here post to the facebook page?

  • Adrian says:

    Eric is a personal friend and running buddy of mine whom I have known for about a year. When he started sharing about his former struggle with his weight, and how a plant based diet changed his life, I was so inspired! Eric is an amazing person and his story resonates with everyone I repeat it to. He is absolutely no joke when it comes to health and fitness. His dedication to a healthier lifestyle and diet got him to this place, and his changed appearance speaks volumes. I know it’s crazy to see his before and after photos because there is just such a huge difference, but they are indeed, legit. He worked hard and has himself to credit for saving his own life and taking control of his future with a vegan diet. I am so proud of him!

  • Sue says:

    I have known Eric for years! I am so excited that he made a life changing decision and has managed to improve his quality of health. He was 280 and is now 175. Congrats for all the hard work and you are an inspiration to all of us that think we can’t do something! Congrats my friend and I am glad you are setting a great example for Reily

  • Wendy says:

    I knew Eric when he was 280 lbs and I can attest that is him now. I can see why some folks may think this is fake because the transformation is so drastic. I assure you it is real and a testament to his vegan diet and exercise and incredible energy. Go Eric!!

  • Mel says:

    I worked with Eric from 2003 to 2008 during that time the only way I knew him was at the picture posted before August 2010. We traveled alot and those that travel know that it is so much easier to make the WRONG food choices rather than the right choice. With the proper mindset this can be accomplished. I, too, have lost 35 lbs due to a complete lifestyle, eating and exercise with complete dedication and determination. This is exactly what Eric has done. He was given a “wake up call” by his Dr and embraced it and actually dedicated himself to making a healthy change. I commend him on his new lifestyle and healthy self. This is the result of hardwork, dedication and the vision for a healthy life.

  • william matthews says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! you are inspiring alot of folks to live a better life. Thanks for sharing your story and keep up the great path.

  • Glynne says:

    Well done Eric, you’re an inspiration. Must say I’m really tempted to go Vegan. Have managed to incorporate a few meatless meals per week so I guess that’s a start.