It may not look like it right from his website photos, but Drew Manning is actually a personal trainer.
The 30-year-old from Utah is challenging his body and the minds of health experts by intentionally gaining 80 pounds (36 kilograms) in six months. He then plans to show the world how to lose "the weight."
For Manning, changing his body is part of his overall goal to help educate people . "I will be teaching people how to get back in shape by allowing everyone to follow my specific meal plans and workout plans," he writes on his site. "People that (sic) are overweight have to overcome both physical and emotional barriers when it comes to losing weight. I hope to have a better understanding of this through my experience over the next year." Critics say he's pulling the "stunt" for publicity sake.
Gaining and losing weight to achieve some level of notoriety is nothing new. Last March, Donna Simpson announced she wanted to be the world's fattest woman. Then at 600 lb (272 kg), the 42-year-old from New Jersey ate 12,000 calories per day. Simpson, who already held the Guinness World Record for the world's heaviest mother, wanted to weigh 1,000 lb (454 kg).
"I love eating and people love watching me eat... It makes people happy and I'm not harming anyone," she told The Daily Mail.
Fast-forward six months later and Simpson is now pledging to change her lifestyle habits and get thin -- her "goal" changed after she was dumped by her fiancee.
And while Simpson has given up on her quest, there are plenty of people waiting in the wings, particularly those who want to hold a world record.
Susanne Eman, who claimed she weighed 728 lb (330 kg), has said she wants to weigh one ton. And then there's Pauline Potter, who seems to have beaten her to the punch.
Many people who want to gain significant amounts of weight view their lifestyle choices as something positive, even sexy. Gaining weight is sometimes linked to 'feederism' -- the sexual satisfaction from gaining body fat. This fetish flourishes in online communities, where men and women post photos and share stories, says The Guardian.
Scientists and experts disagree with the positive spin. Obesity is linked to everything from heart disease to strokes and diabetes. It's also costing our economy a ton -- The Globe and Mail reports the financial impact of obesity is about $7 billion per year.
Doctors say it's imperative to maintain healthy habits on a daily basis. If you're looking for some quick advice to get in shape, check out these tips from Health.com.
Studies show that recording meals may help you lose up to 5 percent of your weight, says Robert A. Carels, Ph.D., an associate professor in the psychology department at Bowling Green State University. Start today: Snap before and after photos of each meal with your camera phone. Keeping a visual food diary is a more accurate way to see what and how much you're eating, United Kingdom researchers say. Afterward, download the pics so you'll have a record. More from Health.com: Get Slim All Over Superfast The Best Gadgets to Make You Slim 16 Little Ways to Lose Big Pounds
Taking a daily multivitamin may make you less hungry, two studies in the British Journal of Nutrition suggest; people who take one tend to weigh less and have lower BMIs. Start today: Pop a multi with at least 100 percent of the RDA for vitamins included in the studies: chromium, copper, folic acid, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc.
Strength training circuit-style torches more calories than the traditional way, says Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., author of the "Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength." Research shows that the shorter the rest period between sets, the more calories you blast off. "In addition," Stoppani says, "doing a whole-body workout employs more muscle, which in turn burns more fat." Start today: Turn your usual strength-training routine into a circuit by doing one set of 15 reps for each exercise with no rest in between; wait 20 seconds and repeat the circuit twice.
Regularly consuming 500 milligrams or more of vitamin C may help you burn 30 percent more fat while working out, according to research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Start today: Eat at least three servings of vitamin C-rich whole foods like citrus fruits, broccoli and cantaloupe. Try this to knock a couple servings off: "Pack a vitamin C-rich, easy-to-transport snack, such as a mix of baby carrots, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes," suggests Debra Wein, R.D., the president of Wellness Workdays, in Hingham, MA.
Not only can an exercise buddy help you show up for your workouts, but she can also help you melt fat faster too, says Tim Lohman, Ph.D., a professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, and an expert on the connection between exercise and body composition. Start today: Create your own weight-loss network. "The buddy system works best when you can turn to someone you're already friends with," Lohman says. Meet at least once a week (even if it's in cyberspace) to discuss obstacles and celebrate successes.
An apple a day will do more than keep the doctor away -- it'll keep pounds off too. Filling up with a range of fruits and vegetables is an easy way to cut your calorie load, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests. Start today: "Follow the rainbow," Wein suggests. "Do your best to eat from all of the color groups during the day." Add blueberries to your cereal, snack on apples and load your lunchtime salad with carrots, tomatoes and peppers.
When we're stressed we tend to look for quick-fix calories. "Yogic breathing offsets this. When you're relaxed, you don't have as much hunger pain," says Ralph LaForge, an exercise physiologist in the endocrine department of the Duke University Medical Center. "People make better food choices when they're relaxed." Start today: When hunger strikes, try this exercise from Kristen Eykel, creator of the DVD series, "Yoga Emergency: The 12-Minute Workout." Rest your right thumb near your right nostril, ring finger and pinky by your left nostril. Close the left side and inhale through the right for four counts, then close your right nostril and hold for four counts. Open your left nostril and exhale through that side for four counts. Repeat cycle again on other side; continue alternating for at least a minute. You'll relax in no time -- and may even forget about that cookie you longed for. More from Health.com: Get Slim All Over Superfast The Best Gadgets to Make You Slim 16 Little Ways to Lose Big Pounds