A FITNESS trainer has spent the last six months piling on weight.

Andrew Roberts abandoned his usual punishing training regime and healthy diet in a bid to gain four stone.

Instead of nourishing vegan curries, the 23-year-old tucked into junk food such as burgers, pies and pizzas as well as ice cream, biscuits and crisps.

But now he is working to take it all off again.

Andrew, from Haywards Heath, set himself the challenge of gaining and losing several stone so he could better understand people who struggle with their weight.

The Argus: Andrew Roberts eats a plant-based diet.Andrew Roberts eats a plant-based diet.

He wants to inspire people who have been over-eating and faced mental health issues during the pandemic.

Andrew, who does his coaching online, said: “I wanted to learn what these emotions are like and go through them myself. The best way to do that was to gain weight and go through the weight-loss process.

“As I put on more and more weight, I realised the effect that the lack of exercise and bad diet has on mental health. By the end of the weight gain, I was in such a bad place.

“I also had a scare physically which ended in me having to go to the hospital to get tested after having pains in my heart, left arm and leg.

“Thankfully, the results came back OK and nothing abnormal was going on. I am determined to finish the journey to inspire my fans.”

The Argus: Andrew Roberts halfway through his challenge.Andrew Roberts halfway through his challenge.

During the first half of the challenge Andrew did not sleep well, his motivation levels dropped and he was feeling negative.

He said: “When I started I was at ten per cent body fat and I am now 25 per cent which is classed as obese.

“To put on this weight, I had stopped working out and had gone from eating 2,000 calories of healthy vegan food every day to eating 5,000 calories of vegan junk food every single day.

“My journey so far has been extremely hard mentally and there have been huge changes in my health."

At his heaviest, Andrew reached 15st 2lbs (97.15kg), four stone (25kg) above his starting weight.

He has already lost half a stone by returning to his healthy lifestyle, though he expects to take six months to get back to normal.

He said: "It was a successful first week, even though a lot of the lost weight was water, it is still a great start and I am very happy with how it is going.

The Argus: The size Andrew Roberts hopes to get back to.The size Andrew Roberts hopes to get back to.

"If I stick to my regime then hopefully the weight will continue to drop at the same rate."

"I am already noticing that I am sleeping better and that I have more energy and I am no longer getting massive crashes of tiredness."

Andrew posted pictures of his challenge on Instagram, where he has nearly 5,000 followers.