TODAY   |  January 08, 2014

Son surprises parents with 130-pound weight loss

NBC’s Craig Melvin presents a heartwarming story about a 300-pound man who, determined to surprise his parents the next time he saw them, dieted and exercised vigorously, and lost  130 pounds.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> on this set.

>> clearly.

>> look what you put on.

>>> now some inspiration. if you've made a new year's resolution to lose weight , craig melvin joins us with a remarkable story. good morning.

>> good morning to you. like many, one young man decided he was going to shed some unwanted pounds in 2013 . and it was a success. 12 months later, he gave the ultimate christmas gift to his parents.

>> good, how are you?

>> reporter: it's the holiday surprise of a lifetime.

>> hey, how are you? oh, my god!

>> oh, my god!

>> this is the lucas his parents were expecting to come home for the holidays , but this is the one who showed up.

>> all of a sudden, down the stairs he came and he looked just fantastic. i was more stunned than anything else. but inside i was just beaming. i was just over the moon .

>> oh, my god. i'm so proud of you.

>> last year at 300 pounds, he made a resolution, to drop the weight for good.

>> something i struggled with all my life. so i started december 28th of 2012 and went for a year.

>> for help and support, lucas turned to the internet.

>> social media was amazing for my weight loss journey. especially the community, you could post your progress and help with diet and tips and that sort of thing.

>> he followed a strict eating regimen and held himself accountable by keeping a food diary. wrote down everything he ate for an entire year.

>> i lost 95% of the weight through changing my diet. only ate 1350 calories a day. i didn't exercise at all until maybe seven or eight months in.

>> and in 12 months, lucas went from 300 to 170 pounds. but to pull off the incredible surprise, shedding the weight was just part of it. to make it special, he had to keep it a secret .

>> i only go home twice a year, once in summer, once in christmas. and i made up an excuse not to go home over the summer so they wouldn't see me.

>> so much planning, determination and hard work all for one unforgettable moment.

>> buddy, how are you? oh, my god!

>> oh, my god!

>> when i saw my parents for the first time, i was really nervous, i was shaking. it was very surreal.

>> i hardly recognized you. you put your mind to it.

>> just picturing it in my mind again, it brings tears to my eyes again. i'm so proud of him.

>> oh, my god! i'm so proud of you! oh, my god!

>> yeah. she's pretty surprised. dropping 130 pounds is impressive, but lucas says he's not quite done just yet. his goal is to lose about 20 more, then gain that back in muscle. and started weight training with new workout clothes, christmas gifts from those proud parents.

>> wow.

>> so there was skyping with his parents. didn't they see the weight loss in his face?

>> apparently not. according to them, it was -- you know, maybe --

>> such a transformation.

>> the take away from this, though, he journaled everything he ate --

>> the food diary. which as you know, a lot of folks say that's the key to success when you're trying to lose weight .

>> yeah. social media was so helpful in that, as well.

>> 20 more pounds, he says.