With all the crazy diets out there, who in the world would ever conceive of one involving a 99-cent store? Allow us to introduce you to Papa Joe Aviance, the man who lost 250 pounds shopping at a dollar store.

Aviance, described on his website as a successful clothing designer, musician and CEO of LA-based production company, Papa Joe Networks, had his aha moment – or oh-no moment, as the case may be ­– upon seeing his 450-pound self in a 2009 music video.

“I said, you know what? You have to end this right now. I had a nervous breakdown. I threw everything in the trash can. Got rid of everything; cookies, candy, cakes, everything sugary. Everything,” he told ABC News.

Next up, he started walking five miles every morning, and combined that with shopping healthfully at a 99-cent store. (As opposed to many of the 99-cent stores across the country, the ones in Los Angeles offer fresh produce and seafood along with the cheap kitchen wares and weird crackers.)

In 18 months, he went from 450 to 200 pounds, spending less than $20 per typical shopping trip. He calls his custom plan, “shopping at the HCWB: healthy choices within a budget.”

And while Aviance’s weight loss can’t be ascribed to a 99-cent store alone, it’s nonetheless a great lesson: expensive diet plans and special food are not a requirement for losing weight. All you need is a dollar and a dream.

ABC News reports on the story below:

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