Dropping LBs: Chef's weighty realization

Bill McCabe of Hauppage went from 255 pounds, Bill McCabe of Hauppage went from 255 pounds, left, to 185 pounds after overhauling his diet and exercise routine. Photo Credit: Handouts

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Who: Bill McCabe, 51, Hauppauge

Occupation: Personal chef

Height: 5'10"
Weight before:  255 (August 2009)
Current weight: 185

HIS STORY: The rude awakening came in August 2009, when Bill McCabe's wife, Janet, came home with a new scale. Stepping on it, McCabe realized that the 20-year-old scale he was using all along undercalculated his weight by 20 pounds. Dumbfounded, he now saw his weight for what it really was. McCabe, who started a personal chef service business in 2006 to offer clients healthy meals and educate them on proper dieting, began to re-evaluate his eating and exercise habits, and how to manage his business. "If I look unhealthy and overweight," realized the chef, "people won't hire me for their meals and diet advice. I need to start practicing what I preach."

HIS DIET: He cut pizza, mashed potatoes and rib-eye steaks from his diet. He now follows a high protein, low-carb diet of poultry, seafood, lean red meats, salads, vegetables, fruits and yogurt. A typical day: for breakfast, a cup of oatmeal with strawberries and flaxseed; salad and tuna with spiced lentils and mustard-balsamic vinegar dressing for lunch; and for dinner, chicken with beans, broccoli, asparagus and a tossed salad. McCabe says portion control and counting calories have been instrumental in his weight loss and daily weight management.

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HIS EXERCISE: McCabe started walking 20 minutes a day, gradually increasing his time over the next few months. He wore out four pairs of sneakers in the first 12 months from walking so much. Now, McCabe does cardio exercise seven days a week (three miles a day by walking, biking or using the elliptical), and weight-trains three days a week. With weights, McCabe says, "More reps with lighter weights" are the way to go.

HIS ADVICE: "You want to envision the long-term results," says McCabe, "but be prepared to take baby steps before getting there. Losing weight is frustrating in the beginning because it takes time for the weight to come off. So start by setting your weekly goals small, and build those goals over time. You'll see that initially you take baby steps, but later on you can take leaps."

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