HIS STORY "The perfect weight for my height is probably 180 pounds, so I guess I've always been overweight," says Romeo Martello with a laugh. "I never felt I was overweight until we took some photos and put them on Facebook. I couldn't believe how fat I looked."
Martello says that he'd gained 20 pounds in the six or so months since he was last weighed in his doctor's office. "I always thought I was OK weight-wise, even though my doctor was always telling me to lose some weight," Martello says. "After seeing the photos, I knew I had to do something because I didn't want it to get any worse."
Martello, who tends bar at night and wasn't big on exercise, decided that having a really restrictive diet would help pull the weight off. While some may disagree with his austere diet, he says it worked for him.
"The first four months, I went hard-core," Martello says. "I used to have a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a roll three or four days a week. I'd have a buttered bagel the other days."
He cut out most of the carbs, starches and soda. He also chose to be more regular in his meals, making sure he ate breakfast, lunch and dinner.
"Because I own the bar and am here a lot, I ate a lot of fast food," says Martello, who usually manages to eat only one dinner a week at home. He still eats meals at the bar, but tries to make healthier choices.
DIET For five months, he restricted his diet to cereal for breakfast, oatmeal for lunch and grilled chicken or a Subway tuna fish sandwich for dinner. If he was hungry, he'd snack on an additional bowl of oatmeal.
He has eased up considerably, allowing himself an additional sandwich when he's hungry. And he always treats himself to a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on Friday.
EXERCISE After not exercising at all, he now walks two miles a day at least five days a week.
"It takes me a half-hour to walk two miles," says Martello, who says he has no interest in going to a gym.
ADVICE "You don't have to carve out hours a day to go to the gym, just take a half-hour walk and watch what you eat," says Martello.
57, Massapequa Park
Occupation: Owns the Blue Parrot Lounge in Massapequa
245 Weight before April 2013
205 Weight after Oct. 14, 2013