Michael Tine

31, Elmont

Occupation: Works for Town of Hempstead

Height: 5-foot-11

BEFORE: Sept. 15, 2012: 250

AFTER: July 19, 2013: 200

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HIS STORY At his heaviest in June 2000, Michael Tine weighed 320, but was able to slim down through the years to about 220, then ballooned back to 250.

"Things just slipped through the cracks; then my father died suddenly in 2011, and I stopped going to the gym and began eating whatever I wanted," says Tine, who adds that carbs were his big weakness.

The turning point for him was last summer when he went to

Las Vegas and was walking around and was hot and uncomfortable. He also had to attend a wedding on an extremely hot day in July.

"With the tuxedo on and all that stuff, I was suffering," Tine says. "I knew I had to do something, something solid."

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He turned to a bodybuilding friend who offered to help him both with nutrition and training.

"It was strict with very little margin of error the way he laid it out for me," Tine recalls of the egg white and oatmeal breakfasts, protein shakes and limited carbs -- a real change from a diet of pizza, burgers and fast food at all hours of the day or night.

"He said, 'We're going to recalibrate your body,' " says Tine, referring to the exercise and small-meals regimen designed to keep his metabolism working at a steady rate all day. He now eats small meals, about every 31 / 2 hours. "We increased my metabolic rate. We looked at it like feeding a furnace."

Although on a strict diet, Tine says he kept his eye on the goal and has been able to stick with it despite repeatedly wanting to quit, especially in the first three weeks.

DIET Breakfast is an omelet with eight to 10 egg whites and one yolk, a half-cup of oatmeal and a cup of black coffee. Meal two is a protein shake. Meal three is grilled chicken breast with brown rice. His midday snack is a pack of tuna fish, a protein shake or a piece of grilled chicken.

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Meal five, also known as dinner, is two pieces of grilled chicken or salmon and the occasional steak. These are accompanied by a cup of steamed vegetables with olive oil and a daily baked sweet potato. His final meal of the day comes around 10 p.m. and is either a slow-digesting protein shake ideal for post-workout or six cooked egg whites. He also drinks a gallon to a gallon-and-a-half of water daily.

EXERCISE Tine works out for an hour-and-a-half to two hours a day five days a week. This includes lifting weights, cardio and ab workouts.

ADVICE "Reach out to people, because more people are willing to help you than you believe," Tine says. "Join a gym, walk around the block, just get moving."