Robert Tomei

57, Manhasset

Occupation Divisional president for a data and technology company

Height 5-foot-6

Before 192 pounds, January 2009

Current 140 pounds, April 2016

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His story

Robert Tomei says the few times in high school he was fit were the exception and not the rule. A weight challenge dogged him most of his life, he says. Fast forward to a 2009 Costa Rica vacation when he and a group went zip lining. Gravity prevailed during one of the flights and Tomei had to pull himself, hand over hand, to get to the platform. “I was a mess and sweating, shaking and embarrassed, especially with 20 other people there who all did OK.”

When he got home, he joined a gym and started working out but didn’t modify his eating habits. He sustained a minimal weight loss for a long time until his trainer suggested he try My Fitness Pal, a smartphone app. Tomei started tracking everything he ate. After a 5,000-calorie day, he knew changes were necessary.

“I started to cut back on portions and brought my net calories down to 1,600 — net meaning getting credit for calories burned working out,” he said. He increased the intensity of his workouts and reached his goal weight of 140 pounds a year ago. “I’m not on any particular diet. I eat everything, but in much smaller portions,” he says. “I feel a lot healthier and am much more active. My energy level and outlook are so much better,” he adds.

His diet

@Newsday

Breakfast is coffee and an English muffin with butter and jam. Lunch typically is a turkey-and-cheese whole-wheat wrap, coffee and carrots or celery (he’ll eat only a half wrap if he’s eating out because restaurant wraps are usually oversized). For dinner, if dining out, he orders fish with grilled vegetables, sometimes a double vegetable order and no starch. At home he’ll have chicken or fish with vegetables and a salad. He treats himself to three Ghirardelli or Dove chocolate squares, 30 calories each.

His exercise

Tomei uses a personal trainer for toning and does weights and calisthenics. He spins and plays tennis once a week and does aerobic exercises the rest of the week.

His advice

“Be aware of how much you’re eating. People assume, like I did for 50 years, because you’re eating something healthy, you can eat a lot of it. But 15 almonds are 170 calories and 18 small unsalted pretzels are 110 calories. To me, the biggest thing that made a difference was understanding what I was eating and how many calories were involved.”

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— ANN DONAHUE-SMUKLER