HIS STORY. Despite years of trying, Jerry DiSauro couldn't seem to keep his weight under control. A successful chef and restaurateur for more than 45 years, he was used to preparing and serving large portions for customers and family members. He also ate his share.
"My daughters came over with their families to visit one day, and my wife took pictures of us," DiSauro says of the turning point for him. "I couldn't believe that I looked so big. I was killing myself."
In addition to being overweight, DiSauro was taking two pills daily to control his blood pressure and another for high cholesterol. It was his wife, Barbara, who found a solution. She saw an article about Think Thin, a weight-loss program that was started by Long Islander Murray Siegel and is now run by his daughter, Barbara Siegel.
DiSauro started taking her weekly weight-loss classes. And, despite being an accomplished chef, he learned a new way of preparing food, portion control and other steps that started him on the road to permanent weight loss. "She has a book that has recipes in it, and she gives out new recipes each week at the meeting," he says. "You learn how to curb your appetite with good nutrition and balanced meals."
He says it works for him. "I feel younger and can do things like go for a walk with my wife and garden, which I couldn't do before," says DiSauro, who is off medications.
Says Barbara: "He looks better now than when I married him 40 years ago."
DIET. DiSauro makes sure to get a protein at each meal. A usual breakfast is egg whites or other lean protein and fruit. Lunch is a protein such as a hamburger patty or two slices of turkey, a salad, a vegetable and fruit. He is allowed four slices of thin-sliced white bread every day. Dinner is steak, chicken or fish with two vegetables and a salad. He finishes the day with an 8-ounce glass of reconstituted powered milk.
EXERCISE. The newly rejuvenated DiSauro, who couldn't climb stairs without feeling out of breath, now does his own yard work, gardens and walks daily with his wife.
ADVICE. "It was a combination of finding the right program and setting my mind to it," he says.
Jerry DiSauro: 71, Lynbrook
Occupation: Retired chef and restaurateur
Height: 5 feet, 10 inches
272: Weight before August 2013
202: Weight after July 7, 2014