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Dropping Pounds: Richard Kellner

Richard Kellner of Woodbury turned to a nutritionist

Richard Kellner of Woodbury turned to a nutritionist and registered dietician to lose weight so he could donate a kidney to his wife, Joanne. He succeeded in going from 215 to 170 pounds in six months. He donated the needed kidney in February 2014. Both are now doing well. Photo Credit: Handout; Newsday / Chris Ware

HIS STORY Two lives were hanging in the balance when Richard Kellner decided to do something about his weight.

"My wife, Joanne, needed a kidney donation, and I was rejected because I was hypertensive and prediabetic," Kellner remembers of the medical issues that pushed him to lose the weight that had crept up on him over a 10-year period. "After I got rejected, I called Deborah."

He's referring to registered dietitian Deborah Berman of the Berman Group for Wellness and Nutrition ( in Bethpage. He previously had tried losing weight on his own, turning to both the South Beach and the Atkins diets.

"It wasn't as much what I was eating as how I was eating," Kellner says. "I would skip breakfast and not eat until about 2 in the afternoon. I'd be ravenous by the time I did eat. I'd do the same thing for dinner, and be ravenous again. Then, I'd overeat."

He now eats three meals a day, along with protein-rich snacks.

"I only go about two hours before eating something," Kellner says. The new way of eating works for both his schedule and metabolism. Kellner says he is no longer ravenous between meals.

"The important thing for me was not portion control, but hunger control," says Kellner, who adds he was down to 170 pounds but went up to 180 while recovering from the February surgery and caring for his wife, who is now doing well.

DIET After never eating breakfast and lunch, he now never misses either. He starts the day with a veggie-loaded omelet, whole-wheat toast and low-fat Greek-style yogurt with fruit. He snacks on protein bars. Lunch is a salad with low-fat dressing and a lean protein. Dinner is typically chicken or fish with a small salad and a complex carbohydrate, such as couscous or quinoa.

EXERCISE After being not much of an exerciser, he now goes to the gym most days for an hour of cardio and additional strength training.

ADVICE "Don't go it alone," Kellner says. "I'm not an expert and needed to find someone who would tailor a program to me. Deborah saved both my life and my wife's life."

Richard Kellner

47, Woodbury

Occupation: Self-employed corporate risk management planner

Height: 5-foot-8

215 Before January 2013

180 After June 12, 2014


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