Alan Berkowsky, 80, of Dix Hills, is pictured in February...

Alan Berkowsky, 80, of Dix Hills, is pictured in February 2011, when he weighed 210 pounds, and in a more recent photo, showing off his more than 50-pound weight loss. Credit: Reisha Berkowsky; Newsday / William Perlman

Alan Berkowsky

80, Dix Hills

Occupation Retired math teacher and track and cross-country coach at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore

Height 5-foot-8

Before 210 pound, February 2011

After 158 pounds, October 2017

Alan Berkowsky says his “before” weight was the result of not paying attention to it for many years and letting it creep up. “About a year ago, I decided I didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror or the way my clothes felt. I was never obese but overweight enough to feel uncomfortable,” says Berkowsky.

He decided it was time to make a change. So, with input from both his doctor and his wife, Reisha, the cook in the house, Berkowsky started following a ketogenic diet, which consists of high fat, moderate to low protein and very low carbohydrates.

He chose this route, he says, because some studies have suggested it may help improve memory function, and he had been experiencing some memory issues. Berkowsky said the no-carbs, no-sugar routine took some getting used to, but he likes the results. His waistline went from 36 inches to 32.

“I feel great and like what I see. I enjoy asking people how old they think I am. They always say a lower number.”

Breakfast can be yogurt with blueberries and strawberries, roll-ups of lox and Swiss cheese or omelets with spinach, onions, and kale. Lunch is often canned salmon or sardines over greens or a yogurt with berries. Dinner is either grilled chicken, organic beef or wild salmon or flounder with a big serving of roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots or zucchini. He eats no sweets and snacks on nuts.

Berkowsky goes to the gym five to seven days a week and does a combination of walking and jogging on a 200-meter track for about 30 minutes. He follows that by doing stomach crunches and pushups in the sauna, usually for about 30 minutes. He also walks his dog for about 45 minutes twice a week.

“Discipline, portion control, and a supportive spouse,” says Berkowsky.

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