Name: Dan Radin
Lives: New York City
Pounds lost: 100
Kept it off: 10 years
I was always a chubby kid. When I went to college, I ate whatever I wanted. I was a music major, which meant I had no time for physical activity. When I finished college, I had hit my peak weight of 280 pounds. I wanted to make a change so badly I was willing to do anything. The only thing I knew to do was to eat less and start running. The first day, I almost passed out. I did a little more each day–it took me all summer to work up to running a mile. I didn’t want to count calories, so I ate the same thing every day for nine months: a bowl of cereal in the morning, and a sandwich and apple for lunch and dinner. I lost about 85 of my 100 pounds in that first nine months.
I now weigh 180 pounds, and I’ve been at that weight for 10 years. I got certified as sports trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, which helped me write my own fitness programs. I love lifting weights, doing circuits and intervals so I get cardio at the same time. I think the variety keeps me motivated and interested.
On the diet side of things, I really struggled with maintaining the new normal after I lost a large chunk of weight. It took me six to seven years to let go and intuitively know how much to eat, to maintain my weight within 5 pounds or so. For the last three or so years, I have not been obsessing constantly about what I’m eating.
My biggest challenge is nighttime snacking. I eat on a schedule: breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner. That works better for me than relying on my brain to tell me when I’m hungry. I focus on whole grains, more natural foods like fruit and vegetables and fewer processed foods. I like the Zone Diet because it teaches 30 percent protein, 40 percent carb, 30 percent fat. It helps recalibrate your brain to what your body needs to run—to recognize that food is fuel.