I’m Half My Size!
After a wake up call from his doctor, Luis Bruno transformed his cooking—and his body—and lost 200 pounds
Weight Before: 400
Weight After: 200
Vitals: Luis Bruno, 39, Jackson, MS
Occupation: Executive chef
Time Required to Reach Goal: 1 1/2 years
Lesson Learned: You don’t have to abandon the foods you love, but moderation is key.
Inspired Tip: Don’t fall for weight-loss gimmicks. Make weight control a lifestyle.
The Gain Luis Bruno grew up in a food-loving family and spent many afternoon hours helping out (and eating) at his brother’s deli and pizzeria. After high school, he moved to Florida to attend a culinary academy. “I would eat all day at school and then go home and drink several beers to relax,” he says. Within 18 months, Bruno had risen to the top of his class—and packed on 125 pounds.
The Change After graduation, Bruno’s weight reached 400 pounds. His doctor informed him that his liver was in the early stages of cirrhosis and that his insulin numbers were through the roof. “He told me I was going to die if I didn’t get my weight under control,” says Bruno. The doc prescribed a liquid diet, which helped him shed 160 pounds. As the weight came off, Bruno’s motivation grew. He ditched burgers and pasta for seafood and whole grains. He also started running, playing racket sports, and lifting weights.
The Lifestyle Bruno swims and weight-trains 3 days a week. To keep up his cardio, he runs 22 miles a week. “Working out has become second nature now,” he says. But his culinary talents haven’t gone to waste—he’ll take an old favorite like stuffed poblano peppers and create a healthier version with brown rice, low-fat cheese, chilies, and grilled chicken.
The Reward Bruno’s new confidence has inspired him to motivate others. He spends several days a month hosting healthful-cooking demonstrations for hospitals and charities across Mississippi. His current goal? To finish a marathon in under 4 hours.
Enlist your family. Making healthy eating a family endeavor helps keep you on track.
Remind yourself. Tack a current photo of yourself on the fridge. It’ll motivate you when you’re tempted by decadent foods.
Take it outside. Fresh air can elevate your mood. Look to hiking trails and tennis courts for a fitness wake-up call.