Anthony D’Amato, 27, Lakeview
Singer/songwriter in band the Live Debate
Lost 215 pounds
I was always the funny fat guy. I was Homecoming king—I probably weighed about 325 then. I started touring after high school, and my weight started skyrocketing. One night in 2009, with a beer in hand, I saw I weighed 375 pounds on my friend’s scale and decided it was time to make a change. My waist was a 50. I was wearing a 3X or 4X; I couldn’t shop anywhere but Wal-Mart.
I started researching online. I’ve evolved into a Paleo diet: meat and sustainable proteins, low carb, low sugar [find out more at thepaleodiet.com]. I probably eat more than I ever ate before; I just used to eat bad things at the wrong times. Keeping sugar low has changed my whole life. At the beginning, there were a couple of nights I would cry myself to sleep. But it was a routine and once you start seeing results it’s like, Let’s not stop. I started walking every day, too. From one to two miles up to five miles a day.
After I lost 200 pounds, in April of last year, I cut my long hair—that’s when it all came together. I thought, I look different, I’m a thin guy. I sometimes look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself.—As told to Marissa Conrad
The nutritionist says “Inherently, this plan makes a lot of sense,” Shanta says. But there’s one part of the diet that she’s not a fan of: the high volume of saturated fat it recommends. “If you decide to eat like a caveman, I’d love for you to make an effort to eat more unsaturated fats—chicken instead of beef.” Why? While you may lose weight with a fatty, protein-heavy plan, many experts believe you could be setting yourself up for heart issues down the road by eating too much of it. (It’s that decades-old Atkins debate all over again.)—Liz Plosser