'Fat Chef' Michael Mignano Says the Food Network Show Helped Cure His Diabetes


When it came to exercise, this one-time track star said he had to take it slow, beginning with long walks.

"My mind wanted to work and wanted to run, but the legs weren't moving," Mignano said. "We did half a lap. Then I went to three-quarters of a lap. Then I went to one lap, to a lap and-a-half. And in December, at the gym, you know, I was -- I did a 5K."

Diet guru Dr. Mike Dow, author of the weight loss plan "Diet Rehab," said, aside from regular exercise, the key to losing weight and breaking food addictions is to eat healthy food that gives the same "feel good" sensation in the brain as junk food does. He praised the 'Fat Chef' concept and said many of his patients are professional chefs.

"When you're working around food, which I talk about in 'Diet Rehab,' it is actually neuro-chemically addictive," Dow said. "You're actually teaching yourself to be rewarded sometimes with food and that affects the brain in a powerful way."

Since he has finished taping the show, Mignano has lost 15 more pounds and said it hasn't just changed his life, but also made life better for his wife and kids.

"My sons get to enjoy their father more," Mignano said. "I'm not the dad that sits on the couch and watches TV. I will get up and we go play soccer and we run around. And, you know, to see their faces like that, it makes me think what I have been denying them through me being selfish about myself and my eating."

His goal is to get down to 250 pounds, literally half the man he once was, he said, and create a new recipe for a healthier life.

"It just makes me a happier chef," Mignano said. "A happier person, which the result, you have happier food."

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