TODAY

TODAY   |  December 10, 2013

Chef Graham Elliot on eating to lose 130 pounds

The once 400-pound chef, who lost 130 pounds after surgery and dieting, shares the meals that harmed and the ones that helped him take the weight off.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> one of the country's top chefs his life is all about food but after tipping the scales at 400 pounds he knew he had to do something.

>> he was thinking about weight loss surgery and last july decided to do it. he dropped 130 pounds completely changing his eetding habits and life style . good to see you.

>> good to see you.

>> looking great. amazing transformation.

>> appreciate it.

>> we just saw the before and after. what was it? everybody has that moment that says, you know what, i've tried everything, i have to do something drastic?

>> mine was having my third boy. i have a 6, 3, and 1-year-old and seeing them play and run around and the fact that i couldn't get down on the ground and roll around and play with them. i couldn't go to the park and play tag, do any of those things, i just realized that it wasn't about me anymore. it wasn't just how i looked or anything else but being healthy for me family was what was the trigger.

>> so you decided to take the route of going for the surgery but you had -- i understand your stomach is the side of the banana.

>> right, they he eliminated 85% of your stomach in the part that makes you feel hungry all the time.

>> now i can still eat everything and try everything. i can still be a chef and do what i do.

>> how does this change your life?

>> just in the last five months 130 pounds i can tie my shoes and get in the car without having to hold my breath before i get in. i can put my arms around my wife.

>> don't have to get an extender on the airplane.

>> that's one of biggest.

>> al that was one of your moments.

>> all of those kind of things, the small things that every second remind you that you're overweight and you feel bad about yourself and you eat more. it's a whole cycle.

>> but with you, part of your success with that big jovial chef personality. so in a way, that's part of who they expect you to be.

>> right.

>> well, what i think was great is that you get even more of that from me now because i'm that much more positive. i'm a very outgoing happy person. i have great friends, family, and opportunity to be on the show and to be a chef and do what i love. so it's great.

>> now, as a chef, you're surrounded by unbelievable food.

>> this is what you used to eat.

>> you used to eat. 2:00 a.m . snacks with a cheeseburger.

>> you get out of work and scarf down a bunch of those.

>> i would scarf these down at 2:00 a.m . too.

>> wow, big bowl of ice cream . now i can either eat one of these or a double portion of that and it takes longer to eat but you enjoy it and stay focused on protein and that allows you have to have the energy to run and be healthy and start that healthy life style .

>> and before -- i'm sure you were a lot like me, you made excuses why you couldn't.

>> you justified everything.

>> and especially with your life style . with the chef life style it's not easy but you're making the time now.

>> absolutely. you accept this character. i'm a big guy . i'm a chef, no one trusts a skinny chef and then you get to the point where i don't care about that, ego, anything. i need to make the choice whether it's surgery, i tried the trainers or the gym. i have to do this now.

>> lifestyle change for sure. great job. thank you.