Real Life Transformations: How Daniel Wolkow Lost 200 Pounds Cooking at Home

By: Lucy M. Casale, "Cooking to Lose"  |  March/April 2017

When Daniel Wolkow stepped onto a paddleboat during a family vacation in July of 2013, it started to sink. So the 40-year-old college professor waved his wife and 6-year-old daughter on without him. "As I watched my girls paddle away, all I could think about was what else I wouldn't be able to do with them as my daughter grew up," Daniel says. "Paddleboats today, horseback riding tomorrow?" At 6'2", 420 pounds, Daniel knew his weight would always get in the way. He decided to change that. Today, he's down to 230 pounds.

How He Did It

Daniel's weight-loss journey started with Weight Watchers online. That summer, the Philadelphia resident downloaded the Weight Watchers app to track everything he ate and began weighing himself each Friday. He started to see how much he was really eating. "I was a big eater," he says. "I could have two meals to everybody's one." He tweaked his WW diet to be lower in calories, plus he cut out added sugar, started drinking his coffee black and ate vegetables "constantly."
Your Turn: 6 Swaps to Slash Added Sugar

Meal-Planning Inspiration

His family also went from eating out most nights to eating his home cooking, a newly discovered passion for Daniel. Around the same time he started logging his points, Daniel got hooked on Pinterest, bookmarking hundreds of healthy dinner recipes. Favorite sources include EatingWell and blogger Emily Bites. "I'm always looking for something new to make," Daniel says. "This week I made tom yum soup for the first time! Last night I made healthy chicken piccata; tonight I'm making salmon burritos."
Your Turn: Chicken Piccata with Pasta & Mushrooms
EatingWell Healthy Dinner Pinterest Board

Staying On Track

Since he reached 230 pounds in 2015, portion control is still Daniel's biggest challenge. He continues to use the WW app as a food diary to stay accountable and weighs himself on Fridays.

What Keeps Him Motivated?

His family. "We went to Honduras in 2016 and went horseback riding. That's the first time I was under the weight requirements to be on a horse," he says. "All those little things keep happening. I'm keeping up my healthy choices, so I can do stuff with the people I love."
Related:
Weight-Loss Meal Plans
14-Day Clean-Eating Meal Plan
More Real-Life Inspiration:
How Todd Lingo Lost Over 100 Pounds
Bride-to-Be Loses Weight Before Her Wedding
How A Personal Trainer Helped Lorraine Papazian-Boyce Lose 150 Pounds
Send us your transformation story—big or small! Email editor@eatingwell.com.