FAT FIGHT!
After shedding more than 100 pounds, a Brooklyn chef inspires five New Yorkers to battle the bulge with boxing gloves

By DOREE LEWAK
Posted: 10:39 PM, November 5, 2012

As the co-owner of a health-oriented chain restaurant in Brooklyn, Dimitrios Verteouris wasn’t especially interested in nutrition.

And it showed.

The 28-year-old restaurateur behind Nature’s Grill was obese, hitting rock bottom last year when he tipped the scales at 327 pounds. But his entire life was about to change.

After appealing to the Food Network’s “Fat Chef,” he got a slot on the weight-loss show, which aired in February.

The spotlight got him motivated: He spent several hours a day exercising, split between bouts at the boxing gym and two-mile runs. He also eliminated fast food from his diet — opting for the meals he serves at his own restaurant, with lots of vegetables and grilled, lean proteins.

“After losing the first 50 pounds, I realized I could inspire other people to do it, too,” says Verteouris, who has now lost more than 100 pounds. “With obesity, it’s kill or be killed; you have to fight back!”

PHOTOS: NEW YORKERS’ BEFORE & AFTER PICS

He created “Knockout Obesity,” a four-month challenge built around healthy eating and exercise — and a lot of boxing. Recruiting participants through Gleason’s Gym in DUMBO and radio appeals, Verteouris found five motivated New Yorkers to endure 16 weeks of daily boxing with cardio and interval training coupled with a nutritionist-assisted diet overhaul.

In just four months, with nutritionist Niti Patel, he’s guided the gang to a grand total of 203 lost pounds — and counting! Check out all of the participants’ stories in the final webisode of “Knockout Obesity” at koobesity.com.

overset: “Motivating them is difficult, but you have to show them you care for them as much as they should care for themselves,” says Verteouris, who has lost more than 100 pounds since last year.

“If they didn’t want to push hard enough, I had to make them push harder; when they didn’t want to finish an exercise, I would add another. And they fed off of that. With obesity, it’s kill or be killed; you have to fight back!”

A typical training day includes a two-hour workout of multiple rounds of jump-rope, shadowboxing, bag work, plus sets of interval training exercises and 20 minutes on the treadmill or Stairmaster.