Food Networks “Fat Chef” contestant Dimitri Verteouris trains five contestants at Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo.

By Mark Morales

A Bay Ridge chef who lost a ton of weight on a Food Network reality show has started a show of his own – to help overweight locals shed the pounds.

Dimitri Verteouris, 28, was pushing 330 lbs. as a contestant on the Food Network’s Fat Chef. Now, after losing over 100 lbs on the show, he’s taken five overweight contestants under his wing and is using his amateur boxing skills and healthy eating habits to help them drop the weight on his web show “Knockout Obesity.”

“I came up with this plan because I wanted to help other people,” said Verteouris, who grew up in Bay Ridge and still lives there.  “I wish I could do 10 contestants at a time.”

The slimmed-down chef – who runs three health-themed restaurants in Brooklyn – said he still has a long way to go before he reaches his fighting weight of 178 before the Daily News Golden Gloves tournament in January.

Verteouris is at 225 lbs. and says he knows better than most what it’s like to battle the bulge.

“It’s one thing to see a chiseled trainer from head to toe and say ‘I want a body like that’ but it’s another thing to see someone who’s done the transformation,” said Verteouris. “I’ve been 330 lbs. I know what it’s like to get on a treadmill when you’re that heavy.”

The 10-episode web series is filmed four days a week at Gleason’s Gym on Front St. in DUMBO. Verteouris puts each of his five contestants through a rigorous workout routine that includes shadow boxing and foot work, lifting a large tire for strength training, and working the heavy bag, all while keeping them to a strict diet.

“The whole idea is to teach them the right way. I don’t want them to go back to what they were. I want them to change their lifestyle,” said Verteouris.

Bay Ridge resident Tommy Hondros, 25, said he was tipping the scales at 290 lbs. when he ran into a slimmed-down Verteouris on the street last month and asked for help.

“I remember him when he was big,” said Hondros. “I told him I wanted to do what you did. He told me to come down here and train.”

Hondros huffed and puffed through the workout but so far has managed to lose 32 lbs.

“I was 125 lbs. four years ago. Now, I want to get back in shape,” said Hondros.

Andy Jimenez, 19 from Sunset Park said he’s always been a big kid but has managed to lose 22 lbs. so far – down from 225 lbs. He always craved Chinese take-out but finally feels like he has it under control.

“Whenever I see fast food I don’t crave it as much.” said Jimenez. “I just want to lose some weight. I want to get healthy.”

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Click here to read original article via New York Daily News.