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Dateline NBC
updated 10/8/2004 7:44:47 PM ET 2004-10-08T23:44:47

Jim's diet story
Link: USDA Food Pyramid information

To get things started, Jim and his wife met with a nutritionist and Food Pyramid expert. She said if Jim reduced his calories by 500 a day, he'd lose a pound a week. But she had him drop more, 1000 a day, a third of what he'd been eating, and using the food pyramid, she broke down a day's worth of calories into servings among food groups. The key to making it all work would be serving size. Among Jim's biggest changes was replacing his daily habit of six cans of sugary pop with diet soda. He may have been complaining, but he took the diet to heart, eating three balanced meals a day, taking three mile walks with his wife, and he found a way to stave off those early cravings. After two weeks, Jim had lost 14 pounds.

On Easter, Jim was feeling confident because he'd lost even more weight. So he went for it -- two helpings of everything topped off with grandma's apple dumpling dessert. Three days later, he put the scale on his lucky spot and prayed for a good result. Never has one man tried so hard to get a scale to change its mind. But at the two month mark we found Jim in a good groove fully focused on the food pyramid and down an impressive 20 pounds. In June, Jim weighed 202, down 27 pounds and a mere three pounds from his goal.

But during the summer in Minneapolis, Jim was not doing too well. The diet was on ice and the proof was in the scale. He was 211, up nine pounds from his lowest weight.

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