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How Three Chicago Chefs Lost 382 Pounds

In a career that revolves around amazing food, Art Smith, Sarah Stegner, and Michael Lachowicz lost a lot of weight—and (mostly) kept it off.

It’s summertime, at last, and the living is easy. Except, of course, when it comes to facing our flabby selves in the mirror. After we shed all those layers of winter clothes, there’s nothing left to hide the extra pounds we’ve packed on during our annual hibernation phase.

We all know the struggle. But chefs—God bless them, with their frenzied 14-hour workdays and endless access to high-calorie delectables—face supersize challenges. “Our whole focus is on food,” says Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook. “Even when we’re not working, we’re thinking about food.”

Despite the odds, three Chicago-area chefs—all of whom once saw their weight balloon to concerning levels—found time to work out and stay disciplined about eating right. In the process, they lost some serious body baggage and retook control of their lives.

Here, they share the diet and exercise plans that worked for them, along with recipes for dishes just as delicious as they are good for you. Read on. Your swimsuit is waiting.

Michael Lachowicz

Michael Lachowicz

Chef-owner of Restaurant Michael, Winnetka

Sarah Stegner

Sarah Stegner

Co-chef and co-owner of Prairie Grass Cafe, Northbrook

Art Smith

Art Smith

Chef-owner of Table Fifty-Two; partner in Lyfe Kitchen

 

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