Fast casual UFood Grill prides itself in serving up wholesome, healthy food with even heartier items not surpassing the 700-calorie mark. Given the Massachusetts-based brand’s health halo, CEO Sal Rincione knew it was time for him to make some lifestyle changes. Last October when vice president of real estate and construction Walter Pomerleau vowed to lose weight, Rincione decided to join him.
In the space of 90 days, the two men shed a combined total of 95 pounds, and Rincione who lost 45 pounds in that period has now lost 50 as his healthy mission continues.
“I said, ‘How can I be a fat CEO of a healthy brand?’ So I decided to go on this weight-loss journey as well,” Rincione says. “I know I’m the poster boy of my brand—so is Walter—and I can stand in front of a group in confidence and say, ‘I practice what I preach because look at me.’”
In addition to cutting beer and most dairy out of his diet, Rincione committed to eating clean. Although he lost the weight very quickly, he says he did not starve himself at all but instead made healthier choices like UFood’s steak tips and steamed broccoli. Pomerleau, who Rincione says was more of a sandwich lover, went for Handhelds like the Buffalo Chicken Panini and the Chicken Pesto Panini with the brand’s Seasoned Unfries, which are baked.
Even before he set out to change his habits, Rincione knew very well what a healthy lifestyle entailed. As an army veteran, Rincione served as a counter-intelligence officer in the Army for seven years and even received an award for physical fitness.
“I get older, I get lazy,” Rincione says. “I have a wonderful wife and two great children, and I want to be around to see my children grow up.”
He adds that both he and Pomerleau look drastically different. Rincione went from a shirt size XXL and 42-inch waist to a large and 36-inch waist, and he says that Pomerleau looks “completely transformed,” following his weight loss.
Although Rincione, who is Italian descent, grew up eating fats and heavy carbs like breads and pastas, he is now committed to continuing the healthy journey and eating clean.
“I feel great. I look a heck of a lot better. I can truly practice what I’m preaching now with a brand that I lovingly represent,” Rincione says.
By Nicole Duncan
*Read more about execs making healthy choices in 'Money Where Your Mouth Is.'