After four gluttonous seasons of hosting the series "Man v. Food" on the Travel Channel, Adam Richman decided that the time had come for a sweeping change. Over the course of 85 episodes tackling food challenges
across America — including a 5-pound sandwich, an 11-pound pizza, or 15 dozen oysters — Richman's body was, not surprisingly, packing on the pounds. The state of his health was such a concern to producers that it factored heavily
into their decision to change the format during the fourth season to "Man v. Food Nation." Now instead of participating directly in the food challenges, Richman will coach locals on how to tackle them.
"I can tell you the decision to tweak it was driven mostly by the concerns for Adam," Scripps Networks chairman Ken Lowe said
. "The format was very hard on him, and he came to us and we had a conversation about how we could keep the format going without continuing to be such a heavy health concern for him."
At the conclusion of the show in April 2012, Richman tells People
that he moved to overhaul his lifestyle after looking in the mirror and realizing his body appeared to be 'the size of a Smart car'.
"I could see my belly. It was unflattering," he says. "It sent me into depression."
To regain his health, the 39-year-old says he cut white flour and dairy from his diet, focusing on nutritious snacks like almonds, Greek yogurt, salmon and meal replacement bars. He also took on weight training, soccer, and a personal goal of 10,000 steps every day. As a result, the former food challenge guru lost more than 60 pounds.
Back in good form, Richman says he doesn't regret the abuse he put his body through for "Man v. Food."
"When I watch old episodes, I see my doughy face. But I'm not filled with regret," he tells People. "'Man v. Food' was the biggest career-defining opportunity. I went from anonymity to someone of note with access to amazing eateries."
Check out a slimmer Richman on the Travel Channel's new series "Fandemonium," a much healthier (but just as crazy) exploration of America's wildest fan gatherings across the nation. The show airs every Sunday at 9/8C.
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