Real Weight Loss: Cornelius Hardenbergh

He's dropped almost 130 pounds in just seven months.

Cornelius Hardenbergh

Hardenbergh, before and after. Photos provided

Name: Cornelius Hardenbergh
Age: 30
Jamaica Plain
Total weight lost: 130 pounds, so far

Cornelius Hardenbergh knew he needed to lose weight. He brought lunch to work, went to the gym once a week, and tried to adopt a healthier lifestyle—but the weight didn’t budge, eventually climbing as high as 386 pounds.

Until, that is, Hardenbergh, who runs the Bruins website Stanley Cup of Chowder, started the HMR Diet, a strict food plan specifically designed for weight loss. In only seven months on the program, Hardenbergh has lost almost 130 pounds, and plans to drop another 70.

“The program is simple,” he says. “There’s a list of stuff you can eat, and there’s a lot of stuff that’s not on the list, and if it’s not on the list, just don’t eat it.”

Here’s how he did it:


Hardenbergh follows HMR’s food plan religiously, ordering all this meals—which include things like calorie-controlled meal-replacement shakes, risotto, and pasta dishes—through the program. He also goes to weekly weigh-ins and classes through the system.

“I’m much, much better at planning ahead now—slash, I do it at all,” he says. “Before it was like, ‘Where’s my next meal coming from? Who cares, I’ll figure it out.’ And that’s when I’d end up having a couple giant slices of pizza, or buy $30 of hot dogs at Gillette Stadium.”

He’s also learned to be creative in the kitchen, using HMR products to mimic foods not included on the plan, with mixed results. “For the month running up to Thanksgiving, I tried out a bunch of different recipes for trying to make stuffing out of oatmeal and soup and rice, and it just didn’t work out,” he says. “Although, for football, I figured out how to use only things within [the plan] to make buffalo chicken.”


Though Hardenbergh always had a fitness routine, he’s stepped his up considerably since vowing to lose weight. In addition to his own gym visits, he now sees a personal trainer once a week, with whom he works on a mixture of strength, cardio, and core work. “When I was really heavy, it was a lot of body weight workouts and trying to burn as many calories as you can in an hour,” he remembers. “I’ve lost enough weight at this point that it’s more building muscle.”

Hardenbergh has also implemented an easy but effective lifestyle change: walking. “If I know I need to be somewhere in a couple hours, I could walk for an hour and then take the train, instead of just getting on the train as soon as possible.”

Perhaps best of all, Hardenbergh now has a crucial set of bragging rights: