One other thing: This time, he has been managing his weight loss with Weight Watchers Mobile, which connects him to the program's eTools. Wherever he goes and whatever he eats, Rathbun can access and update his personal plan with his iPhone.
The Weight Watchers plan is just one of a growing number of cellphone-based applications helping people manage their weight. But it's the one that made sense to Rathbun, who said he's not paid to endorse the program.
"I'm a techie guy," he said, sitting in a booth at Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen, one of five Texas restaurants where he's executive chef and partner. "I'm the first guy in line for all the techie stuff."
Recommendations from friends and physicians - plus the fact that he could track everything online and from his phone - made Weight Watchers his pick. The program he's on costs $39.95 a month, which includes meetings, online access and his
In the past year and despite the broken leg, Rathbun has used the eTools to shed 70 pounds.
"I'd like to lose another 60 or 70," he said, adding that his starting weight was "too darn much" when pressed for a specific number. (His brother, Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun, has also been on the program using the eTools since last January. He has lost 125 pounds - but he didn't have a broken leg.)
Kent Rathbun demonstrated on his laptop how he accesses the eTools, which are subscription add-ons, to monitor his weight-loss plan on the computer or through his phone. Weight Watchers uses a point system, based on size, weight-loss goal and activity level, to limit how much you can eat. Recently, the company introduced an iPhone application through Apple that's similar to Weight Watchers Mobile.
Using his iPhone and Weight Watchers Mobile link, he deconstructed the grilled chicken breast with avocado he had just ordered, inputting each ingredient to come up with a point total for the dish. Once he did this, it became part of his personal database online.
Users also can search the Weight Watchers site for the point values of thousands of foods and dishes.
Rathbun showed his daily allotment of points, then tapped in what he ate for breakfast and that he had worked out moderately for 30 minutes earlier in the day. One click, and the point total changed to account for the added activity and what he had already eaten.
As a result of the program, Rathbun said, he has become more disciplined in the kitchen while he works. "I taste less now," he said. "Weight Watchers taught me that BLT - bites, licks and tastes - they count. Before, if I liked something, I'd take a big bite. Now, if I do, I tally the point."
He has also become savvier about portion control.
Already, he said, he's reaping the health benefits of losing weight. His blood pressure has dropped, and his endurance has increased.
"I'm in control of my health," he said, "and I feel good about myself."