If you watched TV in the late 1990s, you likely saw at least one commercial for Subway. The restaurant chain's ads often didn't focus on Subway's sandwiches as much they did as on Jared Fogle, who quickly became a quasi-celebrity for his extraordinary weight-loss success as a result of eating at Subway. More than a decade later, Fogle continues to serve as a Subway spokesperson, touting the company's healthy menu.
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Time for a Change
While studying business at Indiana University in the late 1990s, Fogle weighed approximately 425 pounds, thanks to a diet that included frequent visits to McDonald's. There, according to a 2013 "New York Daily News" article, Fogle would eat his standard meal of a Double Quarter Pounder, fries and apple pies. For dinner, he frequently ate at a Chinese buffet and estimates that he drank upwards of 20 cans of soda per day. His obesity caused him to avoid social engagements and even led to sleep apnea.
A Custom-Made Diet
Fogle first visited Subway near his university in March 1998 and, after consulting a pamphlet touting the food's nutritional value, came up with his own meal plan. What's now known as Fogle's "Subway Diet," consisted of a 6-inch turkey sub for lunch and a 12-inch Veggie Delite sub for dinner. He avoided mayo and cheese on both subs. The 6-inch turkey sub has 290 calories and 4 grams of total fat. The 12-inch Veggie Delite sub has 460 calories and 4.5 grams of total fat.
His self-imposed meal plan of two subs per day lasted for 11 months, and Fogle experienced life-changing weight loss. In the first three months, he lost 94 pounds. By the time 11 months had passed, he'd lost a total of 245 pounds. The Indiana University newspaper featured his weight-loss journey and photographed him with the size-60 jeans that he previously wore. Soon, news of his success spread and he was introduced to America -- and Subway -- via interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Larry King and "Men's Health" magazine.
In all, Fogle has appeared in more than 300 Subway commercials, as of 2013, and continues to work for the company. He serves as a Subway brand representative, traveling throughout North American to appear at Subway restaurants and give speeches at schools and hospitals. Fogle also devotes time to a charity dedicated to fighting childhood obesity. He told the "Daily News" in 2013 that he still eats at Subway a couple times a week.