Brian DiMattia changes the conversation about food and fitness | Weekender

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WILKES-BARRE — Brian DiMattia incorporates a passion for food and fitness into both his life and career. As an MMA fighter, personal trainer, and food blogger, he’s refreshing the conversation surrounding getting healthy.

It’s often assumed that getting in shape is all about eliminating foods and depriving yourself — but DiMattia will tell you that’s not his philosophy. He focuses on leveraging everyday nutrition and exercise techniques to achieve long-term results. Put in the hard work and you can eat some the “bad” food you love too…well, within reason, of course!

Brian DiMattia is a blue belt and assistant trainer at Good Tree MMA on Wilkes Barre Township Blvd, and he just started his own personal training business, DiMaFIT.

He’s also the mind behind DiMattia’s Food Fight, an expansive food blog that covers not just Northeastern Pennsylvania meals but also fast-food chains, nostalgic groceries, gas station delicacies, and other unlikely food reviews. DiMattia’s Food Fight keeps the fun in food, while still eating and exercising mindfully.

DiMattia uses his confident personality, straight-forward attitude, and easy-going relatability to fuel all his business ventures. Not to mention, he’s handled a complicated relationship with eating and working out throughout his life that informs the wisdom he imparts on his training clients, MMA students, and foodie followers.

Brian DiMattia transformed himself over the years. He overcame addiction, but after recovery he began using food as a comfort — then he found his way back to a healthy balance with dedication, nutrition, and MMA.

“It’s life changing, I believe in the product,” said DiMattia. “When I started training jujitsu four and a half years ago, I came in at about 250 pounds. I was lifting, but I was out of shape. I wasn’t practicing healthy habits. I was overeating at night, I gained a lot of weight again, but jujitsu set me on a path. My initial goal was to lose weight and to get in better shape. And I slowly did. I slowly started losing weight more and more.”

With all the crash diets and “magic medicine” out there, it’s easy to skip out on developing positive, lasting routines and return to old ways. But, DiMattia says proper nutrition what’s truly crucial for losing the pounds and keeping them off.

“You have to develop good eating habits,” said DiMattia. “It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have stop eating the foods you like, but you do have to develop better eating habits.”

However, Brian DiMattia understands that you don’t want to stick with something you hate. You don’t have to stop loving food just because you want to get in shape. It’s all about making better daily choices over time.

Food isn’t the enemy. Sure, you don’t want to eat a Big Mac for every meal, but that doesn’t mean it’s better to go to the extreme to see results either. Track calories but set a realistic daily limit. Focus on making better, more nutritious choices regularly and you won’t have to worry about a slip-up every once in awhile. DiMattia wants his clients to create a lifestyle that brings them joy.

We’re often made to feel like we’re failing our health journey just because we’re not always perfect, but that’s not the case. On the flipside of overeating, DiMattia also recalls a time when he was a “Super Health Freak.” He was working out too much, using all kinds of supplements, and developed a poor relationship with food. That’s no good for your physical or mental health either, so it’s important to find balance.

DiMattia said one of his biggest strengths as a trainer is that he’s straight-forward and keeps it realistic. Also, he’s been there himself! He knows that as long as you’re consistent with this regimen over time, the results will come.

“What I want to do right now is teach people what I learned losing weight, and more than once in my life. I’ve learned my lesson,” said Brian DiMattia.

DiMattia said he lost weight once in his 20s the hard way with obsessive dieting and constant exercise. Then later, while he was busy focusing on getting sober, food became his outlet. Once he got comfortable with sobriety, he became determined to shed the pounds and become more active. But after a while, he found himself returning to his old ways of leaning on food for comfort. So, he understands just how fast it can go south.

“I learned from those experiences to put together what I have to offer right now,” said DiMattia.

Sometimes going after what you really want in life takes time and dedication, but it pays off if you stay the course. DiMattia is a shining example of that and he’s finally where he wanted to be.

DiMattia took the plunge of moving on from his previous job to pursue his long-time dream of making food and fitness his career. Fitness was what DiMattia wanted to do before drugs took over his life while attending college. Although he still finished college, for a long time he abandoned his ambition for fitness. But eventually after achieving sobriety and finding his way to MMA, it all came full circle.

“I’m finally in a really good work spot. I am my own boss with the personal training business, but I learned to run that business by learning this (MMA) business and I don’t know if I’d be able to bring on clients as fast as I did if I didn’t learn it here at the gym,” said DiMattia.

Brian DiMattia is currently learning to become a jujitsu instructor by black belt and owner of Good Tree MMA, Tyler Mooney. He looks forward to being able to educate to others and lead his own classes there for both children and adults.

As for DiMattia’s goals for 2024 in jujitsu, he’s excited to visit to Florida for the very first time to participate in the IBJJF, the 2nd biggest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition in the world (and also to see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney). Good Tree MMA will then be represented at a tournament in New York in April and then they’ll return to Vegas for the IBJJF.

He also aims to obtain his purple belt, become a better instructor, and help the owners of the school grow even more than it already has.

DiMattia is already working with clients for personal training under DiMaFIT. He starts with teaching the foundation — doing push-ups and planks correctly before adding in all the fancy equipment. The simplest moves are sometimes the most valuable. He also offers online personal training courses to cater to clients and hosts a group fitness class that focuses on calisthenics and light weightlifting on Friday nights at Good Tree MMA.

For his clients in personal training, he’s looking forward to seeing the results they achieve over six months with his regimen. He wants to help people get their lives back. Their success is his success.

He remembers being nervous on the first day of a new class and he knows how difficult it is to change your eating habits. So, he’s right there with you! He’s been through it before. Not to mention, DiMattia will be losing weight soon for the upcoming tournaments too, so he’ll really be right there with you.

DiMattia’s Food Fight aims to expand the channel in the coming year through more collaborations (such as NEPA Pizza Review and other taste-makers), increased user participation, and exploring more travel food. He also wants to do more reviews down in the Old Forge area where he grew up.

Established in just December 2022, this page has become a thriving foodie community! DiMattia recently took out the NEPA from his business name to open it up to food all over. It’s not just localized; he posts from his trips and reviews a variety of interesting foods like Dollar Tree cheeseburgers and packaged Reese’s cupcakes like he invited me to taste during this interview!

There’s plenty to explore in the world of food and you never know what may go viral! His first time doing the reviews, he was nervous to record but now, DiMattia seems down-to-earth and authentic wherever he goes and whatever he shares.

It’s all hard work but it’s a labor of love. Brian DiMattia worked in restaurants throughout his life — front of house, back of house, you name it! So, that’s part of what fuels his continued love for going out to eat while still staying focused on overall healthiness.

Some may not realize they already have the tools to change their life for the better. Don’t wait for the next junk science diet trend, just commit to making smarter choices with Brian DiMattia at DiMaFIT and Good Tree MMA. It’s surprising what can be accomplished when you don’t hate the way you’re losing weight. “As long as it’s in your calories, it’s fine!” he said and I proudly quote.

“I want to help people who are overweight, who don’t know how to eat properly, who don’t know how to keep the weight off — because that was me. I know what that’s like,” said DiMattia.

DiMattia creates an approachable perspective on healthy living that focuses on balance. He operates a business to promote the fitness/nutrition side, one to share what he’s learned with jujitsu, and another to celebrate the foodie side! He looks forward to making these brands just as rewarding for others they’ve been for him.

*Please consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or exercise regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

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