How do you lose 80 pounds in midlife?
If you're Kevin James, you star in a movie called "Here Comes the Boom."
You also put down the pizza and the burgers. Soda? Kiss that goodbye, too.
To play a teacher turned mixed martial arts fighter in "Boom," James went on an extreme diet.
"I drank nothing but greens, which meant I completely changed my diet. No soda. Nothing processed. Everything was natural.
"I worked out with professional UFC guys, too, because I didn't want to make a mockery out of the sport. I even started winning a few fights," he marvels.
TRAINING FOR "HERE COMES THE BOOM"
At age 47, he looks lean, mean and still is a comedy machine in "Here Comes the Boom" about a bored biology teacher who becomes a successful mixed-martial arts fighter in order to raise the money to keep his school's music program.
"Most people are surprised by this movie. They don't know what to expect from it. It's not 'Mall Cop.' It's not as goofy or slapstick, but it does have comedy in it. We wanted to make a big, fun, inspirational comedy and put in this weird sport of MMA," he says.
" We add the whole profession of teaching to it on top of all of the above. I just want people to feel inspired and have a good time. My favorite movie is 'Rocky. I remember how inspired I was by 'Rocky' and I left the theater completely changed."
GETTING IN THE RING
Kevin fought real two-ton athletes, which didn't scare him.
"I wanted to do these guys some justice. They're not gladiators in a cage, but real people fighting to put food on the table.
"By the way, everybody I fought was 20 years younger. You can't imagine all the aches and pains the next day after the fights. But it was worth it."
There are moments when he's toss hard, flat on his back.
"The hardest moves were when I had to land on my back. We really went for it – and sometimes the cameraman missed the shot and we'd have to do it again. At night, I lived with Tiger Balm on me. But my family was so supportive. At night I'd just hold my wife and kids and moan."
GETTING HIS FUNNY ON
The native of Stony Brook, New York, wasn't always the cut up. "I wasn't really the class clown. I was funny with my friends, but a shy kid," he says.
"I took a public speaking class in college because I heard it was an easy A and it was a way to get over my shyness and I loved it. The class was laughing. "
After perfecting his standup act over a decade, he landed a recurring role on his friend Ray Romano's sitcom, "Everybody Loves Raymond" which led to his own series "The King of Queens."
James is married to Steffiana De La Cruz and they have three children, Sienna, 7, Shea, 5 and Kannon, 1.
How could he possibly keep up that diet and workout routine he did for the movie?
"Since we wrapped the movie, I haven't kept it up so much," he admits.
"I did feel great when I was on my program. It's hard now that we've wrapped. The kids are sitting there eating mac and cheese and, of course, kids don't finish their food.
"I'm like, 'Kids you don't realize the riches in front of you! That's real pepperoni!'
"I hate to say that I've made up for lost time with the eating."
Since this is a style column, we had to conclude with a male beauty tip or two.
I say the word beauty and he laughs.
"If I was Channing Tatum, I'd be moisturizing everything on my body.
"When you're starting out of the gate with all that, you moisturize," he says.
" When you're me, you turn into a dried up lizard. You can't turn around that ship. But believe me. If one of my movies was called 'Magic Mike' or should I say Magic Kevin then I'd be moisturizing."