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Chefs trim the fat - on themselves
Regimen: "I run, I bike, I lift weights, I do yoga, I swim. I mix up my workouts a lot; otherwise, I get bored and don't exercise as much or as often as I should.
"I fuel my body on breakfast and lunch and work it off. Dinner is supplemental, just enough to get through to the next day. I eat a lot of greens and watch my portion sizes pretty closely. Lunch is always a salad, raw vegetables, maybe a whole-wheat wrap with lettuce and grilled chicken.
"I'm not a huge calorie counter, but when I reach down to eat something I know isn't good for my body, I look at the calorie intake and remember how hard it was to burn off 700 calories at the gym. I also pay more attention to what I eat on days I don't work out."
Height: 5 feet 9 inches
Peak weight: 312 pounds
Current weight: 225 pounds
Lost: 87 pounds
How he gained: "I lived in Aspen and was always doing things outdoors, but then I moved to Denver and was working 80-hour weeks. Same in D.C. Picking on bread and sweets all day. When Potenza was opening, pizza, pasta and cannoli was all I ate. I never ate breakfast or watched what I ate, and I ate late at night. On my day off, I'd kick back at home and drink a bunch of beer."
Aha! moment: "May 4, 2010. The Food and Wine Festival was less than two months away and I told myself I had to get back in shape so I could actually do something when I'd be up in Aspen this year. Like breathe."
Regimen: "I go to the gym six days a week for two hours a day and do a lot of cardio. I'm going to be adding weight training, because my goal is to run a marathon in Chicago with a friend next fall.
"No more caffeine. Nothing but water. Breakfast is key: two or three scrambled eggs with farm vegetables for breakfast, or yogurt with granola bars and honey. The rest of the day, I taste and eat what I need to. I might cut a small steak for protein at night. No more late-night pastas, but I basically eat what I want, when I want. If I'm going to exercise, I need a payoff. I go out to eat every Sunday with my wife and really dine. You have to enjoy life."
Height: 6 feet 1 inch
Peak weight: 251 pounds
Current weight: 215 pounds
Lost: 36 pounds
How he gained: "Over 25 years, I went from a skinny cook to a fat [one]. I love Gruyere cheese. A nice, creamy gratin, a warm baguette with butter. I love cream. I love butter. I used to eat whatever was in the refrigerator when I got home after work. I'd go on diets, but in the past, if I broke my diet one day, that was it. I was off of it, and I'd go back to my old ways."
Aha! moment: "I had a physical at 49. My doctor said, 'I'm going to be candid: You're obese. You're on blood pressure and cholesterol medication. If you're at this shape at 50, it's only going to get worse. If I had to operate on you right now, we'd have a problem.' And that was it."
Regimen: "No carbs, no dairy. I drink Chinese oolong green tea all day long. A lot of dried fruit, prunes and apricots, fresh mangoes. Fish and meat for protein. No bread or pasta. I eat a lot of hummus. Olive oil, avocados, nuts. And I eat breakfast. I found if I didn't, I'd get weak in the afternoon and reach for that baguette with brie cheese on it. And no more late eating; after 7 p.m., I don't eat.
"I didn't stop drinking red wine, but I cut back. No more drinking with Michel [Richard] until 2 a.m.
"I do 50 push-ups and 50 incline sit-ups every day. I get on the scale every morning and mark my weight on a chalkboard every day. If I break my diet, the next day I say, 'Today is a new day' and just go back on it."