Weight Loss Tips
An overweight chef is like a dentist with a beautiful smile or a spin instructor with a great backside. We expect these experts to use the tools of their trade themselves. Its the best form of marketing, right Paula Deen? But good marketing shouldn’t drive you to an early grave, no matter how tasty it is.
The Food Network’s new show Fat Chef couldn’t be a better example of how you can bake your cake and eat it, too—without getting diabetes. The six-episode docu-series, which premieres Thursday at 10 p.m., will follow 12 culinary professionals from all over the country who are overweight and looking to cut their body weigh, by 25 percent within 16 weeks without sacrificing their careers in the process.
Here are five examples of the kind of eat-right life strategies you’ll learn on the show from its top health consultants, who help turn the phrase “never trust a skinny chef” on its head.
Find Deep Motivation
You can’t truly make life changes if you’re not 100 percent committed to why you’re doing it. You need to dig deeper than just fitting back into your jeans. “When one of the chefs sat down to write his big ‘why,’ the list started off as very trivial. But when he got down to it, he figured out that he didn’t want his kids to wake up and find he was gone,” says fitness guru Robert Brace, creator of the DVD series 28 Day Challenge. “That created conviction as opposed to just wanting to get in shape.”
Say It Out Loud
Tell people who will hold you accountable. “If your family and friends see you falling off the wagon—like inhaling mozzarella sticks—give them permission to take it away from you, kick you out of the kitchen and make you go to the gym,” says nutritionist Christine Avanti, author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food. “When people step in and tell you that ‘I believe in you’ and ‘I’m going to help you,’ it encourages and motivates you and it gives you the freedom to make big changes. It has really helped my chefs,” she says.
Never Say ‘Diet’
Swap out the uncool word “diet” with something positive and manlier like “I’m challenging myself to be in the best shape ever,” Brace says. It gets rid of the negativity and skepticism surrounding that four-letter word.
Don’t Go Hungry
Skipped lunch? Of course you’re going to chow down on bar fries. “As soon as I started having the chefs eat every 4 hours, temptations went away because they’re not starving to death anymore,” Avanti says. Former Biggest Loser trainer Brett Hoebel totally agrees. “Most people make poor eating decisions when they are missing meals and then their blood sugar drops and the cravings creep in,” says the creator of the RevAbs DVD series. Aim to control your blood sugar by eating healthy (good fats, protein, and slow-digesting carbs) several times a day. “Every Sunday, I had the chefs boil a dozen eggs and bake six sweet potatoes to have a healthy balanced protein and carb on hand at all times,” Avanti says.
Brush Off the Haters
Eating right when others are indulging at a Super Bowl party can make people feel uncomfortable. It’s easier to order beer and eat fries than deal with your friend’s ribbings. “I told a lot of the chefs to stop being afraid to confront people,” Brace says. “If people feel bad because what you’re doing is healthy then that issue really is theirs.” Keep the focus on yourself and your own convictions. And don’t think that healthy party snacks are limited to the veggie tray. Click here to learn what a nutritionist eats on Super Bowl Sunday, and you’ll be surprised at the variety.
Stock Up on Staples
A recent McGill University study discovered that extra virgin coconut oil is good for your metabolic rate and immune system, says Avanti, who advised chefs to add a tablespoon of the slick stuff to their smoothies (made with Greek yogurt, a cup of coconut milk and a handful of berries) every day. She also recommended adding one serving of fermented food, like a cup of kefir (we love Lifeway’s pomegranate kefir) or sauerkraut. “A lot of these chefs have so much refined flour, refined sugar and saturated fat of every kind that their digestion was not doing well,” Avanti says. “The good bacteria in these fermented foods help with digestion, nutrient absorption, and ultimately weight loss.”