You know the drill: New year, new you. But why go to extremes in January, then leave your goals in the dust before Valentine’s Day? This year, make small changes instead of over-the-top resolutions to stay healthy all year long. We chatted with Bobby Flay about how he changed his habits to lose weight and feel better. Get his start-the-year-right advice, then check back here and on our Healthy Eats blog for new tips every Wednesday.
Why did you decide to change your eating habits?
I just felt like I could be in better shape. While I wasn’t overweight, I felt like I needed to get my body back into shape and to be healthier. I knew that when I had been healthier in the past, I felt better about myself and about my day-to-day. It helped my day-to-day happiness.
How did you accomplish your fitness goals?
A couple ways. Hard work at the gym, and on the road, so to speak, you know, running. And then just making some smart choices when it came to eating. They’re both important and you need to do both. Anybody will tell you the same thing, to exercise and eat well. It sounds like a cliche, but if everybody did that, we’d have a much healthier country.
What’s your personal philosophy on healthy eating?
It’s more about what not to do as opposed to what to do. Here’s what I do from day to day:
- Avoid processed foods. I don’t eat fast foods or processed foods, when I can help it. Instead, I eat things that have been prepared by hand. Even if it’s in a diner, I know what it’s something that has been prepared by a person as opposed to a machine.
- Nix huge portions. I don’t eat as much as I used to. I try to eat about 2/3 of what’s in front of me when I go to a restaurant, and about the same amount at home.
- Make every calorie count. I don’t eat just to eat things. If something doesn’t taste really good, I won’t eat it. I want my calories to count.
What are some techniques and tips for making healthy meals that are full of flavor?
You know, fat is always tasty. Cream, butter, all of that tastes good. So without those ingredients, you have to use great sources of flavor. I use a lot of chipotles, a lot of Mediterranean ingredients, fresh herbs, dried spices, and savory things like onions and garlic that have lots of flavor but very little fat. See Bobby’s top-5 healthy ingredients >>
For hundreds more healthy appetizers, weeknight meals, desserts and healthy tips from Bobby, Giada, Alton and more, visit FoodNetwork.com/Health.