How To Eat Smart As A Chef

January 10 2014 – Robert Fiumara

If you want to keep maintain a healthy weight as a chef, managing eating habits isn’t always easy. Chefs are in a greater conundrum than many weight-conscious folks because we have a special relationship with food. After all, we’re the chefs – and if we’re not around great-tasting food, we’re not doing our jobs.  Being around food all day, having to think about it, taste it, and manage it makes it very difficult to focus on managing weight.

So how do great chefs stay healthy and fit, with so many tasty temptations readily available at all times? Here are a few tricks that helped us in the past.


Add a little something


One thing that any chef has to do day after day, during working hours, is to taste everything. However, tasting does not equal having a meal, and a hunger like sensation is present, even after ingesting hundreds of calories from just tasting everything in the restaurant kitchen.

The trick is to make yourself conscious of the fact that you are actually eating, so contribute to tasting, with a little something, too. Feel free to add a vegetable to the tasting every once in a while – both to clean the palate and so you can feel full and satiated.


Portion control


Food is tasty, right? This is why everyone loves it. As a chef, however, having too much of a good thing is a real danger to maintaining weight. One thing you can do is to apply portion control during meal shifts.

As a chef, you know all about portions. Cut your portions to size as needed and don’t overeat. You’ll be up and running around – possibly ravenously hungry – by the time you get to your break, so don’t overdo it. A little can go a long way.


Keep hunger at bay with a satiating breakfast


You can keep hunger at bay during the day by having a satiating breakfast first thing in the morning. The lack of hunger sensation will prevent you from snacking too much around the kitchen.

Looking for great foods for a fulfilling, healthy breakfast? Fruit and protein rich foods, like cottage cheese, are ideal for keeping the hunger pangs away.


Managing alcohol


Having a glass of wine – or two - comes with the territory when you are a chef. Yet alcohol can be responsible for serious amounts of calories that will not stave off your hunger.

A simple thing you can do is to alternate alcohol or replace it, as much as possible, with sparkling water. Also, drinking water from a wine glass can trick your mind into thinking you already had your customary drink and help you get over the craving a little easier.

Being a chef is your passion – it’s ours, too – but a big part of keeping your clothes fitting well so you can move around easily is actually fitting into your clothes. We’ve all been there- many chefs find their weight fluctuates without the routine trip to the gym. In the New Year it’s always good to isolate and get rid of bad habits as much as possible. Good luck – and here’s to you! 


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