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How Does Chef Bobby Flay Stay So Fit?

He famously cooks—and chows down—for a living, yet Food Network superstar Bobby Flay boasts one of the leanest physiques in the business. What makes this paradox possible? In his new web series "Bobby Flay Fit" the master chef shares what it takes to stay

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MF: What body part, workout or fitness move do you actually look forward to doing when you have the chance—and why? What's your least favorite body part to work out?

BF: I like to run and I’m an early riser so I find getting up early for a run – a really good run - is a great way to start my day. Stretching, on the other hand, is my least favorite part of my routine.

MF: What are your strengths and weaknesses, physically? How do you work to improve the weak areas of your workouts?

BF: Running long distances and physical endurance are my strengths. I’d like to increase my upper body strength and as you’ll see in the web series, strength training is one of the areas I explore with my buddy, Michael Symon.  He’s an avid weight lifter and having a partner to lift with is one way for me to expand my work out regime in a fun way.  Having a partner, particularly for those areas that may not play to your strengths, helps keep it interesting and more appealing.

MF: How did you transform your body into what it is today? Walk us through the process of a chef who had an extra 15lbs of extra padding into the super-fit Bobby we know today.

BF: By making common sense choices – eating what I love in the right portions and not eating late at night.  It’s all about moderation – there are no tricks to the process.  I am not an advocate of dieting in general nor of the diets that eliminate key foods.  You can eat everything you want in moderation – it’s really about calories in and calories spent.  As a rule I typically will only eat about 75% of what’s on my plate which goes a long way to reducing my overall calorie intake.  And I don’t eat it if it doesn’t taste good – it’s just not worth it.  . In addition to watching what I eat, I exercise – running, taking a SoulCycle class, etc. - exercise was and is an essential ingredient to getting and keeping fit.

MF: What's your day-to-day diet like? Are you consistent about the way that you eat? Do you have any rules for yourself?

BF: I do not have a specific daily menu plan - I eat what I want, but stay careful about how much I eat and follow that 75 percent rule (a little cheating is allowed the other 25 percent of the time).  I also try to stay away from late-night eating—not that it doesn’t happen sometimes!—but as a general rule I try to eat dinner around 5pm, before dinner service starts.  As a chef, I have to taste food throughout the day, I’m just very mindful of how much I’m tasting and making sure I only taste what is essential.

MF: Do you have any fitness challenges (races, etc.) that you want to overcome? Tell us what's next for you…

BF: Swimming is great exercise and a great complement to running – it’s a low impact activity that would be kinder to my knees and joints.  I’d say my next fitness challenge is becoming a better swimmer.   

MF: Are there any other chefs who you admire for their fitness level? Who are they?

BF: As I mentioned earlier, my friend Michael Symon is an avid weight lifter and I’m more of a running/biking guy – so we like to challenge each other with our workouts and you get a little insight into that competition in the series.

Bobby Flay Fit launches this month on FoodNetwork.com. Check out a sneak peek from the show—and find out why Bobby Flay hates to stretch. 

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