Bobby Flay Just Shared The Fitness Struggles That Come With Being A Chef

Fitness can prove a challenge to chefs. After all, whether they go for a more measured lifestyle or a more epicurean one, they spend their workdays surrounded by food. In the latest episode of Always Hungry with Bobby Flay and Sophie Flay, an iHeart radio program that consists of the father and daughter duo chatting, this question is brought to the fore.

Flay said that his weight has fluctuated somewhat over the years due to the challenges being a chef poses. He is always around food, he naturally loves food, and the resulting intake can be higher than most. "It is what it is," he summarized.

While he does maintain a diet of moderation, the focus of the episode's opening was on Bobby Flay's relationship with running. Originally, he wanted to play basketball in high school but failed to get along with the coach. So, he approached the track coach who was his social studies teacher. While he hadn't trained or participated in any previous track meets, the coach suggested he show up at Van Cortlandt Park anyway. Flay managed to come third or fourth due to his body's natural ability to keep on chugging.

Since then, he has always, as he puts it, maintained a foundation upon which he could train for a marathon for the last 20 years. In that time, he ran three in New York City and one in London, but he has no plan to subject himself to a fifth.

Flay focuses on moderation and exercise

"I eat all the things I want to eat, for the most part. It's just I eat them in moderation and I decide when and how much I eat of it," Flay explained on his podcast. "But also, staying fit is not just about when and how much you eat, it's about exercise." 

Flay is not the only chef who has brought up the challenges of healthy living in an industry that focuses on food. However, as with health in general, each chef has different pieces of advice and practices for staying fit.

In an effort to navigate this, Food & Wine spoke to eight famous chefs about the major takeaways from their fitness journeys. They included, of course, exercise, eating more vegetables, occasionally indulging, going for smaller portions, and finding new ways to boost flavor. The most interesting bit was the idea to "re-engineer your palate." In the example given, Richard Blais began his weight loss program by going vegan for a month. That time spent without animal products made him realize how fatty and salty a lot of the food he was cooking was, prompting him to find new dishes like a vegetable patty.