The Biggest Flaw In Bobby Flay's Fitness Rules Revealed

Bobby Flay is one of America's most well-known and prolific chefs. "Food is the center of my universe," he writes on his website. "As a chef, I wake up thinking about food." Of course, the chef still makes time for fitness. To date, he's run four marathons and has adopted pilates as part of his morning routine. It wasn't always this way. As he told fellow celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian during an interview for Zakarian's "Four Courses" podcast, back in his younger days as a newly vaunted chef in New York City, Flay's habit of late-night eating and drinking was not nearly as conducive to robust health and fitness. Eventually, Flay switched up his habits by committing to three simple fitness rules: No more eating late at night, only eating food he enjoys, and never eating more than three-quarters of whatever is on his plate. 

Flay claims his rules have been working well for him. But would they work for you? To find out, Mashed spoke with Piper Gibson, Doctor of Advanced Holistic Nutrition, Board Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. As far as Gibson is concerned, not eating late at night is a solid choice for just about anyone. But the "three-quarters" rule? According to Gibson, it may be the biggest potential flaw in Bobby Flay's fitness rules. 

Bobby Flay's rule of "three-quarters" could work, but it's not for everyone

According to Piper Gibson, Bobby Flay's rule of only eating three-quarters of what's on his plate may not work for everyone, and whether or not it will work for you depends in large part upon how big your plate is and what you have on it. As Gibson explained to us, "Plate size can influence appetite."

Gibson assumes that "Bobby has a pretty healthy plate," which would help explain why the three-quarters rule has helped him attain and maintain his fitness goals. However, as Gibson pointed out, only eating three-quarters of a "platter full of cake and fries" is markedly different from a small plate of steak and veggies. "I want to make sure that my clients are getting plenty of protein and healthy fats at every meal, plus it's a waste of food — why not make less in the first place and or put less on your plate," Gibson explained.

And that brings us to a corollary to Flay's "three-quarters" rule, which is that he only eats food that he enjoys. Clearly, it's working for Flay, but as Gibson noted, "I feel like Bobby's rules might not be the best fit for the general public. First of all, he is a chef and makes amazing meals, and second, he eats at some of the best restaurants in the world. Not everyone has the ability to just leave food on their plate or push it away." Using the example of cake and fries versus steak and broccoli, Gibson illustrated that what you enjoy might not always be in line with what your body needs to function at its best. "My focus is teaching people how to incorporate and enjoy nutrient-dense foods into their lives."