Staying In Shape When You Eat All Day: Fork in the Road Tells All


Probably inspired by Frank Bruni’s soon-to-be-published book about his struggles with eating disorders, The Times runs a piece today about how people who eat for a living manage to stay in shape. It focuses on Padma Lakshmi, who shoots Top Chef for five weeks at a time, and then goes on a “food detox,” eliminating red meat, alcohol, and cheese until she’s lost the 10 to 15 pounds she’s gained.

Well, that’s great, except that not only is Lakshmi a genetic freak of nature, but she’s also got the money to hire trainers galore. Far more interesting is the story of Robert L. Untiedt, a chocolate-maker who puts away a fourth of a pound of chocolate every day. He works out three times a week and rides his bike everywhere.

We here at Fork in the Road are a relatively fit bunch, so I asked Chantal and Robert how they manage it. (Rebecca is away this week.)

Click through for Fork in the Road’s secrets.

Personally, if I didn’t drag myself out for runs nearly every day, I’d end up one of those people who only leaves the house via crane. When I’m out, I try to stop several times during a meal and ask myself if I’m still hungry. Sadly, you have to be okay with wasting food–it’s hard to ask for a doggie bag at Marea.

From Chantal, who looks amazing, and makes me think there must be something to this Bikram yoga thing:

I guess I try to taste without finishing the meals I eat for work. Although sometimes I can’t help myself and finish anyway. The biggest thing is probably the 90 minutes of Bikram yoga I do about 5 times per week and a long bike ride — like 2-3 hours — on the weekends. The yoga is a basic hatha yoga but done in a hot room so it really helps me detox, especially when I’ve been tasting a lot of booze (which is my specialty, as you know!) Then, of course, how I eat at home is pretty simple. After 4-5 meals out in nice restaurants per week, what I crave at home is fresh fruit and vegetables. I hate to sound like Mark Bittman but I’m about 75% vegan at home, especially before dinner. Plus, I walk everywhere.

And from Our Man Sietsema, who has been doing this successfully for a long time:

Lots of swimming, biking, and hiking. No junk foods (well, almost never). Eat simple when I’m at home or snacking. Never touch corn-syrup sodas. Ever. Try to stop eating at the best-tasting bite. Always order smallest serving of ice cream.

Try to stop eating at the best-tasting bite! That’s the best advice yet.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 6, 2009

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