Three chefs walk into a restaurant. No, it’s not the setup for a joke; it’s what happened last month when a trio of celebrity whisk-wielders, Art Smith
, Cat Cora
, and Curtis Stone
, convened in a Manhattan eatery to dish about how, in the midst of relentless culinary temptation, they manage to eat healthy and stay fit. (Not one mentioned a high metabolism.)
They weren’t just talking through their toques. Smith, 52, a former private chef for Oprah Winfrey and a partner in five restaurants, lost 120 pounds after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2009. Cora, 44, the sole female chef on Iron Chef America
and cohost with Stone of Bravo’s new Around the World in 80 Plates
(which starts May 9), shed 25 extra pounds after giving birth to a son three years ago. Although Stone, 36, has never had trouble buttoning his jeans, the Australian-born star of The Celebrity Apprentice
and Top Chef Masters
says his fondness for food makes regular exercise mandatory to keep his physique TV-trim.
The longtime friends and colleagues continually laughed and teased one another, but all got serious when discussing what goes into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
PARADE: Which matters more: what and how much you eat, or how much you exercise?
I don’t think that you can do what we do without exercise.
It’s all about balance. My way of achieving that balance is doing a load of exercise because I eat a lot of food.
I’ve known you for 10 years, and I don’t think you’ve ever had a problem with weight.
The problem is I just absolutely love food.
So do you all work out every day?
I run almost every day. I’m going to take my run in the park after this. I always keep a pair of running shoes at work and I have running shorts on under my jeans.
I will also be working out after this. When I’m home in Santa Barbara, I run, because I have the beach right there. But when I’m on the road, I do the elliptical.
Cat’s good. Cat and I traveled the world together [for Around the World
] and she would exercise every day. I totally let it go on that trip. I just ate and drank.
I always run into you at the gym. You’re always working out.
Not today. But when I’m home [in Los Angeles, where he lives with Lipstick Jungle
actress Lindsay Price and their infant son], I surf.
Cat and Art, you’ve both lost weight successfully. What’s your single best tip for taking—and keeping—it off?
Exercise is 50 percent of it. It’s a good way to start, because it makes you feel better. And cut out sugary sodas and fast food.
A wonderful big leafy green salad will change your life every day.
And drink a lot of water. I’d also say have some food rules. It might be “I don’t eat fried food” or “I won’t eat processed carbs after 3 p.m.” Establish a few rules in your diet that you just don’t cross.
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