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How do professional chefs handle their weight?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I will soon be starting culinary school and I have never been a moderate eater. I always gain and lose weight (in a 10lb range) but I am trying to change that by controlling what I eat and working out/swimming.

 

My questions:

 

How can you not gain weight when in the culinary industry?

How much does a chef eat/burn while working? Do they even eachother out?

How and when do you get exercise?

Is it realistic to assume I can spare 2 hours for workout early every morning before going to work in the future? (1 hour of swimming/jogging etc. and 1 hour for preparing/road) Will it be enough?

 

Just need some ideas even if they aren't definite answers to my questions. :)

 

Thank you

post #2 of 15

Strictly from personal experience, when I look at food all day the last thing on my mind is eating.  I taste a lot but I have to make myself eat. It's like when you are fishing in a boat and look at water all day you forget to drink and it's too easy to forget to keep yourself hydrated.

post #3 of 15
I always was, and still am ... a fat kid. Except for the time I spent in the NAVY, I've been anything except skinny or thin. I wasn't skinny or thin then either, I just didn't carry any extra baggage weights. Running and swimming a zillion miles all day helps that. I deal with it through exercise (sports) and a good sense of humor. I also have a bad habit of punching out big-mouth wise-guys. I guess I just kinda, you know, deal with it ... sorta.
post #4 of 15
You can always make time to work out if you want it bad enough, it may just mean getting up at 4-5 am to do it. That being said while you taste everything you make, you never really get time to eat a meal while working so consumption isn't too hard to avoid. It seems to me that most line cooks are fairly skinny from this lifestyle and once you become a 'chef' you start to have time to put the weight back on.
post #5 of 15

was quite skinny as a line cook... a steady diet of beer, drugs and one cheeseburger a day. 

now as exec working 12+ hour days and tasting everything .... no drugs, more beer. gained 20 lbs. 

 

go get em tiger 

 

 

edit: exercise consists of unloading orders and hoofing bags of rock salt upstairs to our filtration room for tap water.

post #6 of 15
Tasting is not the same as eating. I tend to like working "lean", ie. not on a full stomach. That's not to say I don't eat before work, but usually it's fruit or eggs or something in the morning. Live off of coffee at work and then might eat a decent meal at night. Tasting at work is exactly that, it's tasting. Like I said I'm not big on eating at work but I suppose I could understand if you're on the pastry section every day and have a sweet tooth...

All that being said I've never found kitchen work to be that great of a workout. Unless you're putting away alot of stock on a daily basis or have a gigantic kitchen (ergo lots of running) it's not much better than walking around for 10 hours a day in sweltering heat. Obviously working out and trying to stay fit has a host of benefits beyond not being overweight. As an aside weight is not a reliable indicator of general health in the first place.

Beer is almost exclusively empty calories they abound. I think the average beer is like 3 or 400 caloies. x15? biggrin.gif Alcoholism is a terrible thing.

Stay away from drugs. People like to glorify that part of the industry but actually it is horrible. Not a reliable or safe way to control your weight or energy for work. If you need drugs to work in your particular capacity you should reevaluate what you're doing. Hard drugs anyway cool.gif

I know alot of chefs who run to and from work, that's not a bad way to get in some exercise, or cycling if your pride can handle it.
post #7 of 15
I eat a lot.

Try to eat sensible.

Not so much deep fried.

Spit out fries if I check them for temp.

Learn healthy eating habits. Like moderation.

Try new things.

"Everything in moderation, including moderation."
-Oscar Wilde

Keep running. Never met a fat runner.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi smile.gif Just wanted to make an update for other people who may get curious about the issue.

I started culinary school (which included a 6 hour bus ride to a different city and back every weekend) in january and started working on the side in march. So I consider myself to be working for 6 months and I have lost 20lbs biggrin.gif It isn't just the work to make it clear. I have been watching what I eat but it wouldn't have been possible without the standing-all-day's and lifting-30lb-stove-top's biggrin.gif

All you need to do is learn to manage and accept that you are around edibles all day.

I hope the experiences of this newbie will help others smile.gif
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoiledBroth View Post

I know alot of chefs who run to and from work, that's not a bad way to get in some exercise, or cycling if your pride can handle it.

As a European I just can't help asking. Is cycling really that bad, and why? Im used to it being just as quick as public transport, cheaper and healthier, as well as saving you from the problem of finding parking.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokjel View Post

As a European I just can't help asking. Is cycling really that bad, and why? Im used to it being just as quick as public transport, cheaper and healthier, as well as saving you from the problem of finding parking.

In the USA bike theft can be a huge issue, as can getting hit by cars. We don't get nearly as good of bike lanes as you guys either.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfarvito View Post

In the USA bike theft can be a huge issue, as can getting hit by cars. We don't get nearly as good of bike lanes as you guys either.
People stealing bikes is a world wide problem. I know our infrastructure is more bike-friendly, but that's got nothing to do with pride.
Was it just a joke, or is it kinda frowned upon to use a bicycle amongst some, or maybe a bit of both?
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokjel View Post

People stealing bikes is a world wide problem. I know our infrastructure is more bike-friendly, but that's got nothing to do with pride.
Was it just a joke, or is it kinda frowned upon to use a bicycle amongst some, or maybe a bit of both?

Maybe among the older crowd, but I think most young people especially in the cities dont look poorly upon cycling
post #13 of 15
Rollers, in the garage. Usually 25 mins every night in the winters. It rains here--from Oct. -May..... Used to have the rollers in our apt. before we got a house. Summers I'm on the roads though.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #14 of 15
I love food and always obsess and think about it. I used to be a fat kid because of it, and I remember being very fit but my weight has been an issue and no matter what I could not lose weight at all but it kept on increasing until my late teens in addition I have been suffering from many illnesses.

Once I discovered that not all food is the same e.g fresh and natural is not equal to proccesed synthetic food, things started to change. I learned about local produce that is raw and unadulterated. I went on further on my quest to find answers to why are we fat what makes us healthy. Now I'm slim I know what my body needs and what to avoid to stay strong, fit and healthy.

I love my job because it keeps me very fit and i'm always tasting and thinking about food. I do not have time to work out but thankfully I carry heavy pots and pans and always on my feet doing something. I also cycle to work. Finally I make sure that I eat something that I cooked myself when I get home. I do what I can and so far this has worked for me. You will find what works for you too and remember it's a trail and error thing and don't forget to listen to your body as we are all different. Best of luck.
post #15 of 15

I work in one of the busiest restaurants in my city and now that it is summer it is obviously insanely hot. I have never been really fat, but over the winter I put on a little weight and got a bit of a belly. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that I was working the day shift so I would be home by 5pm and had time to cook and eat every night (I like butter). Now that it is summer and I am working night shift, I don't have that much time to cook at home and as I said it is hot as hell in my kitchen. This has led to me loosing 25lbs in a month and a half. A few years ago I took my first head chef job and lost 35lbs in under a month due to stress. I know this is not healthy but the point is that for the most part I think you have to try to be fat in a kitchen. I know that everyone's bodies are different and some people are just built larger than others, and metabolisms work at different rates, and that is fine. Honestly though, if you are working normal cook hours and eating relatively healthy when you finally get to eat, I honestly don't see how you can be putting on weight. If your concern is just loosing the weight you already have, change your diet and exercise when you can. Cooking is one of the best jobs in the world but it is incredibly hard on our bodies because of the long hours, the lack of food, the heat, the stress, and everything else that goes with it. Take care of yourself in anyway you can and make sure you make time to do it.

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