The Man v. Food star gets real on how he got his health back on track after filming.
TV personality Adam Richman has made a career out of discovering the world’s best and most extreme flavors as well as its most unique dining experiences. From eating five-pound burritos to trying moose nose in Alaska, Richman has had some incredible culinary experiences, which he attributes to helping him learn how to get healthy.
“It made me very aware of caloric impact on my diet,” Richman said of being a tv host on several food shows, such as Man v. Food, Man v. Food Nation, and Man Finds Food. “It’s really very easy to forget how many calories you’re consuming.”
Richman said eating on camera didn’t feel like it "counted" as part of his caloric intake—which ended up making it a problem. But he learned to discipline his body by cleansing and fasting before and after eating competitions, drinking lots of water, and working out to keep his metabolism fired up throughout the day. Richman noted most people assumed his biggest weight loss came at the end of filming, but said his biggest gains came after the show ended, because he thought he no longer had to be disciplined.
Richman sought out a nutritionist after being unhappy with his looks during the premiere of Man v. Food Nation, who helped him realize the importance of living in a caloric deficit for weight loss. His nutritionist encouraged him to use apps, such as My Fitness Pal, so he could actually see just how much he was eating on a given day. While Richman benefited greatly from learning about the importance of calories for a balanced diet, he has also discovered five important tips of his own for staying happy and healthy.
Take time to enjoy a meal
Richman said he made a vow with himself to stop eating standing up. He said sitting down and enjoying a meal helps you have a more meaningful experience with your food, rather than just rushing to get to the next thing.
Find healthy swaps for your favorite foods
Baked sweet potato fries are one of Richman’s favorite healthy alternatives, and he also loves using fat-free Greek yogurt in place of higher-fat dairy in his dishes. One of his all-time favorite healthy swaps, however, is a twist on the classic Wendy’s frosty. Richman blends one frozen banana, some unsweetened cocoa, apple pie spice, and a half-cup of almond milk in a blender for the perfect treat to satisfy his sweet tooth.
Eat less as the day goes on
“I think for me if i do my big calories in the morning (and I love breakfast foods anyways), I find myself less sluggish and am OK with having progressively smaller meals,” Richman said. He was inspired by his former mentor and friend, Anthony Bourdain, who always said to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
Looking for more tips from your favorite stars on healthy living?
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- You Won’t Believe What John Legend Eats Before Performances
Don’t stress over your workouts
Richman said that in the age of crossfitting, yoga, cycling, Orangetheory, and other intense exercises, walking alone is an impactful, yet overlooked workout. Richman said he prioritizes achieving 12,000-18,000 steps every day.
Step outside of yourself
“There is a kind of an emotional satiety when your efforts and skills go to a good cause,” Richman said. He emphasized spending more of his free time volunteering and raising money for charities dear to his heart, which has helped him find greater purpose.