When you’re busy owning an acclaimed restaurant, winning Chef of the Year in Chicago, judging six seasons of MasterChef, participating in Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America, serving as culinary director of Lollapalooza and celebrating a recent Food Network partnership, there isn’t much time for anything else. But in July 2013, Chicago-based chef Graham Elliot knew he needed a life change and made the time to focus on his health. In just over a year, the chef known for his old-school techniques and classic American cuisine (think all things butter and cream), managed to lose 150 pounds and run in the Chicago Marathon.
How? By focusing on the foods he should eat rather than what he shouldn’t. Elliot says it’s easier to say, “I should have three green things today, or try to have 80 grams of protein as opposed to making sure I never have a dessert and stay away from pasta.” He also underwent a sleeve gastrectomy procedure to limit his food intake. Elliot credits his life change to having more respect for his body and eating flavorful (yet simple) ingredients. “It’s funny,” Elliot says, “because chefs love to make delicious, wholesome things for guests and then end up eating crap for themselves!”
Are you looking to make a positive change in how you eat? Try this one-day meal plan from Elliot to start your healthy eating journey:
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.