Chef’s Diet is the dietary practice followed by chefs in order to obtain the correct nutrients to meet their daily requirements and at the same time to enable him to maintain a healthy body weight. In a profession where they are constantly required to bring innovative, delicious recipes to the table, chefs adopt their individual weight management strategies to maintain themselves in good shape.
Features of Chefs Diet and Benefits
- Most chefs constantly taste small amounts of different foods throughout the day but they rarely sit down to a full meal. This leaves them in a situation wherein they are not hungry but not completely satisfied at any given point of time. In such situations where there is a tendency to consume more than the required number of calories needed per day, and levels of physical activity may not always match up to the intake, it is quite likely for individuals to gain weight. Some chefs themselves confess that the best way to overcome this problem is to ensure that they never get too hungry. This can be resolved by starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast. A cottage-cheese sandwich, egg-white omelette, a thick protein and fruit shake, a handful of mixed nuts can keep them going for prolonged time intervals. Healthy carbohydrates like fruits and greens help keep hunger pangs at bay making them less likely to overeat. The feeling of satiety (fullness) that these foods provide is valuable as starving could cause excess calorie intake.
- Limiting alcohol intake is another step towards weight control. Drinking alcoholic beverages and fine wines and liquors may sometimes be part of a chef’s duty. Many chefs have the habit of drinking along with a meal. Such alcohol intake translates into a lot of unnecessary calories, eg half a wine bottle is approximately 250 kcal. It is suggested that alternating a drink with a low calorie beverage like sparkling water may prove to be helpful. Perhaps drinking water in a wineglass can help as it may be more the psychological feeling of holding a drink in a long-stemmed glass morean th actually drinking it.
- Controlling portion sizes is another great way of limiting intake in a chef’s diet. Simple techniques like using a small bowl or smaller sized plate can help reduce the portion size and thereby the calories consumed.
- Making any dish better by opting for certain healthier ingredients and hence cutting down on fat and calories is another practice that can have positive results. Use of fresh or dried herbs, citrus juices, olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressings ; yoghurt in place of butter, broth or wine in place of oil, adds flavour to lean meats without additional calories.
- Using whole grains or cereals as opposed to their refined or polished counterparts can bring about a wealth of difference to the chef’s diet. Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal or wild rice in reasonable amounts provides fibre and satiety. However using protein-rich foods instead would be an even better option.
It is believed that on a plate of food, one third should be lean protein and the remainder should be colourful, fresh vegetables and salads to strike an optimum balance.