Okay, so we may have a bit of a crush on Rocco DiSpirito. The dude is cute, can cook and is passionate about making healthy food delicious. (What’s not to love about all that?!) So when we got the chance to do another Q&A with him, we squealed like little girls and got to chatting with this famous chef who creates drool-worthy dishes.
We asked Rocco for the deets on his new book The Pound a Day Diet, along with insight on what foods we should all eat and avoid — plus what a day of healthy eats and working out is like for him!
Q&A With Rocco DiSpirito
Why did you decide to write The Pound a Day Diet? I was a fat guy who figured out how to get healthy. Most importantly, I figured out how to do it while also eating delicious foods which I thought was something valuable to share. I also see getting healthy as a form of political and social protest. The United States produces five times the amount of calories you need to consume. The average American consumes three times the amount of calories they need to consume to sustain life; yet 60 million Americans are food insecure. We spend more money on our healthcare than the entire GDP of France. We spend tens of billions on diabetes medications alone in this country. I can’t help but wonder what this country would be like if everyone was healthy. I wrote this book to provide people with a method to lose weight quickly and safely while eating delicious foods. Because what good is diet food if it doesn’t taste good?
How is it different than other weight-loss books and plans out there? The name alone, the “Pound a Day Diet,” should tell you how radically different mine is from conventional thinking and weight-loss. I personally believe rapid results provide the inspiration mechanism people need to stick with a plan. I figured out how to produce enough food under an 850-per-day plan to cause a pound of weight-loss and still feel full. I believe it is the first of its kind. I didn’t do it at the cost of proper nutrition. In fact, if you look at the nutritional content of my plan, it is higher in protein than many 4,000 calorie diets out there.
What kind of research did you do for it? The methodology was simple. I read the research, read the journals, read what’s published, and then I tried it on myself. I did it and it worked! Then I tried it on three DOZEN people, who happily participated, and proved that it worked over and over again. I also consulted a lot with registered dietitians, nutritionists and weight-loss expert doctors such as Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, who wrote the preface of the book.
Any favorite tips from the book that you can share?
- Drink a lot of water — about double what you think you should drink.
- Get rid of refined sugar and starches immediately! They are more toxic than most illegal drugs.
- Move more! The less you move the less you’ll MOVE.
- Fill your body with low-calorie density foods. These are foods that are full of fiber and water like vegetables, more specifically like broccoli which has 30 calories a cup.
What’s a typical day of eats like for you? Within 30 minutes of waking up, I typically drink a High-Protein Chocolate Smoothie. Then for breakfast, I eat either a Protein-Packed Breakfast Sandwich or an Egg-White Omelet with Pico De Gallo. About three hours later, I have a snack such as Wasabi Peas or popcorn. Then three hours later I will have lunch, which could be anything from Chicken Noodle Soup to Black Bean and Chicken Mole. Three hours later, I will have another snack such as an Apple Pie Smoothie. Then for dinner I will have a larger dinner entree, a side dish and a dessert. That ranges from Rotisserie Chicken and Teriyaki Asian Noodles to my Big Burger with all the Fixin’s and an Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Balsamic Dressing. The dessert I usually have is apple (my favorite are pink ladies) and cheese. It’s considered a snack in my book, but I normally have it as a dessert. I have all of that plus a ton of water. I’m not an altar boy; I bank those calories so that I can have a couple glasses of scotch every day. (The recipes mentioned above are all in my book.)
Do you have a favorite go-to healthy meal or snack? Apple and cheese is without question my favorite. I eat about four of those a day. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away imagine what four will do. Apples are perfect examples of something that is low-calorie density and absolutely delicious. It is full of water and fiber so that you can eat as much as you want. There are certain foods you can eat unlimited amounts such as chicken soup and broccoli — basically anything with fiber in it, even oatmeal as long as you don’t cover it with brown sugar.
What are a few things people think that are healthy that really aren’t? Regular yogurt, maple syrup, brown sugar, vegetable fats, olive oil.
What are some of your favorite healthiest foods? Vegetables, whole grains, nuts if you crack them yourself.
What’s your workout routine like? Any workouts you love? Love to hate? I love any kind of Spinning or cycling, and I love to hate running. I’ve never been so bored than when I had to run a half marathon at the end of my last triathlon.
Anything else for our Fit Bottomed readers? Yes! If you are a mom raising children, it is your job to make sure you do everything you can so that your kids live healthy and productive lives. I find we spend more time concerned about what app their kids are downloading, planning play dates and picking out their clothes than we do worrying about what we feed them. Kids are really into cooking. They watch chefs cook on TV, and they think it is super cool. I would love for moms to help their kids adopt healthy practices early in life so that they never even know what the junk tastes like. Flavor preferences are formed in the first year of life, so if you feed your kids vegetables and healthy foods that is what they will like. For moms who are reading this, make healthy food as much as a priority as making sure your kids don’t spend too much time on their Xbox. Also, nothing annoys me more than people who insist healthy is more expensive than unhealthy. People tend to not consider the additional cost of being unhealthy (i.e productivity loss, wage loss, dying young from obesity or related diseases, etc.). There is no case where healthy fresh food is more expensive than processed food. You will always spend less if you buy fresh foods than it is to process it.
Want more Rocco DiSpirito? Head on over to Fit Bottomed Eats for a full review of this new book! —Jenn