"I used to work out to be skinny, to fit in my skinny jeans. Now I want to be strong and feel my best," says Food Network star Katie Lee.
Sticking to a healthy diet and rigorous workout routine may sound tough when you’re a full-time chef, but Food Network’s Katie Lee has found a way to master both.
“There’s food everywhere, and even off camera, there’s craft services, where you can just walk by and grab a handful of chips,” she says. “When I’m filming, I make sure to get up in the morning and exercise, so at least I’m starting my day off right. I learned quickly that if you eat everything [on set], you will feel terrible at the end of the day. So I’ll take a couple of bites, and then I walk away.”
Instead of filling up prepared food, the newlywed says she packs her day with lots of greens.
“Nobody ever got fat eating vegetables,” she says. “I usually have a big salad, like Elaine on Seinfeld. I have one of those big metal mixing bowls—I call it my trough—and I pile in whatever vegetables I have. I know I’m really unattractive eating it, shoveling it in my face, usually alone.”
Even though Lee focuses on a “colorful palate” for the most part, she says she’s still “crazy about pizza.”
“I don’t subscribe to that no-carb thing. I’m so sick of the Atkins diet and all that,” Lee says. “First of all, if you’re not eating carbs, all you do is think about them. It’s one of those things that you take out and, initially, you lose weight, but you are miserable. So pizza and also french fries — with an absurd amount of ketchup.”
Lee says she works out five or six days a week using an on-demand service called Obé where she can take classes while traveling or she attends a barre or Tracy Anderson class.
“When I work out at home, I don’t have mirrors, and I really like it. When I’m not working out in front of a mirror, I don’t have those conversations with myself that I have in the gym, when my head starts drifting in all those dark spots,” she says.
When she starts to experience self-doubt, Lee says she reminds herself that the most important thing is that she’s healthy.
“It’s hard, when you get into an Instagram hole, because we live in such a Facetuned world. You see all these girls are in their bathing suits, and it’s hard not to think, ‘I wish I looked like that,'” she says. “But you can only be your own personal best.”
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She adds: “It’s also exciting that we’re not all supposed to look like a Barbie doll anymore. People are so accepting of different body types and shapes. I wish when I was a little girl I’d had an alternative to Barbie. I remember thinking that’s what you were supposed to look like: big boobs, long legs, the hair. Now there are so many different types being celebrated, and it’s so much better. I used to work out to be skinny, to fit in my skinny jeans. Now I want to be strong and feel my best.”
And on those days when she isn’t feeling motivated, she thinks of Queen Bey: “I tell myself, ‘Beyoncé would go do her workout. She’d just keep going.'”
To read the full interview go to Health.com.