Celebrity Chef Sven Garrett Tells Us How To Keep Weight Off While Enjoying Meals

Ceebrity Chef Sven Garrett At Work
Celebrity Chef Sven Garrett At Work

What is a good well-rounded breakfast, lunch and dinner? Describe specific foods.

To me, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and my favorite. That’s when we get energy for the day and start our metabolism. It should include a variety of healthy proteins like egg-whites, low-fat yogurt, lean turkey, healthy carbs such as steel-cut oatmeal or a whole-wheat bagel, vitamins and antioxidants such as fruits and berries. If you want to get fancy, maybe add some flax seeds, nuts and honey on your yogurt.  A glass of fresh squeezed juice and a big glass of water for hydration is key too for a great start to your day.

Since I tend to have a fuller breakfast, I’m not very hungry at lunch. But I know I need my energy to work out later. For me, whole-wheat pasta dishes with veggies and grilled chicken, or whole wheat panini’s with turkey, avocado, sprouts and veggies, or a grain salad like farro or quinoa with poached salmon help maintain my energy until dinner and for my afternoon workout.

Personally, I don’t eat a lot for dinner. I get most of my nutrition for the day from breakfast and lunch. But I know many Americans use dinner as their largest meal. But just because it’s the largest doesn’t mean it has to be the biggest in calories.  I suggest staying away from large amounts of pasta especially in cream sauces or large slabs of meat with a heaping portion of mashed potatoes. Instead double up on veggies and serving it with grilled meat like chicken or fish. Fresh fruits for dessert is always a great way end dinner.

When I was a kid, my grandma already told me to eat 50% of my daily food for breakfast, 30% for lunch and 20% for dinner with maybe a few small snacks throughout the day. I made that my little formula and it works great. But I understand that may not work for everyone. Ultimately, the most important thing is consistent energy throughout the day achieved with the right balance of carbs, proteins and fats and not overeating.

How often can people cheat and keep their ideal weight?

Age and activity play a huge factor. An active child has a faster metabolism than a sedentary child.  As we age, our metabolism tends to slow down. If you are an active person, it is easier to cheat here and there. Your body will burn “cheat food” much quicker. An older person who isn’t active or exercising regularly definitely shouldn’t have doughnuts every day if they want to maintain a healthy weight. There is nothing wrong with “cheating” once in a while with a well-balanced diet, but everything in moderation. What’s the fun in life without cake, right?

How many calories does a person need to erase from each meal a day to lose a pound?

There is no answer for “calories per meal” but a straightforward answer to lose one pound is that one must eliminate 3,500 calories. A child can lose a pound in a few days by just being more active than usual. This is different for adults because their metabolism is slower.  The average male adult should have around 2,500 calories per day and adult female around 2,000 calories.  As an active adult, if you want to lose a pound or two and you reduce your daily caloric intake by 300 calories and you work out 2-3 times per week, it would probably still take two weeks to see a difference on your scale. If you don’t work out and you have a job where you are inactive, it would be months to see any result.

Exercising is key for an adult to lose weight. Like a credit card – if you only pay the minimum – it will take forever to see the pay-off. If you exercise more, you will see results much quicker.

How often should people eat red meat each week?

I would say eating red meat two times a week is good. Red meat like beef, pork, lamb and venison is a great way to get your protein, iron and B vitamins. However, you can eat chicken and turkey almost daily for the same protein in a leaner form. Basically, it has less fat. It is also best to eat unprocessed meat. Bacon, ham, salami, sausages and cold cuts are often high in fat, sodium and preservatives with little nutritional value.

Why don’t fad diets usually work even if there is significant weight loss?

When you follow a fad diet or “quick-fix diet,” you usually deprive your body of some important nutrient for a period of time such as carbs, good fats or certain vitamins and minerals. You can lose some significant weight, but you will most likely gain it back quickly if you return to your regular eating habits. You might even gain more weight than you lost. Once stopping the diet, you have to adopt new habits for healthier eating.

What are your thoughts on cleanses?

Cleanses have their place for a limited use and time. A cleanse is a good way to break your ties with food and help to get old body waste out of your system. It can be a good way to prepare yourself for a new diet plan and a new way of living. Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting this or any other cleansing program. They have understanding of your medical history and may be able to advise you on better options. I’ve done the Master Cleanse several times in the past. It’s large amounts of water with lemon juice, some maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It worked for me. In order to ingest more nutrients, I blended berries into the lemon water, which also made it tastier. For me, my energy level seemed higher which may be unusual for this cleanse. I would lose up to approximately one pound per day