As a celebrated French chef, Joël Robuchon is no stranger to cooking with butter — and plenty of it. But the Michelin-starred chef realized that he was including a bit too much of it in his own diet.
“I was always tired,” Robuchon, 72, tells the New York Post. “I kept waking up with pounding headaches.” Plus a blood test came back with “terrible” results: “high cholesterol, blood pressure, high blood sugar,” he says. “I needed to go on a diet, but where to start?”
The restaurateur — who opens the 12th outpost of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in New York City this week — consulted with Paris-based doctor Nadia Volf, who advised cutting out the butter and oil that he was “raised on,” along with the sugar in his coffee. He also reduced his intake of bread, red meat, refined flour and dessert.
Within four months, Robuchon was down 44 lbs., and now four years later, he’s 60 lbs. lighter.
“Headaches, gone,” he says. “I have so much energy … I wouldn’t be able to live the way I do now without my diet. I don’t even get jet lag anymore.”
Robuchon says he lost the weight without going to the gym — “I’m too lazy to work out” — and that the slimdown has been from diet alone.
The chef adds that he hasn’t found his new way of eating to be restrictive. He says it’s simple to draw out great flavor with good ingredients, like the “100 percent organic” tomatoes and avocados he eats for breakfast, with a sprinkle of good fleur de sel, and plenty of spices like turmeric and ginger.
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“If you don’t get the details right, you get tired of [your diet food] really quickly. You get disgusted by it. Then you start craving other things,” he says.
“Once you establish a diet, you can make exceptions,” he says. “Once you’re able to balance it out.”