"Top Chef" winner Richard Blais is in the best shape of his life after losing 60 pounds, thanks to running and a portion-controlled diet.
After completing the 2011 New York City Marathon in an impressive 4:31:54, Blais hopes to achieve a personal best this year by shaving 30 minutes off his time.
"I'd like to finish in under four hours, but I just want to run strong and feel good and really enjoy the race this time," Blais told me Oct. 31.
Blais, 41, said training for this year's marathon was easier because he's more familiar with the course and is more relaxed going into the race.
"You know the course and your body knows the distance and remembers the feeling, so it's easier to train," he said. "For the last year, I've gotten wrapped up in time, and I'm going for a more fluid approach this year."
Judging by his sleek physique, it's hard to believe that Blais once tipped the scales at 230 pounds.
In 2009, Richard overhauled his diet by cutting back on late-night snacking and eating smaller portions, and he started running. His efforts paid off in a way — a stunning 60-pound weight loss, which he has maintained for over four years.
Blais said he doesn't follow a special diet (other than to limit processed foods and eat whole, organic foods), but credits portion control and exercise for his fit physique.
Blais, who owns three restaurants, admits it's hard to not overeat when you're around delicious food all day as a chef, but said being healthy is worth the effort.
"It is hard to maintain weight loss as a chef," he said. "Part of my job is to continually taste food, so you have to be careful that your tasting doesn't become indulgence. It's a really tough thing to monitor, actually, and I struggle with it still. But staying healthy is a thinking person's game!"
Blais will run alongside other celebrity runners, including Pamela Anderson, at the 2013 New York City Marathon on Nov. 3.