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Chef and fitness guru Robert Irvine: “Eat more”

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If you’ve spent any time watching English celebrity chef Robert Irvine’s programs on Food Network or his daily talk show on The CW – “The Robert Irvine Show” - you’ve probably gathered that his focus is on fitness. 

Last year, Irvine published the bestselling book “Fit Fuel” (profiled in October 20, 2015 issue of The Maine Edge) and has recently launched a digital magazine – appropriately titled “Robert Irvine Magazine.”

The content for each issue revolves around healthy cooking, exercise and motivation. December’s issue is now available for download and features an interview with actor Gary Sinise, discussing how his foundation assists wounded warriors.

In a recent phone interview, Irvine told me that one of his personal goals for the new magazine is to help people find ways to take steps toward good health. In a sense, he acts as an amiable online drill instructor.

“That’s how I wanted it to be,” Irvine said. “We started first with the book by showing you how to exercise and what to look for in your food. The magazine is a continuation of that.”

Knowing that people who watch his shows and read his books or magazine are all at different stages in terms of fitness and motivation, Irvine says that the information that he puts out is carefully designed to help people achieve their goal at an individual pace.

“I’ve helped a man who was well over 400 pounds get down to under 200 pounds. Another lady has lost 78 pounds and another, 48 pounds. If you follow at your pace and change your lifestyle, you can do anything. The magazine is just there to help you.”

Irvine’s digital magazine features Q&A segments with fitness experts who assist both men and women and he says that some of it designed to be intentionally gender-specific.

“The first thing that men want to do is build up their arms and look big. They never touch their legs. They think they can just put a lot of weight on the rack and call it good. The reality is, you don’t need heavy weights to build muscle. You just have to exercise correctly. Men typically drink more beer than women and beer contains yeast which will make them gain weight. Also, women tend to become very dedicated once they start. Men are more whimsical. They go ‘Oh, I had a tough day yesterday. I’ll take today off.’ That turns into two or three days.”

According to Irvine, 90 percent of women will stick with their workout regimen but only after they make up their mind to start.

“Where they (women) have trouble is their diet. I don’t like that word – diet. They need to eat the right food, every two to two-and-a-half hours. That is the key to losing weight. People say ‘You mean I need to eat more?’ That answer is yes. They don’t believe me and that goes for both men and women.”

If we eat that often, what is Irvine talking about in terms of content and portion size?

“Protein and carbohydrates build muscle,” he says. “A deck of cards-size portion of protein. Beef, chicken, fish, pork – as long as it’s protein. And for carbs, you should have a portion the size of a computer-mouse each time you eat. For the first week, you are literally struggling to eat it all. Your body will say ‘I don’t want it.’ A week later, it will say ‘I need this. Give me more.’”

(To download the free December issue of Chef Robert Irvine’s digital magazine, visit ChefIrvine.com/magazine.)

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