Here’s How Food Critics Lose Weight While Also Eating Tons of Delicious Food

“A healthy dinner.” Photo: Liz Clayman

In the latest issue of New York, restaurant critic Adam Platt goes deep on the diet regimen he recently took on. He’s not alone in wanting to shed some pounds, of course. In fact, in professional-eating circles, it’s a topic of much discussion: How does one achieve some degree of healthy intake when the job, by its nature, requires round-the-clock eating of delicious, calorie-rich food? Can a person maintain the proper level of professionalism that’s required to, say, taste-test the best steaks in New York City while also staying trim? In the case of Grub’s newly svelte colleague, he managed to keep to his reviewing schedule while dropping a bunch of weight. So, what’s the secret? That’s the topic of conversation in the newest episode of the Grub Street Podcast:

Adam Platt: I probably consume more calories than you do week in and week out, but we’re both food writers. It’s our job to eat food, so the question before us is: How do you keep from turning into a giant, floating blimp? How do you do that? There are various ways to do it. You’re a little younger than me, and I kept it together for a while by exercising. So you do it by running like a maniacal hamster in the morning for several hours, right?

Alan Sytsma: It doesn’t take me several hours, but yeah.

AP: What the Admiral also does, for those of you who don’t know him, he walks everywhere in the city. So it’s like, “Hey, I want to go uptown to try this meatball sandwich. Let’s go.” You go, “Okay, Admiral. Let’s go.” We’re walking. So off he goes. Striding up the avenues. It’s like, Wait a minute, Admiral

AS: You’ve gotta earn the meatball sub.

AP: That meatball sub’s 50 blocks away, my good man. What about the subway? “Hell, no,” says the Admiral.

AS: Not if it’s a nice day.

AP: Also, he walks at a brisk clip. He’s walkin’ hard. Anyway, so that’s how you did it. My idea was to, not make light of the story, but I clearly needed to go on a diet. So I thought I would try and find the most prominent, most interesting, slightly outrageous dietician/nutritionist in New York City that I could. This being New York City, there are plenty of people like that. And my challenge to this professional nutritionist person was: I am 50 pounds overweight at least, a fat food writer, entering middle age, and possibly near death. I would like to keep my job, but I would like to lose between 40 and 50 pounds. Can you help me?

It seems that the professional he found — Tanya Zuckerbrot — could indeed help him with it. Listen to the whole thing to hear them talk about how they did it, either via iTunes or streaming right here:

Here’s How Food Critics Actually Lose Weight