Celebrity Chef Graham Elliot Dishes On 150-Pound Weight Loss, Low Carb Diet And ‘MasterChef Junior’ [Video]

With all that he’s accomplished as a famous chef and reality TV cooking judge, Graham Elliot feels most proud about his 150-pound weight loss success. At 400 pounds, the celebrity cook and MasterChef judge had fought to lose weight before. Now that he’s achieved his goal with surgery and a low carb diet, Elliot proudly discussed how his attitude toward food has changed in an interview with the Quad-City Times.

Graham is the father of three young boys, and he admits that his desire to be a good role model led him to his decision.

“I have three boys — 2, 4 and 7 — and I got to 400 pounds and just realized I literally couldn’t keep going on like that. I realized how it affected my family emotionally and socially and what people think about you. I was just wanting to not be selfish anymore and live for the bigger picture.”

Recognizing that his obesity was impacting every aspect of his life, Elliot tried various ways to shed his excess pounds. He recognized the need to alter his lifestyle and his diet. But it was only after attempting different weight loss plans that he considered surgery. Now Graham defends his decision to those who think it’s easy.

“I needed that steppingstone because I’d tried like a million trainers and gyms and programs and diets and didn’t get the results. People thought, ‘It’s the easy way out,’ but the easy way out is to not do anything and continue laying on the couch and getting a bunch of burgers.”

Elliot emphasizes that weight loss surgery made the difference that he needed to maintain his career as a chef and MasterChef judge. For Graham, the ability to taste defines who he is professionally.

“With my stomach, 80 percent of it was removed. They didn’t redo any kind of plumbing, it’s literally just a small stomach pouch so I get full quicker. But I can still eat and taste everything as a chef.”

In addition to his role on MasterChef, Graham recently joined celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay for MasterChef Junior. That show, which features children ages eight to 13, showcases the talents of young people who are taught to enjoy gourmet food and make it themselves at an early age (see the video below).

Season 2 of MasterChef Junior premieres Nov. 4, and Elliot also believes that he had a responsibility to those youthful contestants to walk his talk.

“With ‘Masterchef Junior’ you’re up there in front of all those kids, talking about eating healthy and making the right choices, and I’m standing there. It didn’t feel good, didn’t feel right.”

Having weight loss surgery doesn’t mean that Elliot can stop dieting. Vivek Prachand, director of minimally invasive surgery at the University of Chicago, explained that Graham now follows a low carb diet. The type of surgery that he had is called a gastric sleeve, according to the Daily Mail.

“I now look at food as fuel and focus on my protein intake. I’m in love with “pure” flavors, things that are natural and delicious, minimally fussed with, that showcase the season. I combine that with portion control,” said Graham about his low carb diet.

As the Inquisitr reported, a recent study showed that low carb diets trump low fat plans for weight loss and for health. Participants on low carb diets lost an average of eight pounds more after a year of participating in the weight loss research.

[Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images for GILT]

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