How Masterchef’s Joe Bastianich stopped living to eat and lost 60 pounds

Restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich runs high-end eateries around the world. He’s partners with his mom, famed chef Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali. He’s also a judge on the hit TV show MasterChef. But for too long, Joe indulged in lavish, late-night meals, like large steak dinners at 3 a.m. Five years ago, with his health on the line, the author of the new memoir Restaurant Man (Penguin, 2012) reimagined his relationship to food. Here, he shares his four strategies:

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1. Motivate

“I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea [brief breathing pauses during sleep],” says Joe, who also showed signs of prediabetes. “With apnea, I’d wake up after eight hours feeling like someone had beat the heck out of me. My doctor said, ‘Lose 20 pounds. Half your problem will go away.’”

2. Move more

“I started walking, slowly building up to running half marathons, then marathons, then triathlons.”

3. Think differently about eating

“Eating used to be the exclamation point of my day, the reward. Today, I don’t eat for the sake of eating. I want it to be good for me—and delicious.”

4. Fit in favorites

“I don’t have to cut out the foods I love,” he says. “Instead, I challenge myself to come up with new ways of incorporating them into my diet.” It worked: Joe’s cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels are normal, and his sleep apnea is gone.

From our sister publication, Diabetes Focus (Summer 2012)

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 20 Apr 2012

Last Modified: 19 Mar 2015