Extra Virgin Chef Loses 350 Pounds, Dishes Up Weight Loss Tips | Health
America is a country that has an obesity problem, and most people are aware of this. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of the adult population, and 17 percent of minors, are considered to be obese. The average individual across the nation struggles with food issues to some degree or another, but many may find it surprising that those who work in the food industry, such as chefs, have an even tougher time.
“I am passionate about what I do for a living, but I must admit that it can be a real challenge,” explains Chef Scott Jenkins, the executive chef at Arlington-based Extra Virgin restaurant. “Being around all the food all the time makes me want to enjoy it, yet I need to balance that with the need to be healthy and watch how much I eat.”
For Chef Jenkins, it is an issue that he confronted four years ago, when he tipped the scales at 600 pounds. Determined to get his health back on track despite his career, he set out to lose weight. And lose weight he did! For the past two years, he has successfully maintained his new weight of roughly 250 pounds, after losing 350 pounds. Just how did he lose the weight and what does he do to keep it off? Plenty! Here are some of his tips for doing just that:
- Commitment. Nobody can push someone into weight loss. People will only lose it when they are ready to lose it and make a commitment to getting healthier.
- Focus. It is easy to get distracted, especially for those who work in the food industry, but it is important to stay focused and remember all the reasons why it is better to lose weight and be healthy.
- Goals. It is important to have health-related goals, so that it is easier to know what it is that you are striving for. These should include healthy eating goals, as well as exercise goals. No matter how busy someone is, it is essential to fit in exercising regularly in order to be healthy.
- Mindset. Having the right mindset about food and health is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We need to recognize that we enjoy food and that it can be a part of our life, including for enjoyment, but that there need to be limits, and we need to be aware of what we are doing.
- Monitor. Keeping tabs on what you eat, so that you are usually reaching for healthier foods, as well as noting how much you eat, and when you eat it, is key. Portion control is important to avoid over-eating, just as it is not ideal to eat late at night. Make it a priority to pay close attention to food habits, in order to keep them in check.
As a young boy, Chef Jenkins first found interest in the food industry when he spent time with his grandparents, helping with community church pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners. When he saw the way that food brought people together and put smiles on their faces, it drew him in, later leading to a successful career in the industry.
Today, with over 18 years of experience, he is the head chef at Extra Virgin restaurant, located in Arlington. The restaurant specializes in modern Italian cuisine, but he is also looking for ways to put his healthier spin on the dishes that are offered, such as opting for more baking and broiling over frying. He’s a man who understands both sides of the food industry and has been an inspiration to many.
“It’s easy to fall into having weight issues, especially when we live in a country that offers an abundance of delicious food right at our fingertips,” adds Chef Jenkins. “But I have made it a priority in my life to care for my health, as well as enjoy the food, and I’m optimistic that others can do the same.”
Extra Virgin, which has an olive oil-inspired menu and décor, is an Arlington-based restaurant that specializes in modern Italian cuisine. Options include such specialties as wood-fired pizzas, pastas, meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as vegetarian options. The restaurant offers lunch specials, as well as new weekly menu specialties.
About Extra Virgin
Located in Shirlington Village’s “Restaurant Row,” Extra Virgin offers diners a variety of modern Italian cuisine. The restaurant offers both lunch and dinner, as well as full catering services. The owner, Shary Thur, is a four-time breast cancer survivor, while Scott Jenkins, the executive chef, has over 18 years of culinary experience. The restaurant hosts weekly jazz and other music events, as well as weekly specials, in addition to late night dancing. To learn more about Extra Virgin, visit the website at: www.extravirginva.com.
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