You might recognize Rocco Dispirito from his brief stint on network television as the star in one of the first-ever restaurant-based reality series The Restaurant, which ran from 2003 to 2004 and chronicled the launch of his second restaurant, Rocco's. The show was canceled after two seasons and Dispirito flamed out of New York City's restaurant scene in epic fashion when his business partner, Jeffrey Chodorow, sued him, barred Dispirito from setting foot inside the property, and later closed the restaurant. Since 2004, Dispirito has been hot on the television circuit, hosting shows including Food Talk and making appearances on The Biggest Loser, Top Chef, and Dancing With the Stars.
Over the course the past few years, Dispirito has embarked on a new journey—one that inculcates a healthier awareness into his passion and love for food. In fact, the celebrity chef has managed to lose 30 pounds—and he's kept it off! This morning, Dispirito sat down to talk to Today and revealed exactly how he starts his morning—and what he eats to get his metabolism revved up first thing. Here are some of the most important takeaways from the interview.
He eats a huge breakfast: "I try to have something immediately, like a vanilla mocha shake," Dispirito says. "I aim for 30 grams of protein and 30 grams of fiber within 30 minutes of waking up, and get going on drinking a liter of water. After I've showered, I will eat something else as well—I usually have about 1,000 calories before I leave my apartment for the day."
His favorite morning meals: "I love a classic Japanese breakfast, like slow-cooked eggs and miso soup, or a breakfast sandwich on a sweet potato bun. I'm really into savory breakfasts—fish is not unusual for me either. Or I will do eggs and fruit, or chocolate breakfast bars that I make ahead from scratch."
His rules about caffeine: "I love coffee, but I only drink espresso because it's lower in acidity. I stick to one a day—I'll throw one shot in a vanilla mocha shake and I'm good to go. Before, I could easily drink 15 espressos throughout the day, but now too much coffee makes me feel jittery, like I need to see a neurologist. As an alternative I will also put matcha in my shake, which is very high in antioxidants."