How this chef lost 40 pounds in a year without giving up pizza, pasta or wine

Being a chef may sound like the dreamiest job in the world (all food, all day … right?!), but it can actually be more of a personal challenge than people may realize!

Just ask Missy Robbins, the chef and owner of the buzzy restaurant Lilia in Brooklyn, New York. (If you haven’t been yet, Rach strongly urges that you make a reservation STAT.)

Missy started cooking during her last semester of senior year in college 25 years ago -- and she’s been doing it ever since.

But while her culinary career took off fast (she notes her 2010 Food & Wine Best New Chef win as a highlight), success came at the expense of her own well-being.

"I had unhealthy habits," Missy admits of her time running two major, demanding restaurants with large staffs. "Tasting, to me, meant eating a whole bowl of pasta."

"I definitely was overweight," she continues. "It wasn’t just about how I looked. I didn’t feel good."

That’s when she took a step back (she took a whole year off and wrote her new memoir cookbook, "Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Life"), reevaluated her lifestyle and decided to make a change -- and she lost 40 pounds in a YEAR.


"Health and wellness really became my focus," she says. "I changed everything about the way I was eating."

But guess what?! She didn’t stop eating pizza, pasta OR drinking wine.

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John Goodman - 1991

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John Goodman - 2015

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Khloe Kardashian - 2007

Khloe Kardashian at the 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' premiere party on October 9, 2007 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage) 

Khloe Kardashian - 2015

Khloe Kardashian appears At ULTA Beauty's West Hills Store To Promote Kardashian Beauty Hair Care And Styling Line at ULTA Beauty on April 2, 2015 in West Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Jennifer Hudson - 2010

Jennifer Hudson during 'A Fine Romance' Gala Benefiting the Motion Picture and Television Fund - Arrivals at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Jennifer Hudson - 2015

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Jonah Hill - 2006

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Jonah Hill - 2012

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Kelly Osbourne - 2002

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Kelly Osbourne - 2015

Special guest Kelly Osbourne celebrates the opening of the new Cost Plus World Market Chelsea, New York store on August 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for World Market)

Chaz Bono - 2010

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Chaz Bono - 2015

Chaz Bono visit 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on July 28, 2015 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Chris Pratt - 2013

PARKS AND RECREATION -- 'Soda Tax' Episode 502 -- Pictured: (l-r) Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford, Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, Chris Pratt as Andy -- (Photo by: Danny Feld/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Chris Pratt - 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Chris Pratt seen leaving the Global Radio Studios and posing for selfies with fans on April 25, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)


"I just do it all in a little bit more moderation than I used to," Missy explains.

And her new mindset is exactly why she decided to run her new restaurant, Lilia, differently. In fact, she says that she now cooks with 50 percent less fat.


So, because we NEEDED to learn her ways, Missy made three recipes from her book with Rach when she visited our show -- so you can follow in her footsteps right in your own home ("They’re easy," Missy insists!).

Baked Salami, Brown Bread, Mustard

Missy admits this family recipe isn’t the healthiest (her mom used to make it for Super Bowl parties), but hey, her new lifestyle is all about balance -- which means indulging from time to time!

GET THE RECIPE: Baked Salami, Brown Bread, Mustard

30 Clove Sauce


"This is kind of the heart and soul of my cooking and sort of what I want to eat all the time," Missy says of this 4-ingredient recipe.

GET THE RECIPE: 30 Clove Sauce

House "Italian" Dressing

GET THE RECIPE: House “Italian” Dressing

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