Arthur Smith is one of Hollywood's busiest reality TV producers. The 53-year-old is running 14 shows this season, including the hits "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares."
Being around all that food all the time, as well as putting in long hours every week, makes it challenging to eat well and exercise regularly. That's why Smith sticks to a schedule and diet during his busiest months. Here, he talks about making time to stay healthy, his favorite workouts and what food he calls his "kryptonite."
How do you make time for exercise?
I'm not going to say it's the most important thing I do, but I've always been into working out and fitness. I love it. I'm always into the newest craze. I pretty much go every day, except maybe Sunday. My philosophy is, try to go every day and your chances of going five times a week are even better.
I always know when my day is going to start, but I don't know when it's going to end. So I can't work out at the end of the day. Instead, I get up at about 6 or 6:30 to exercise. It's a huge release for me. When I'm working on all these shows, it's the one time I'm on my own. So the physical part is great, but the mental part is equally important for me.
What do you like to do to work out?
I'm really into Pilates. I do it twice a week. I've been doing it for a few years now, and it's great, because it just attacks your core. It's brutal punishment. I would never work my stomach or my core as hard as I do with Pilates. Then I do free weights and some aerobic stuff the rest of the days.
Several of your shows deal with gourmet food. How do you resist temptation while on the set?
It's brutal, absolutely brutal. There is food everywhere. On "Kitchen Nightmares," it's a restaurant, and we are always trying new things, coming back with new menu items and preparing challenges, and then we have to look after our crew, so we have craft services. I've never worked on something where there is so much food everywhere you turn. It's quite easy to blow up! So I try to have healthier snacks in my office, because you've got to eat. You're tired and you're working long hours, so you're going to snack because eating makes things easier.
I have my nuts and my dried fruit, my pretzels, but listen, I have all the good stuff too. I just try to balance it and keep myself in check.
What do you allow yourself to indulge in?
On set I love the mashed potatoes. I know that I'm going to have a certain amount of them, so I just try to pace myself. But the food that I cannot resist is pizza. Pizza is my kryptonite; it brings me to my knees. I will never order a pizza because I know that any time I'm somewhere and there's pizza around, I will eat too much of it.
How do you relax?
For me, relaxing is being with friends and family. I always say it's not where you are, it's who you're with. We really work hard and are very precise on all our shows, so when I'm off work I'm happy to be relaxing with friends and family. I could be doing anything as long as I'm with the people that I love being around.
I also love to golf, and working out is a big part of my down time. My favorite vacation is working out, golfing and going to the beach.