MasterChefGraham Elliot is turning heads with his mind-boggling 150 pound weight loss on the new season of “MasterChef Junior.” As season five kicks off, it’s clear that celebrity chef Elliot has kept his promise to set a good example for young cooks. How did Graham Elliot get himself from 400 pounds to a slim 250? The TV chef serves up dieting tips on low-carb eating. He also dished on how gastric bypass surgery helped him, and why this was essential given his role.

“MasterChef Junior” loses weight for the kids

People’s reasons for wanting to lose weight vary somewhat but usually follow a main theme: get healthy, outrun diabetes and lifestyle diseases, look better, live longer.

As 90% of diabetics are obese those are legit reasons. Chef Elliot says he was staring down the barrel of diabetes, but his reasons went beyond just self-care. As a dad, he wanted to set a good example for his young sons. A celebrity chef with obesity isn’t so uncommon. But as host of a kids’ cooking show, Elliot felt more pressure to be a healthy role model. Graham Elliot says he felt a bit hypocritical exhorting kids to eat healthy when he himself was obese. So he took the proactive approach and lost weight.

Gastric bypass all in a day's work for obese celebrity chef

All day long, chefs interact with food. It’s literally always in their faces. As a TV chef, a big part of Elliot’s job is to taste food of all kinds, most of which is not diet-friendly.

It would be impossible in this job to count calories. Elliot says he tried a gajillion weight loss methods and they all failed because of the nature of his occupation. Gastric bypass surgery enables him to continue tasting food. But with only 20 percent of a stomach, he can’t overindulge.

Chef Graham Elliot plates low-carb diet dishes

To carb or not, that is the question with most diets. Some diets say avoid carbs, while others promote them. Magician Penn Jillette lost 100 pounds eating potatoes! Chef Elliot found however that restricting carbohydrates helped him shed 150 pounds. As a TV chef he is in a great position to create healthier recipes and low-carb varieties of favorite foods.

He also has a great opportunity to share weight loss secrets on “MasterChef.” He can teach young “MasterChef Junior” cooks how to prepare tasty, nutritious, low-calorie foods and avoid obesity themselves.