The native New Yorker (who now lives in Los Angeles) created the method behind the training phenom, Barry’s Bootcamp—one of the sweatiest, most effective workouts we know.
Jay remains a regular on the teaching schedule, even though the fitness brand has grown to ten studios, including London and Norway, with two more stateside locations about to debut.
Instead of looking overworked, he maintains his youthful looks—and ripped physique—by being strict with his calories, treating bread like an unwelcome house guest, and opting for high-protein dishes. (Plus, he’s admittedly a compulsive moisturizer!)
But Jay’s exacting approach to eating doesn’t mean he won’t treat himself from time to time. “I love my 16 Handles!” he admits. “I’d rather just have a treat here and there and not go crazy all of a sudden and binge.” What else does the world’s fiercest quinquagenarian eat for fuel? We peeked in his fridge to find out…
You created one of the most intense, calorie-burning workouts out there. What do you eat to maintain your body weight? I find that I lose weight fast, so I actually have to try to keep it on. I just did the Paleo Diet right before I turned 50, and I actually got down to 148 lbs. I haven’t been below 150 in years and years. In general, I try to eat at least 2,500 calories a day when I’m in New York to keep my weight on, because I walk so much here. In LA, it’s less—usually around 2,000 calories. Instead of eating a big plate of pasta, I try and get my calories with healthy foods, like chicken breast, turkey, and an apple with almond butter. That way I feel good, not bloated.
There’s no alcohol in your fridge. Do you try to stay away from it? I’m sober, so alcohol at all. Not a drop. I do it for a lot of health reasons. Alcohol affects our workouts. It’s high in calories, and it gets in the way of our fat burning abilities. Plus, it’s not great for the skin and aging.
You’re clearly pretty ripped. Any foods you suggest for people trying to build muscle? Chicken and egg whites. Those are the two most important ingredients, because our muscles absorb so much protein from them. When I grill chicken, the only thing I use is virgin olive oil—no salad dressing. I got that from the Paleo Diet and I just stuck with it.
What are your go-to pre- and post-workout snacks? I just can’t work out with something in my stomach, but for people who have to, I suggest half a banana, or a small bowl of plain oatmeal. After, I’ll have a protein shake, an omelet, or a chicken breast—within 30 minutes. It helps to know that if I push myself, I get to eat after. That’s part of the deal.
I have to mention the Red Bull in the corner. Does that mean you’re cool with food and drinks that have preservatives and artificial sugar? I love sugar, but I don’t like to have sugar, if you know what I mean. I have the Red Bull when it’s 3:45 a.m. and I have two classes to teach at the crack of dawn. I don’t drink coffee—it makes me edgy.
What do you make with the egg whites on the door? Why no yolks? Once in a while I’ll have the yolk, but that’s where the calories are. I can have four or five servings of egg whites, as opposed to one egg for the same number of calories. Also, years ago, the cholesterol thing got in my head. I’ll add avocado, baby tomatoes, chicken or turkey bacon, mushrooms, and spinach, and make a scramble. And if I’m treating myself, I’ll add a little goat cheese.
Is the whipped cream a guilty pleasure? Absolutely. Because I don’t go to 16 Handles every day, I keep blueberries and whipped cream—it has almost no sugar, and only around 60 calories. Plus, blueberries have the lowest carb content of any berries. I’m like anybody else—we all want to find out what kind of treats we can have. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit www.barrysbootcamp.com