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How Food Network Star Kelsey Nixon Lost 20 Pounds While in Culinary School

It's one of the questions she hears over and over again: How does Kelsey Nixon, star of Kelsey's Essentials on Food Network, stay so slim when she's constantly testing recipes and surrounded by food? We asked her again earlier this week, while Kelsey was hosting a cooking demo at a local Sur La Table  to promote the release of her new cookbook, Kitchen Confidence. We were shocked to learn that Kelsey wasn't always so slender.

The chef actually attended Brigham Young University on a dance scholarship, but while there, she decided to stop dancing and focus on another passion of hers: cooking. She convinced a professor to let her start a campus cooking show and put on close to 30 pounds. "It was actually when I went to culinary school that I lost most of the weight," says Kelsey. 

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See, while in college, she had always opted for low-fat cheese, low-fat Triscuits, and other packaged foods that she thought were healthier. But then, when she got to culinary school, she started eating real foods again. "I think that must have been the first time I ate bacon in four years, and it was just so, so delicious," she says. She learned how to enjoy whole foods in moderation rather than going overboard with processed substitutes. "I'd rather have a little bit of everything than all of some things," she says.

It's a philosophy Kelsey still lives by, and it's clearly served her well! To start adding more real foods to your diet, try these recipes from Kelsey's new cookbook. Here's one of Kelsey's favorite cooking tips:


MORE: 7 Easy Tips to Boost Your Kitchen Confidence

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