Chris Jericho is undoubtably one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time. Whether you call him “Y2J,” “The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla,” or simply, “Le Champion,” it’s fair to say that man who also fronts a rock band, runs a popular podcast, appeared on Dancing with the Stars and now cracks heads weekly in All Elite Wrestling, is one of entertainment’s busiest stars. As if all that wasn’t enough, the grappler also recently swapped fistfights for Fast Foodies, as he makes a guest appearance on the popular truTV show. M&F caught up with the grappling GOAT to learn more about the future WWE Hall of Famer’s relationship with nutrition, and how he’s managed to drop 20 pounds in three weeks.
For many aspiring bodybuilders, boxers, and pro wrestlers, an intimate relationship with the humble egg takes the shape of a shared experience that requires the chugging down of multiple raw egg whites for protein. “When I was a kid, I used to read Muscle & Fitness, actually,” shares Jericho. “I grew up in the ’80s, so I was very much influenced by bodybuilders. You’re talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Platz, Dorian Yates, Cory Everson, Rachel McLish. All the women were super-hot and super-fit too.”
The former WWE and AEW champion recalls some of the diet plans that he followed in those days, on his quest to gain muscle. “It was liver, and the raw eggs, trying to get as much protein as you could, and then realizing that it just tastes terrible, but raw eggs for sure, I definitely gulped down tons of those.”
Laying the smackdown on snacks
Guest appearing on TruTV’s Fast Foodies (airing Feb 3), the pro wrestling icon headed to the kitchen and had a lot of fun, picking up the ability to crack and disperse an egg with just one hand. The show’s format sees three talented chefs compete to cook the tastiest alternative version of their favorite fast-food snack for some celebrity guests. “Fast Foodies,” now in its second season, reached more than 20 million viewers in its first season, and with Top Chef winners Kristen Kish and Jeremy Ford, along with Iron Chef winner Justin Sutherland skillfully reimagining a celebrity-guests’ fast-food guilty pleasure, it’s easy to understand the show’s success.
“It’s a cool show,” says Jericho. “At the [time of filming Fast Foodies] we were in Jacksonville, FL, for AEW every week because we were wrestling in front of no fans [due to the pandemic]. I kind of made it my tradition that I would go to Cracker Barrel before the AEW show because I was sick of eating the catering at the building, which was the same every week, so I’d get a Cracker Barrel ‘Mommas Pancake’ breakfast With the turkey sausage patties and the eggs, and the fried apple, so that was my task for them, to see if they could replicate it.”
As a legendary pro wrestler who’s paid his dues on the road, Jericho was often forced to make-do with fast-food as he hurtled from show to show. “If you go back 10 or 15 years, traveling four and five days a week, sometimes you are driving 200 to 300 miles per night, fast-food just becomes a way of life.” he says. “Especially if you were driving after the show and it was past 11 o’clock.” As Jericho became more experienced on the road, he learned to look for gas stations with convenience stores inside, so that he could fine healthier alternatives such as hard-boiled eggs. “It is tricky to eat on the road but you can do it,” he says.
Chris Jericho is fighting fit at age 51
Having slimmed down from 240-pounds to 220-pounds in a matter of weeks, “The Painmaker” is well aware that eating is a big part of honing his physique. “From 35 years of weight training and bodybuilding, I know that it’s not just all about how much weight you can push,” says Jericho. “Abs are made in the kitchen, that is such a true story, and I know that even for me, over the last three weeks, I’ve lost 20 pounds, because I went to a dietitan and now, I’ve got premade meals that are basically high protein snacks throughout the day. Then you have one free protein filled meal, whether it be eggs, chicken or salmon.”
During his storied pro wrestling career, Jericho has always tried to maintain a powerful and lean frame, but at age 51, he is recalibrating how he can achieve this. “I’ve never been a ‘body guy’ in wrestling,” says Le Champion. “Obviously, you have to have a body and have muscle, but it was never about counting carbs but now it is, you know at 51, but at 21 I didn’t have to really worry about that.”
A person who has traveled the world and sampled delicacies from far-flung places, Jericho is appreciative of the skills required by the “Fast Foodie” chefs, to create tasty meals from scratch. “Pro wrestling is art,” he says. “Any time you create something out of nothing, that’s art, so whether you are a painter or whether you are a musician writing a song, a wrestler putting together match, or if you are a chef and you are cooking these things, and what I really enjoyed [on Fast Foodies] was how they took their interpretations of the flavors in the Momma’s Pancake breakfast, like there’s an element of apple when you put a trace of cider in there.”
Chris Jericho, who once famously beat both “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “The Rock” in a single night to become the Undisputed WWE Champion, has now droppedkicked junk food to the curb, and is counting calories, as he looks forward to once again dominating in AEW. “Speaking to you in the midst of a diet, you see me sucking back my coffee because it fills my stomach, you have to be very motivated when you diet,” says the GOAT “I carry around a little scale and I’m allowed 8 ounces of a protein source for my free meal so I’m weighing the chicken and weighing the salmon. So, you learn more about that when you get into it.”
The Fozzy frontman says that if you are going to eat fast food you shouldn’t get too hung up with tweaks like removing the burger bun because, at the end of the day, the whole meal is probably extraordinarily high in calories anyhow, so you may as well just enjoy the treat. But, if like Jericho, you want to be the best version of yourself, dropping fat is far from complicated. “If you really want to concentrate on dieting … you just have to be very cognizant of what you are putting into your body,” says the pro wrestling icon. “Up your protein intake and eat it throughout the day, and cut down your carbs and sugars.” Great advice from one of the greats.
Catch Chris Jericho on the season 2 premier of Fast Foodies, Feb 3 on TruTV.