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Chef Gordon Ramsay shares the reason why (and how) he lost more than 50 pounds

His family played a crucial role.
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/ Source: TODAY
By Randee Dawn

When you're a top celebrity chef, curbing your food consumption can be a bit of a challenge.

Not for Gordon Ramsay — at least, not any more.

The British host of four TV programs and owner of 34 restaurants worldwide has recently shed 50 pounds, down to 220 from a peak of 270.

"My father passed [of a heart attack] at 53," Ramsay revealed to TODAY's Natalie Morales on Monday. "That man never ever ate in my restaurant, and it pains me today to think that."

He was just 30 when his father died.

Ramsay, who's 51 years-old, didn't want health problems to rob him of the chance to see his own kids grow up.

Gordon Ramsay tells Natalie Morales how watching what he samples, as well as working out, has paid off. TODAY

The chef credits his wife, Tana, who also joined TODAY for the interview, for giving him the tough love he needed.

"Gordon's famous for being blunt," she explained. "I just gave him a little bit of his own medicine and basically suggested that he was getting a little wide around his middle."

Apparently, he did not take that well, but caved when she invented a saying, "Little pickers wear bigger knickers." (Or in other words, taste-testing and picking at food can add up!)

Natalie Morales sees what's cooking with Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana.TODAY

As Gordon noted, it's part of his job to taste food ... a lot. But he's come up with a different plan.

"I'm very good now at eating five times a day, but small amounts as opposed to a big breakfast, big lunch ... and a big dinner," he said.

He hits the gym regularly and has even started training for triathlons. In fact, he and Tana have inspired their children to get on board with his fitness routine.

Americans have seen Ramsay on multiple food and hospitality shows such as "Hell's Kitchen," "Hotel Hell" and "Kitchen Nightmares." Now he has a new show that's premiering on June 13 called "24 Hours to Hell and Back."

He'll be dishing out some great cooking advice ... and some tough love of his own.

In fact, he has some now for anyone looking to shed some weight; "If (Americans) toned down the sort of quantity and honed in on the quality, you'd feel so much better," he said. "So it's about sort of eating better, but eating less at the same time."

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