Buddy Valastro had a wake-up call after a gruesome hand injury nearly derailed his career.
On Sept. 20, 2020, the famed baker’s right hand got lodged and compressed in a bowling pinsetter at his home lane. A metal rod impaled his hand three times between his ring finger and middle finger. In February of this year, he had his fifth surgery to repair the damage.
While recovering at home, the “Cake Boss” star realized he was sluggish and overeating — pesky habits he developed long before his accident.
“During COVID, I gained so much weight,” the father of four told Fox News Digital. “I woke up one day and… I didn’t feel right. I was just too heavy.”
Viewers will notice that the 46-year-old now looks slimmer. Valastro is hosting “Legends of the Fork,” which will follow him as he travels across the country in search of renowned American restaurants. He’s also starring on “Buddy Valastro’s Cake Dynasty,” which chronicles his family’s goals to expand Carlo’s Bake Shop.
Valastro said it took him about a year to lose 40 pounds. The first month “sucked,” he said, as he practiced portion control, which left him feeling starving at first. Growing up in an old-fashioned Italian household, Valastro believed you “ate until you couldn’t move.”
“I drank a lot of water and did intermittent fasting,” he said. “But now it’s [been] about a year and a half, two years, and I feel good. And I’m at a weight that I like — so thank God.”
Valastro said he’s become more disciplined in his eating habits without compromising on his favorite dishes. He’s also learned when to say no.
“Listen, I’m never going to live in a world where I’m not going to have a cookie or a slice of pizza,” he explained. “I mean, that’s just not living to me. But I don’t have to eat a pie. So if I order a pizza at lunchtime, it’s a slice. It would not be more.”
“I cheat on the weekends,” said Valastro. “I’m better during the week… I don’t eat after 6 [p.m.] unless I’m on vacation or just away. When I’m away, then I’ll cheat. I’ll gain two, three pounds, and then I take it off. So I’m just trying to maintain 1699698259.”
Valastro previously told People magazine that he now eats “one or two” large spoonfuls of pasta instead of “four big scoops.” He also tries to “pound seven or eight bottles of water a day.”
“If you drink a lot of water, you can’t eat as much,” he told the outlet. “So it’s kind of just changing your habits, and you make it your job.”
Valastro said he’s so happy with his results that he’s not tempted to overindulge, even while he’s working. These days, he’s more focused on staying active, both in and out of the kitchen.
“For years, I wanted to make a cake for the Pope, and I thought I would do this cool Pope hat,” he chuckled. “I felt like I could have a lot of fun with that… Oprah [Winfrey] was on my bucket list. I made her a cake. And honestly, it wasn’t really my bucket list, it was my mom’s. I made a promise to my mom that… one day, I’m going to make a cake for Oprah, and I’m going to bring [her] on the show. And I did. That’s one of the promises that I made to her.”
“My son Carlo is a big [Lionel] Messi fan… We could do something pretty crazy,” Valastro shared.
“So if you talk to him, tell him, ‘Buddy wants to make you a cake,'” he added.
A&E’s “Legends of the Fork” and “Buddy Valastro’s Cake Dynasty” are set to premiere Saturday beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT.