San Antonio News 4 Chief Meteorologist Chris Suchan is no stranger to working out. While he enjoys himself and eating out, he also recognizes the importance of portion control and staying active. Keep reading our exclusive interview to find out what he does at the gym, what happens when his suits start feeling tight, and his best tips for our readers!
HFR: What is your daily exercise and nutrition routine?
Chris: Gone are my days of 2-hour workouts from my teenage years into early-mid 20s. Instead, I focus on a high energy 25-40 minutes at the gym. 2 days on, 1 day off or Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri. Wednesday is off day. Weekends vary depending on what I’m doing but I don’t put a lot of pressure on my weekends to workout at the gym. Mon & Tue are typically lightweight but higher reps and Thu/Fri I’ll mix in heavier sets w/ lower reps. I do not lift as heavy as I used too given risk of injuries or nagging injuries around joints that crop up. Mondays I’ll do dumbbell presses (flat and incline), 4 sets at 10 – 15 reps, military shoulder presses w/ dumbbells, lateral dumbbell raises for shoulders then curls and triceps for arms. I’ll do some crunches for abs and roughly 7 – 12 minutes on elliptical. I take small breaks of 30 seconds or less between sets to keep my heart rate up. NO CONVERSATION while at the gym. I’m there to work out, not socialize with everyone – hah! Tuesday: Back workout, lats, bent over rows wide grip then inside grip, shrugs… finish with some situps, leg extensions and elliptical. Thursday & Friday are similar workouts but mix in heavier sets in a slow movement to stretch muscle group. I no longer do barbell bench presses as I had wrist surgery in 2018 and am not at the point where I can handle the weight on my wrist without discomfort.
As mentioned before, I’m NOT a clean eater. I do my best to do my version of portion control on foods many trainers would say to stay away from. I’m a coffee drinker in the morning w/ sugar-free creamer, then a deli ham sandwich with tomato slices for lunch or sometimes a small bag of chips. I do consume typically 2 diet sodas while at work along with mixing in 2 – 4 cups of water from our water filter station. Dinner, unfortunately, if not at home is Chick Filet, a thin crust pizza (3 – 5 slices instead of 6 or more like I used to), Subway deli sandwich, good thick cheeseburger w/ side of fries (not 2 big burgers like I used to) and so on. If I go home, it’s typically a healthier home-cooked meal such as grilled chicken, rice, green vegetable or maybe a spaghetti w/ turkey meat sauce. I do enjoy grilling various steaks, filets or fish on the grill too. I try to pick lean cuts of steak versus heavy marbling. One of my biggest challenges, however, is coming home after work and avoiding snacks or even a bowl of cereal. I bat about 50% success on this during the week. Also… I do enjoy cold beers on my weekends and while I do enjoy low carb beer, I will consume a good locally brewed craft beer. So again, not the perfect diet but you know something, I’m a HAPPY guy – hah!
HFR: What keeps you motivated to stay healthy?
Chris: Motivation to stay in shape centers on how quickly I can pack weight on seemingly every 5 – 7 years that go by. I used to be able to burn through the calories at a younger age. Naturally, given that appearance matters in TV, I try to maintain a slim appearance in my suits and when a suit gets a tighter feeling, I quickly start scaling my diet down. When I’m at a leaner weight, I find my energy and mood are much higher too. I feel great and more confident.
HFR: Do you believe that being fit and healthy has contributed to your successful career?
Chris: I believe it absolutely has. Appearance matters in my industry and have even crossed that bridge where management wanted me leaner on-air. It’s a battle for me as I do enjoy eating and as we all know, quite a bit of the tastier dishes do not necessarily translate into healthier results. Thus my portion control concept where I get to enjoy some of those foods but at a much smaller portion than I used to.
HFR: What inspires you, in general?
Chris: Looking good on camera, being told my appearance looks nice on TV and my lovely fiance Amber with words of encouragement and support when I’m on a roll with diet and fitness.
HFR: What tips would you give your fans and our readers to staying healthy?
Chris: Tips? Well, if you can eat a clean diet with excellent portion control, more power to you! That’s awesome. But that’s not for everyone. Some try it, then flame out, some can’t get past a week of trying it. I’m the guy that violates some rules but sets a portion control boundary. Some basic tips that help me, don’t buy the bad stuff to keep in the pantry. If it’s there, it’ll whisper to you every day (much tougher when you have small kids that enjoy snacks BTW). Don’t aim for 1hr or longer workouts, get a good 25-30 minutes in of a high-intensity workout. Your endorphins will flow & you’ll feel like a champ walking out of the gym. Those workouts are also fantastic for reducing stress levels too. Too much stress leads to problems. Finally, make sure you have some good people in your corner to root you on & keep you honest. Even better if they diet the same and workout with you at the gym.