The Real-Life Diet of Rick Ross, Who Is No Longer Drinking Eight Root Beers a Day
Rick Ross might still be the biggest boss in terms of his bravado, but the Miami-raised rapper is looking a little slimmer these days. It’s not just your eyes: Ross has been on a health kick lately, losing over 70 pounds and focusing on wellness—while he continues to pump out new music—by improving his diet and working hard in the gym. So for more, the rapper caught up with GQ wellness columnist Joe Holder about the biggest wake-up call for his health, cutting out soda (but not morning wine), and the relationship between physical and financial well-being.
GQ: You dealt with a couple of seizures, but now you’re down 80 pounds, so I want you to take me through that journey. What’s your exercise regimen hitting for, how do you get in shape, and how are you feeling?
Rick Ross: You know what right now? My motion for the last four or five months? When I get up in the morning—which is usually around 6 or 6:30—I do at least a 20-25 minute HIIT workout, high intensity training, before I even eat anything. I wake up talking shit in the morning: “Morning Glory, Morning Glory!” I’m screaming and all that, that’s what that it is, how I like to start.
Respect. I gotta say, I played college football, so I’ve been rocking with your albums for a very long time—your albums got me through a lot of tough workouts. So I was wondering what your favorite exercise in the gym is, and which one do you like the least?
The Burpee. I’m a late bloomer with the “Blurpees”—I call it the “Blurpees”—and that’s what I love to do the most, but those are what hurt the most. Those the only thing that will have my ass and my glutes and all that hurting for two or three days. Those are the ones that I love to do the most but also the ones that are the most painful.
As a Black man I think it’s important for you to be talking about this because we have increased health risks, so I just wanna say thank you for talking about this. In a previous interview with Shaq, he told me one of his big wake up calls is when the doctor told him that he could die if he didn’t shape up, so I was wondering, did you have one of those moments where you were just like, “Yo, if I don’t take care of myself, I really just might die”
It’s when you wake up in the hospital bed, you know what I mean? That tube in your throat. It’s one of those situations where you gotta take control of the situation, you gotta grab the bull by its horns. I’m one of those individuals that believe in getting anything I want, when I want it. So if that is a motherfucking ribeye or a Mediterranean rainbow trout at five in the morning after leaving the strip club or the studio, that is how I would move. But I realized I had to make some changes, that were some sacrifices that had to be made if I was gonna continue to be great. And after you suffer several seizures, after being a high school standout athlete? I’ve always been on go. But after you go through those different situations, you realize shit ain’t the same. What you gonna do? Gotta boss up. That’s the training. That’s the working out. And of course, of course, more importantly, the diet.
And the biggest change I made in my diet was stopping the soda and adding CTRL. That was my biggest move. No more 8 root beers a day.
Wait, you were having 8 root beers a day?
Yeah, you know I’m one of them! I roll up 3 blunts and then put me some root beer on ice, boy. Tall glass of ice. You gotta drink it out the glass! Man, I shouldn’t even fantasize about that. I ain’t weak though! I’m not gonna drink no soda—I haven’t had any in about three years.
Alright, three years no soda? I respect that. I read and listened to your latest book, The Perfect Day to Boss Up. First off, great stuff. It got me inspired. I was on my morning runs listening to that. You said you went from performing for $250 to being worth let’s say eight to nine figures with over 10 Grammy nominations. The portfolio is booming. You got telehealth start-ups, you got Maybach Music, you got WingStops, you got sports agency, so I want you to tell me a little bit more about the latest with CTRL.
You already know: The older and more successful I’m becoming, I’m realizing health is more a part of the conversation than ever. I go and have big meetings, it’s like let’s meet at the golf course, let’s meet at the gym. We talking 8 figure numbers at the gym. We at the golf course now with D Wade, Udonis Haslem, Alonzo Mourning, the whole Miami Heat. We just bumping into each other at the golf course and at the same time it’s like, yo! We gotta continue this. Let’s keep talking success, keep talking money. That’s the motivational burn—and at the same time let’s enjoy it. Ok, so what’s the most important think about health? That’s what we are putting in our bodies.
Okay, that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna take my time. I had a lot of different situations and a lot of big name brands on the table. CTRL was straight to the point. Small team—I love small teams. The shit is delicious, now let’s see the effects. I’m in shape like I’m doing Crossfit, doing box jumps and shit like that.
I’d love to keep it to financial health. One of the quotes that was in your book, “never keep all your Faberge eggs in one basket”. So I’d love to hear, you know, the Rick Ross quick rules for anybody trying to become richer than they ever been.
Oh man. OK: Don’t be scared to invest in yourself, start with yourself. You being the CEO of your life? That’s the most important position you will ever have. So invest in yourself, don’t be afraid of that. Work harder than everyone else in the room. That’s gotta be at the top somewhere. You gotta outwork everyone else in the room. It can’t be a secret. You can’t be afraid to take on extra. And answer every phone call. I think that is something this generation really need to understand. I’ll be around people and they let the phone ring. It be their mother. It be their business partners. Answer that shit and address it, even if you gotta call them right back. Then your phone won’t be ringing as much. Your phone ringing cause you been dodging the work. You running from the responsibilities.
How many hours of sleep do you typically get a night?
If I get six hours? Man, that is a blessing, I’m great. If I only slept four or five hours but get a nap in, that’s a great day. There’s no complaints. There’s no “I’m tired, I’m weak, or I’m drained.” That’s not even in our vocabulary.
One of your favorite lines of mine is “Never feed it after dark, gotta treat it like a Gremlin.” I’m personally a fan of circadian rhythm eating so that resonates with me eating-wise—I typically don’t eat late after the sun goes down. So let’s talk about your diet a little bit. What’s your style? You still have a personal chef?
Of course, I’m always going to have a personal chef
All right, say no more—give me the meal breakdown then.
When I get up in the morning, I’m gonna get a shake going. Then I may get me one of those fruit bowls and all that, but I’m not really heavy on the breakfast. After 11, 12 o’clock, I’m on go. I’m ready to eat, you know what I mean? So let’s say turkey tacos during the day, boom! Then you know I love some fish but when I eat something dead I eat something alive. So when I eat meat I need some greens, I need them enzymes from them green plants that be breaking down what’s going on. It sounds like I know what I’m talking about it, don’t it? [laughs].
Plant Based Gang baby, gotta have them veggies, I dig it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah! You gotta have them veggies. I keep mixing it up, gotta rotate it. Can’t keep eating the same things. So I got a few chefs that I rotate.
Alright, so I gotta ask, because it’s classic. With the timeless Westwood interview** you put pears on the map, so I want to know what your favorite healthy foods are. And do you still have that morning cup of wine, you still on that Luc Belaire?**
I’m still drinking that Belaire in the morning. I’m up, I’m moving. By the time everybody sees me on my IG Story I’m on my fifth biz call for the day. And I have the fruits in the fridge without a doubt. Most definitely the pears and shit like that. The salads, love the salads.
Any food you’ve given up that you miss?
Ah man! It was a lot of shit I had to give up. I gave up pork. But not my favorite, chicken wings—of course that is the WingStop. But I try my best to have it air fried, have it baked. But I don’t even look at it as a diet. It is a lifestyle. Diets are temporary. You gotta make it your lifestyle, so it’s gotta be something you actually enjoy.
Real quick: Let me know a couple of the biggest lessons you’ve got from the industry, both good and bad. I know Master P was speaking a lot of game to you. You’ve been close to Hov. So what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve got in the industry that anybody can apply?
Take your losses like a champ. Look at everything the best way. I remember getting in the industry: The first contract I signed? A lot of people would have labeled that horrendous but to me that was a blessing. Learned a lot from it. Great opportunities, great experience. And voila, here I am the biggest in the game. Raise the Luc Bel Air glass to that. Y’all better hit the gym tonight. Stay on go. Push yourself. Ain’t even to the limit and it’s not even to the limit, but drive yourself, enjoy yourself, as a lot of people don’t even know how to enjoy themselves. Enjoy it.
To wrap it up, everybody I interview I ask this question, so anyone on their wellness and fitness journey, what’s the best advice and motivation you could give them?
Put yourself first. First and foremost, you should make sure you make yourself happy. Fuck everything else, if you’re not happy, the shit ain’t gonna work no way. You should be happy seeing the best version of yourself. So, be great. And for me, I had to change the fact that I wasn’t resting, the fact that my diet was fucked up. I made a lot of those changes. I enjoy this, and I invite everybody to join the party.
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