The Real-Life Diet of Wiz Khalifa, Who Had to Learn to Eat Enough

The rapper chatted with GQ about working hard in the gym, building lung strength, and discovering the power of becoming a morning person.

Wiz Khalifa has dedicated himself to personal growth over the last few years. Literally: Thanks to hitting the gym five times a week—no matter how hectic the schedule gets—the Pittsburgh artist has packed on about 40 pounds to his frame. At 35, his metabolism still burns fast, and given that he’s operating at an elevated state of mind for most of his waking hours, he’s able to enjoy all his favorite foods and then some. He’s also gotten deep in to MMA—he’s currently serving as a judge for the Professional Fighters League’s eight-part Challenger Series on Fubo Sports on Friday nights, and mixed that training into his own routine. But ultimately, he told GQ, the gym is all about growth. He also dished on his favorite late-night snacks and the hibachi chain he’s usually hitting up after getting offstage.

For Real-Life Diet, GQ talks to athletes, celebrities, and other high performers about their diet, exercise routines, and pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind that what works for them might not necessarily be healthy for you. What does your training schedule look like these days?

Wiz Khalifa: I’m five days out of the week—Monday through Friday. I wake up at five in the morning and I’m usually in the gym by 9:30 or 10. So by noon, my workout is done and I’m on with the rest of my day. That’s pretty much how I handle it whether I have my son or whether I’m by myself. I just get up really early, make sure I eat a good breakfast and then I get straight to the gym.

Has your overall diet changed much?

I’m still able to eat as much as I used to. I actually have to make sure that I eat more than I’m used to eating. It’s just making sure the meals are full ones and that they’re balanced. It’s really monitoring the amount that I eat because I have to eat more than anything. Sometimes, I’ll fall back and I won’t eat as much as I need to. The key for me is making sure the intake is high, I’m eating at the right times, and I’m snacking and doing all the things I need to do.

How does it feel to see the comments under your training posts of the inspiration it serves to your fans?

It’s awesome. People have the choice if they want to gravitate toward it or just leave it up to me. Luckily, they look at it and see themselves in me and they’re able to imagine themselves doing these great things or take the steps that it takes to at least get started and move it in that direction. And that’s all I really want people to do—just see how good it feels for themselves to move in that direction and then you can take it upon yourself after that.

What are you eating on a typical day?

Breakfast for me is like four eggs, sausage, pancakes, and some oatmeal. I do a protein shake in the morning also. Lunch is chicken and rice, or steak and potatoes with vegetables and some fruit. The snacks in between are like peanut butter and jelly and things like that. Dinner is a really big homestyle and hearty meal. It can be pasta, fried chicken, or oxtails. I might even do some steak tacos or whatever. And I usually do a fun, little late-night snack, right before I go to bed. That can be anything from a cheeseburger to three slices of pizza or a cheesecake. It’s whatever I’m in the mood for.

When the hell do you sleep? (Laughs).

I go to bed around 10:30 or 11 every night. I’ve been pretty routine with it. It’s really important that I get that rest so that I can get back up and be fresh the next day. There are days when it can go to 2:30 or five in the morning and instead of waking up normally at five, I might wake up at 10. But everyone has to be ready for that because that’s not something that can just happen. On a normal day, I’m in bed by midnight and I’m able to get up before the sun rises.

In my 20’s, I partied hard, and I stayed up. I didn’t have too much of a grip on what it felt like to feel good the next day. I was just trying to live the most out of each moment every night. The older that I got and the more that I got into the gym, I realized the start of the day is really important. I have to try and shut it down at a good time so I can get started at a good time.

Cannabis is also part of the Wiz Wellness plan. What are you smoking throughout the day?

I smoke Khalifa Kush, which is my brand and it’s Indica dominant. Some people call it a hybrid but it’s not. It’s really good weed. Anyone who smokes it enjoys it. It’s not couch weed and it won’t lock you down and make you not be able to move. It’s really strong and gassy. It’s like an original OG-type of weed, whereas a lot of weed these days are a little bit more fruity and they’re not on the gassy side. That’s how I like my weed. I like it to be straight gas.

Is it still nuts to have your own product and be making money off of something that’s such a part of you?

It’s wild, man. Even just how widely accepted it is. Everywhere I go, everyone is so happy for me to light up and make their situation smell like more weed. I love that because before, it used to be a problem. Now, everyone loves it and I’m with it.

Do you not get winded at all during your training?

(Laughs). Nah, I got really good cardio. I honestly think smoking weed helps my wind a little better because I have breath control and I’m able to take these deep, long breaths that normal people who don’t drag strong marijuana—they don’t experience that.

What’s your routine look like the night of a show?

I’ll take you through a tour day. My bus usually pulls into the venue around eight in the morning because we usually drive all night. From there, I’ll get off, use the bathroom and my dressing room will be getting set up. From eight until about 10, I’m doing social media on my phone or my computer. Or, if it’s album or music stuff, it’s just getting everything in line to make sure that’s handled. I’ll eat when I’m doing that and around noon, I’ll go eat lunch and I’ll go work out until two o’clock. After that, I’ll take another shower and then I have to do a meet and greet around four or five. I’ll do that and then I’ll usually take a little nap. The show usually starts at 6:30 or 7. I’ll wake up and start getting dressed. I’ll watch all the shows before me and then my performance is usually around 10. I go on and do my thing for an hour and a half and that’s that.

What’s a perfect post-performance meal?

A perfect post-performance meal for me is probably Benihana. I love Benihana after I get off the stage. I’ll get the hibachi steak and rice. I get the chicken fried rice with extra shrimp.

When you begin the focus on physical training, what made Muay Thai and MMA something you gravitated to?

It’s really about the discipline for me. Of course, I’m interested in building my body and getting stronger. But learning new techniques and having people I look up to who are really good at what they and throughout time, learning and developing different skills and assets that are good for the sport and good for other areas in life as well.

While the results are apparent physically, what has committing the time to your physical health done for you mentally?

Mentally, it helps me stay disciplined. It keeps me on track, it challenges me and it gives me goals to achieve each step of the way to try and get better, sharper, more explosive, more on balance, and just little things that in life, if you don’t have things that occupy you like this then you don’t really get that gratification or you’ll be looking for that gratification somewhere else. I get that from training and completing my personal goals.

What led to you wanting to make this physical change?

I feel like naturally, we go through this stage when you get older and start to experience more things—my goal was to never just to be the best at something in the room. But I love to learn and put myself in situations where I can grow and adapt. Being in the gym, learning the science of my body, and learning new martial arts techniques—that allows me to grow and surprise myself in my older years.

You work out a lot at Unbreakable. When you first started there, what were some of the things they showed you that you might not have been cognizant of before?

A lot of it had to do with eating enough and eating the right stuff. A lot of it also had to do with balance and posture. A lot of people try and get in there and just be the strongest possible but building that balance, core strength and the different muscle groups really helped me understand the science of growing, and not just go in there tossing a bunch of weights around.

You joined the partnership group of the PFL in 2021. What has been the best part so far in working to help build that brand?

They give me a lot of creative freedom to bring ideas and things I think would add or help build the brand as well as being aligned with what they already have going on. It’s just about spreading the word and making the events bigger. I do everything that I can from making theme songs to showing up at the events and performing. Throughout time and through the seriousness that people take with me, they realize what opportunities can be there and that’s when the doors open, and a lot happens, especially with the Jake Paul signing. There are a lot of other superstars becoming well-known and getting their check for fighting. Everything that’s supposed to be happening as far as building the brand organically and just spreading the word about how dope the PFL is working.

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