Why ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ Star Phil Rosenthal Says He Hasn’t Gained Weight While Filming the Travel Series

After Everybody Loves Raymond signed off after nine seasons, its executive producer Phil Rosenthal turned to a new job as global food documentarian.

The show that started off as PBS’ I’ll Have What Phil’s Having turned into Netflix’s Somebody Feel Phil in 2018. While Rosenthal’s been traveling the world and tasting the cuisine of each city he’s visiting, the show host insists he hasn’t put on any weight. And here’s how.

Phil Rosenthal visits the Build Series to discuss 'Somebody Feed Phil' at Build Studio, 2018
Phil Rosenthal promotes ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ in New York City, 2018 |
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

‘Somebody Feed Phil’s relevance during the pandemic

Although filming for the latest fourth season of the show was done before the coronavirus pandemic, the Raymond show runner told Variety in 2020 that he wants “people to watch the show with a view not with how the world used to be, but with a view that this too shall pass and use this time to watch the show and plan where you’ll go.”

“I truly think the world will be better if we all experience a little bit of someone else’s experience,” he added. “It enriches your life and gives you a new perspective. Your everyday life is better because of this new perspective.”

Rosenthal, who has appeared in the film Spanglish and on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, vented about his pet peeve with people who don’t like to visit other countries: “People have no desire to travel. A third of Americans don’t have a passport and I don’t get it. If you won a big house, would you stay in one room of the house?”

His outreach during the COVID-19 era

During the 2020 presidential election season, Rosenthal announced his intention to get others fed, specifically voters. The Rosenthal Family Foundation’s press release at that time announced the formation of the organization “Somebody Feed the People (SFTP).”

SFTP was “spearheaded by food and democracy lover Phil Rosenthal” with the intention of “raising dollars for organizations providing meals to The People at the polls.”

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Calling food “a great unifier,” Rosenthal added that the foundation felt “election season would be a perfect time to take hunger off the table at least for one meal while people are at the polls. Our mission is pretty simple — we just want to Feed the People who have chosen to show up to the polls and are facing long lines.”

Why Phil Rosenthal hasn’t gained weight

In a conversation with Kelly Clarkson on her daytime show, Rosenthal revealed how exactly he’s kept extra pounds at bay while enjoying sumptuous offerings everywhere from Saigon and Tel Aviv to Venice, Italy and Dublin to Marrakesh and even stateside in the Mississippi Delta.

“I work out every day,” Rosenthal said. Waving his hands over his torso, he added, “This doesn’t happen by itself.”

“There are occupational hazards [to eating for a living],” he added. “I learned early on that if you don’t pace yourself, it’s going to pile up and you’re not even going to like it.”

He revealed that one of his secrets to staying fit while savoring countless dishes is “I don’t eat until we shoot. And so you’re seeing…it looks like I eat a lot, but you’re seeing a week’s worth of filming condensed into less than an hour. And, I share it with the crew, which I love doing anyway. But it also saves me from finishing everything.”