Since the start of Obama’s first term in office, diet and exercise was a large focus of the First Lady. With the Let’s Move! initiative to promote at-home gardening and healthier school lunches, Michelle Obama was (and continues to be) the face of healthy eating and exercise reform across the country. However, living healthier is not just a Michelle thing – the entire Obama family takes part, including the eternally busy former POTUS.

Perhaps the most fit President of the United States in history, Barack Obama knows the value of combining exercise with healthy eating and moderate indulgences. When interviewed about the Obamas' eating habits, the White House chef Sam Kass commented, “We try not to do diets, as opposed to just chang[ing] our lifestyle. A diet means you’re inherently going to fall off of it.”

Throughout his two terms in office, Obama made living a healthy lifestyle a priority. Here is a look back at how the 44th president brought health consciousness to the White House.

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1. Early Morning Workouts 

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Six days a week, the Obama wakes up hours before his first meeting in order to fit in early morning workouts. Known to be an avid baller, Obama plays early morning pick-up games a couple times per week. To keep things interesting, he alternates between intense cardio and resistance weight training. By sticking to his routine, Obama ensures that exercise fits into his busy life.

2. Balanced Breakfast

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By now it is well proven that breakfast is important in boosting cognitive function and curbing hunger pangs later in the day. Obama’s morning meal is relatively simple, typically consisting of some combination of eggs, wheat toast, fruit and oatmeal.

3. Snacking


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Newer studies have shown that eating throughout the day is actually better for you than eating three large meals. Michelle takes part by eating five smaller meals per day. Barack also snacks throughout the day, his favorites being roasted almonds, pistachios or fruit and crackers.

Obama also loves veggies, his favorites being broccoli and spinach. The combination of healthy fats from the nuts with vitamins from the fruits and veggies help to keep the former president moving, in his job and in his workouts.

4. Lean Protein

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To complement his workout regime and keep him lean, Obama makes sure to eat lean meats, like chicken and fish. One of his favorites is salmon, prepared as a filet on its own or topped on one of his favorite arugula salads.

5. Minimal alcohol consumption

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One of the biggest things the Obamas preach is moderation of sugar and alcohol. This isn’t to say that Obama never imbibes, but he does so rarely, and never in excess. In this way, he avoids the extra calories and the potential damage to his liver. The same goes for sugar. Obama has been photographed numerous times indulging his sweet tooth (often with his favorite Black Forest Berry Honest Tea), but he always maintains limits.

Both Barack and Michelle Obama embody the idea of lifestyle changes rather than just diet changes. By changing the way they live day to day, it becomes easier to maintain healthy behaviors. During their time in office, the Obamas set an example for all Americans to live and eat healthier.