Yes, Bruce Springsteen is a fan of classic American cuisine.

He’s no stranger to Jersey Shore faves like the WindMill and Max’s Bar & Grill on Long Branch for hot dogs, Federici’s Restaurant in Freehold for pizza, and Jersey Freeze in Freehold Township for ice cream.

But it’s all about moderation for the Boss, as he explained recently to country singer Tim McGraw on McGraw’s new “Beyond The Influence Radio” on Apple Music. After all, it’s not by accident that Springsteen is able to play his four-hour concerts.

“The biggest thing is diet, diet, diet,” Springsteen said. “I don’t eat too much, and I don’t eat bad food, except for every once in a while when I want to have some fun for myself. So I think anybody that’s trying to get in shape, exercise is always important of course, but diet is 90 percent of the game.”

As for exercise, the Boss famously bulked up in the ’80s. He was called the Rambo of rock at the time.

Bruce Springsteen at Max's Bar and Grill in Long Branch in June of 2019.
Bruce Springsteen at Max’s Bar and Grill in Long Branch in June of 2019.

“I don’t do that much right now,” said Springsteen of his current weight-lifting regimen. “I lift a little weight to stay toned. I may get on the treadmill. I walk. I don’t run anymore.”

The equation seems to working — he looks decades younger than his actual age of 71. But Springsteen is not a lifetime devotee to healthy eating and exercise. An interview with ex-girlfriend Diane Lozito in Pete Ames Carlin’s 2012 biography “Bruce” is telling of how far removed the Boss was from a fit lifestyle.

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“(Springsteen) had a hard time sleeping at night, so I’d sit up watching TV with him while he wolfed down all this junk food: sodas, cakes, all this horrible stuff,” Lozito said.

The Freehold native ate a lot of chicken when he lived with Steven Van Zandt in Asbury Park in the early ’70s.

“Remember Chicken Delight? I don’t think they have them anymore,” said Springsteen onstage at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park in 2015. “We now got Cluck-U Chicken.”

His eating habits changed in the late ’70s, according to Carlin, when Springsteen hired fan Obie Dziedzic to be his Gal Friday. She straightened things out by adding vegetables, salads and more to his diet.

The Boss’ weightlifting regimen in the ’80s — which began after he started running — wouldn’t have been successful without a solid dietary foundation. A leaked copy of his rider from the 2002 Rising tour shows Springsteen eating whey powder, soy milk, protein shakes and bananas, strawberries and blueberries backstage at his shows.

But like he said, it’s about moderation and indulging yourself every once in a while. Since the coronavirus outbreak, he’s pined for a visit to his local faves.

“What do you miss?” said Springsteen on the April 8 broadcast of his “From My Home to Yours” DJ show on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio. “I miss going to Max’s and the Windmill and getting a hot dog.”

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This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Bruce Springsteen says diet is 90 percent of the game, talks workouts

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