‘These days I have to train to eat’
HAVE you ever wondered how TV chefs can taste hundreds of meals a day without ever putting on any weight? Well, Matt Moran has finally let us in on their secret.
“A lot of people don’t believe me, but I only have one meal a day,” he says. “It just starts at 8am and finishes at midnight.”
The chef and host of Channel Nine’s Family Food Fight is joking, of course. It’s really exercise, and lots of it, that stops him becoming “the size of a house”.
“I’ve always tried to stay fit and healthy, but these days, at my age, I find I pretty much train to eat,” he says. The amount of restaurants and food tastings I go to, if I didn’t train I’d be the size of a house.”
A keen boxer, the 48-yearold restaurateur spends plenty of time in the gym, which he combines with light dinners and protein-shake breakfasts to help keep the kilograms off. But it’s keeping up with his son, Harry, himself an accomplished rower, that provides the biggest inspiration.
“I love boxing — I’ve been doing it for years. But I just try to exercise as much as I possibly can,” he says.
“You always feel better afterwards, no matter how hard it was to get out of bed.”
While it might seem strange to hear a chef promoting only eating out in moderation, Matt says all good things — including restaurant meals — have to be a part of a balanced approach to diet and exercise.
So away from work and the television cameras, you’ll find the Moran family sitting down to light and healthy meals, in which lean meats and vegetables play starring roles.
“If you’re going to go and have a big degustation meal, go for lunch instead. That way, you have all afternoon to work it off, and you can just have a light dinner,” he says.
“There’s no doubt that I eat some things that I shouldn’t, and that’s why I exercise, but when I’m home I like to cook healthy. A lot of salads, a lot of barbecues and lean meats.
“I have a very simple philosophy; it’s harder to get it off than to put it on, so don’t put it on in the first place.”
If you want to eat healthy for less, Matt suggests getting creative with your meal planning by shopping only for what’s currently in season. That way, you get the best possible produce at the lowest possible price.
“I’m a big believer in quality of produce. Use what’s in season, you know it’s both at its best and probably cheaper, too,” he says. “Ask your greengrocer what’s in season, and don’t go in with a preconceived idea of what you’re going to buy. “