‘These days I have to train to eat’

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SUNDAY FIT -

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. “

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