RSVP Magazine

Cork fishmonger Pat O’Connell Gives Us A Peek Inside His Fridge

This month, Cork fishmonger Pat O’Connell gives us a sneak peek into his refrigerator and tells us about his average daily dietary pattern and exercise regime.





Cornflakes or porridge, depending on the time of year, and a cup of tea.

Mid morning

Latte and a fruit scone.


Soup and a sandwich.


Latte (maybe some chocolate).

Nearly always fish, veg and potato. I would always have a dessert so a cup of tea and some cake or rice!


Peppermint tea and some biscuits.


I would drink it some days but I am not consistent, so three out of the seven days.


I wouldn’t be a big drinker, the odd drink on occasion.



Do you exercise or train?

I walk a lot but I am also a member of the Clarion Gym and I try to get there once/twice a week.

Do you worry about your weight?

My weight is a bit of an issue at the moment as I have put on 10kg in the last year and a half. So I do think about my weight a bit.

What is your biggest indulgence?
Work! But food wise I suppose chocolate.

Do you take supplements? 

I take vitamins every day.

Have you any allergies or health issues? 


What would your last meal be? 

Black sole stuffed with prawns.

Paul Byrne of BodyByrne

Paul Byrne of BodyByrne



Hi Pat,

There are some common mistakes you are making with your food which are most likely the cause for your 10kg weight gain over the past year. A lot of people think small indulgences here and there are no harm, but it’s always consistency that causes weight gain or weight loss. If you consistently over eat and indulge in sweet treats then you will put on weight slowly over time, but the good news is if you change that to consistently eating a healthy daily diet, limiting indulging to one-two times per week along with regular exercise you will consistently lose weight. I suggest you make the following changes to help get you on the right track and reverse your recent weight gain:

Breakfast: I always tell people to avoid any overly processed cereals. Big brand boxed cereals are essentially just sugar. They are digested quickly, spike blood pressure and if you actually measured out their recommended portion size, you’d be amazed that most people actually eat twice the portion, doubling the calories and sugar content. Stick with good old-fashioned porridge or some eggs, avocado and wholegrain toast.

Mid Morning: Latte and a scone – depending on the size you could be easily eating 500-600 calories in this snack along with lots more sugar and fat. That’s far too much for a light mid-morning snack. Try switching to a good-quality americano and some fresh fruit which are full of vitamins, nutrients, water and fibre.

Lunch: Is your soup and sandwich homemade? If not just make sure you are making healthy choices. I have seen some crazy soup and sambo combos in Dublin recently with close to 800 calories and more. Make sure wherever you go they make the sandwich fresh. Choose a healthy wholegrain wrap or bread, good protein source, lots of salad and a healthy dressing. Avoid fatty caesar and mayonnaise-based dressings.

Afternoon: Another latte? I’m a big believer in not drinking your calories. Lattes, cappucinos, juices, smoothies, these all massively increase your daily calorie intake, increasing the likelihood of slow weight gain. The afternoon is a great time to make sure you’re drinking lots of water and snack on a small low-sugar protein-rich Greek yoghurt with a few crushed nuts.

Dinner: Your dinner sounds perfect, but the dessert? Not so much. Slow down when you’re eating dinner, ditch the cake and just have a cup of tea to allow your body to tell you you’re full. The biscuits, cakes, chocolate and coffees are definitely your main downfall and are causing a continuous craving for your sweet fixes. It’s also just a bit of a bad habit you need to break.

Evening: Have a cup of tea and opt for a small bowl of freshly chopped pineapple or melon instead of the biscuits.

Water: Without fail drink two litres per day. A lot of the time you’re eating quick sugar fixes to cure a craving which is most likely dehydration. Drinking lots of water will cure most of these cravings.

Exercise: Walking is great but it’s too much of a low intensity exercise type to maintain or change your body shape alone. As you have put on weight recently and want to get it back off, I would definitely get to the gym without fail one-two times per week for a decent 30-40 minute strength training session. Most gyms have induction and member programmes but my advice would be to ask the trainer for something different and say that standard gym programmes never worked for you. If you’re lucky and get a good trainer, he will give you something more individual. Good luck Pat!

Yours in fitness,

Jonathan Ledden, BodyByrne Fitness.

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