RSVP Magazine


This month, TV star ALAN HUGHES gives us a sneak peek into his refrigerator and tells us about his average daily dietary pattern and exercise regime…

Alan Hughes at the launch of the new Conrad Dublin in Earlsfort Terrace. Picture:Brian McEvoy No Repro fee for one use.

Alan Hughes at the launch of the new Conrad Dublin in Earlsfort Terrace.
Picture:Brian McEvoy
No Repro fee for one use.

Weight: 11 Stone

Dress size: Waist 32inches

Height: 5’10

BREAKFAST: 7:30am: Brown bread with turkey or a banana and a cup of tea. I drink a lot of tea.

LUNCH: 2pm: I tend to have a dinner type lunch, I love my lunch so it could be meat, veg, the whole works. It would be my biggest meal of the day although if I go for a carvery I would order the half portion. I am good at not over eating.

SNACKS: I don’t usually snack too much as I eat substantial meals and then I go to bed early as I am up early so I don’t have that problem. I do drink about 15 cups of weak tea a day, I have changed to de-caff but you can’t always get that and then the glasses of wine with dinner in the evening. Coming into panto season I will eat more sweets and chocolate as I need the sugar rush.

DINNER: Again it would be a light dinner, like a steak and veg or a small Shepards pie. From Wednesday onwards I would have a glass or two or wine with my dinner in the evenings which I know isn’t good.

Do you struggle with your weight?

I always watch what I eat as I would pile on the pounds. A couple of years ago I went to weight management and the one thing I took from it was portion size and I try to stick to that. The camera does add 6/7 pounds, people are always telling me I am thinner in real life but if I feel my clothes are getting tight I know I have to do something.

Do you train or use the gym?

I used to go to the gym but then it closed and I haven’t moved to another just yet but I do try to walk every day and I have done a few X Body classes – which is like a slendertone suit and you do your exercise movements or weights in the suit but you need to book and do it with an instructor. I could probably exercise more.

How much alcohol do you drink and how often?

I drink at least four evenings a week and I love a dinner party at the weekends with friends where we drink wine.

Do you have any allergies or bad health?

Not now but I did have an ulcer so I take Nexium every day and will have to take that for the rest of my life. I have to stay away from spicy foods or the glass of champagne!


Food: Duck cantonese or a nice lamb.

Takeaway: Noble House Chinese.

Hangover: Fry up with beans.

Restaurant: Trocedaro.

Meal: Dover Sole.

Tipple: Ice cold glass of sauvignon from Marlborough in New Zealand.

TV Snack: Very cold caramel with a cup of tea.

Food Store: M&S.







Hi Alan, 

Starting with a healthy breakfast really sets the tone for the day. Bread is a staple for many people, however today most shop-bought bread is made of refined wheat which has been stripped of much of its nutrients and fibre therefore being of little benefit. I would suggest trying to avoid having a carbohydrate rich breakfast and instead start the day with proteins and fats. Eggs for example are a super source of protein and keep you feeling fuller for longer. You can add healthy fats to your breakfast with a small portion of avocado and add carbohydrate in the form of sliced tomato for example. If bread is a must for you, there are healthier alternatives to bread such as rice cakes, oatmeal bread or sweet potato toast.

The gap between breakfast and lunch is rather long, 7 hours almost! I would suggest having a snack mid-afternoon at 12.00 p.m, for example a hand full of nuts and some blueberries. This will help you avoid bouts of hunger and the potential of over indulging with carbohydrate rich foods at lunch time. If lunch usually consists of meat veg and potato I would highly suggest that meat and veg take up the majority of the plate. Avoid adding sauces and butter where possible as these are extra calories that are usually unaccounted for

Dinner is healthy with steak and veg. I would avoid having red meat every evening as it has a higher fat content when compared to its leaner counterparts; turkey, chicken and white fish for example. Having a glass of wine with dinner is not the end of the world but each glass needs to be accounted for. White wine is very heavy on calories. I would cut it down to one glass of wine with dinner two evenings during the week especially if you know you will be socialising over the weekend.

It only takes two nights of consuming alcohol and mindless eating to completely undo any calorie deficit we create during the week.

When out with friends try drinking a glass of water between drinks, this can often reduce alcohol consumption, and helps keep you hydrated, no one likes a wine hangover.

Lastly I think you would benefit hugely by incorporating weight training into your daily routine. Lifting weights is a much more effective way of shedding fat compared to just doing cardio, which results in the loss of fat and muscle.

Strength training is crucial for muscle growth and improving posture and shape along with increasing your metabolic rate which will make you feel and look better.

Start with once a week along with keeping up the walking. Increase this to twice or three times per week and I promise you will not believe how much better you will look and feel – energy levels will increase, food choices are healthier, stress levels will drop and productivity will increase.

Yours in fitness,


Liz is a personal trainer at BodyByrne fitness and with New Years around the corner she will be looking to take on new clients. If you have any enquiries please contact her directly at

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