RSVP Magazine


Beauty expert and TV presenter Triona McCarthy gives us a sneak peek into her refrigerator and tells us about her average daily dietary pattern and exercise regime…

Food diary:
Weight: 11.7 stone
CLOTHES size: 14
Height: 5FT 6INS

BREAKFAST: Today, I started with great intentions by having a black coffee and an apple. Then I had some peanut butter and banana, before eating the end of the kids’ toast and walking out the door with some Jaffa Cakes.

MID-MORNING SNACK: Butlers cappuccino with a free chocolate – and now that they know me, I often get two free chocolates!
LUNCH: If I am at home I will eat left-over dinner from the night before such as a pasta bake, but I would add the extra cheese.  If I am out or at an event, I will order what I fancy or what is nicest on the menu; I don’t consider the calories or type of food.

AFTERNOON SNACK: Again, if I am in town I will go to Butlers for a cappuccino but mainly for the free chocolate – I am obsessed! I also could have a Fulfil bar, as they are supposed to be healthy and I don’t feel as guilty when I pull one of those out of the handbag. I don’t like fruit but I love veg. I can only have fruit if it is liquidized and comes in a wine glass!

DINNER: Will, my husband, cooks everything from scratch so we could have a lovely coq au vin, a Thai green curry or if I want a takeaway he will just make what I am going to order, so it is all fresh.

EVENING: I generally have a cup of tea and some dark chocolate from Lidl. If I am at an event, I will be the one by the canapés.

Do you drink much alcohol? I don’t ever drink at home so it is only social drinking with me. I have two settings with drinking, on and off. When I am out I drink white wine, this happens two or three times a week and I have a few glasses.

Do you gym or exercise? No, I prefer to lie down than sit up. But I have started to walk the kids to school which is 15 minutes there and a little longer back as I go by Butlers! Platinum Pilates opened recently at my back door and I’ve been threatening to go, but I just haven’t yet.

Has your weight been an issue in your life? Yes, but I have the opposite to body dysmorphia; I think I am thinner than I actually am and then I see myself on TV and I blame the top for making me look bigger. I know I am overweight but my health is fine and I don’t suffer from anything. Maybe if that was a problem I would seriously do something about it.

Takeaway: Will (my husband) Mao.
Hangover: Butlers hot chocolate with a walk.
Restaurant: Patrick Guilbaud, 21 Upper Merrion St, Dublin.
Meal: Linguine with prawns.
Tipple: White wine, any type.
TV Snack: Chocolate.
Food Store: Lidl in Ranelagh.


Triona’s Fridge:

Expert Opinion:

Hi Triona,
The good news is that a few small changes to your daily habits will make a huge difference for you.

Try and make a conscious effort to have a proper breakfast. It can be great to have just protein and fats as breakfast instead of carbs; I find once you spike your blood sugar first thing you can continue to crave carbs for the rest of the day as your body is constantly craving that sugar hit. Have an egg and some egg whites (these are much lower in calories than a whole egg) cooked with some smoked salmon or served with some avocado. If you want to have carbs first thing, try having porridge instead.

If you must have a cappuccino, cut the calories by asking for a skinny one instead of full fat milk. A full fat one can be about 120 calories per regular cup. Or even better, go for an Americano with some skinny foam milk on top, which is only about 10 calories and once you adapt you won’t notice the difference! That free chocolate can be almost 100 calories. A better option is to pack your own healthy snack such as high protein greek yoghurt with some calorie free Myprotein flavour drops mixed in (I love the toffee flavour).

It’s fine to have leftovers for lunch, just bulk the dish up with extra veg and salad so it feels like you are eating a lot of food whilst keeping the calories in check. It’s great that your husband will cook you dinner from scratch. The Thai options sound fab and a good choice too. I’d recommend that he uses light tomato/chilli soy base sauces to reduce calories instead of creamy, coconut/nut/oil based ones. A healthy balanced diet allows for tea and some dark chocolate, just make sure you can control it and don’t end up eating the whole bar.

Alcohol: OK, it’s great you don’t drink at home but having a few glasses of wine a few days a week really adds up calorie wise. A large glass of wine can be over 200 calories (same as a Fulfil bar) so if you have three glasses, three days a week that’s an extra 1,800 calories which equals a whole day’s food. This alone can sabotage an effort to diet. If you must take a drink, it’s worth noting that a gin and slimline is only 70 calories.

Exercise: Walking is a super form of exercise and is also great for de-stressing. The more you can move your body the better. Try taking a long route home and get yourself a step counter, like a Fitbit or an app on your phone. Set little goals for the day to see how many steps you can take. Over 10,000 steps is a good active target each day. Pilates would be a great addition too.

My top tips for saving on calories without feeling deprived on a diet:
1: Fill up on non-starchy veg, greens and raw salad. Eat a rainbow of veg and salads for added micronutrients.
2: Swap whole eggs for egg whites. A medium egg is 75 calories whereas a medium egg white is only 15 calories. If you have one whole egg and five egg whites, it’s the same calories as two whole eggs but feels like you are eating a lot more.
3: Swap whole milk for skinny milk in coffee/tea/cereals, etc. If you are having milk numerous times throughout the day, those full fat calories will add up! Skinny milk actually foams a lot better than full fat milk so it’s a win-win.

Yours in fitness,
Claire McGrath – WFF Fitness Professional

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