TV chef Manu Feildel is known to audiences for his European charm and his love of food but the 46-year-old has also been attracting attention of late for his incredible health and fitness transformation.
In an exclusive chat, the French-born Aussie tells Yahoo Lifestyle exactly how much weight he’s lost since overhauling his diet, banning booze and hitting the gym over a year and a half ago — and what keeps him on track.
“I’ve lost 12 kgs and I’m happy where I am with that,” he says.
“What keeps me motivated to stay active is that if I stop I know how easily those kgs will go back on. Also, I want to be fit and healthy for my family,” he adds.
The Plate Of Origin judge has previously credited his wife, Clarissa Weerasena, for encouraging his lifestyle change. She even joined her husband on his gruelling five-to-six training sessions per week, making it a team effort.
While Manu initially favoured weight lifting and boxing sessions to drop the kilos he tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he’s recently taken up a new activity to maintain his slimmed-down physique: road cycling.
“This a brand new challenge for me which I started because I am hoping to do the Noosa Triathlon —fingers crossed!” he explains.
Manu’s been prepping hard for the event, which is slated for late October, by regularly clocking up 50-60km rides around Sydney.
“The best part is that I enjoy it and the worst part is wearing Lycra — and that I can’t get angry at bikes on the road now as I know how it feels to be abused by car drivers!” he laughs.
Manu has also set himself the goal of completing 400km throughout September to raise funds for Below The Belt which in turn funds research into prostate, bladder, kidney, penile and testicular cancers.
The father-of-three has been just as busy off his bike, overseeing his line of sauces, ‘The Sauce by Manu,’ and with his brand new Channel 7 cooking show Plate Of Origin set to premiere on Sunday, August 30.
While there are a ‘few similarities’ between Plate Of Origin and Manu’s other show, My Kitchen Rules, he says they’re in no way carbon copies.
“This one is more colourful, more relaxed, friendly and you get to travel the world without moving from your sofa while experiencing 10 amazing cuisines,” he explains.
The show also marks ex-MasterChef judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan’s network debut, and Manu is confident that he made the pair feel right at home on set.
“Well, I had to buy a bigger sofa!” he jokes.
“We’ve all been mates for a while so it was good to get together on screen. It was good to work with Gary again and nice to be educated by Matt Preston but most of all it was good to enjoy a good belly laugh together!”