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Monday 15 September 2014

Billy Keane: Biscuits and steak for weight loss – Kerry for Sam

Published 29/12/2012 | 05:00

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The father was putting on a bit of weight, so my mother unilaterally switched the packet of chocolate Goldgrain he dipped in his tea after the dinner to Mariettas.

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The Marietta is a round, skinny, light brown or dark cream coloured type of plain biscuit.

I'm very partial to them myself, especially with a layer of Factor 50 butter, preferably on both sides.

The Marietta has to be held gently by the rim between the thumb and index finger and, if your mouth is big enough, then the delicacy can be swallowed in one go. Like an oyster.

Careful, though, if you're partial to dunking. The low density Marietta falls apart quickly and you might have to eat your tea with a spoon.

The father was not impressed when he saw two lonesome Mariettas laid out before him on the plate. He looked up at the mother and said; "Will you take away them workhouse biscuits."

Losing the bit of weight is the most common sportsperson's New Year's resolution of all and we will give you our exclusive tips in this the last column of the old year.

And so our first tip is to push your chair well back from the table at biscuit time.

I'm a big fan of the Charlie Swan diet. Charlie was the best National Hunt jockey of the lot back in the days when Istabraq passed out the wind.

Now he's a successful trainer and there isn't a pick on him. His secret? "I never eat after six."

I know there are some flat jockeys who never touch a bite after six in the morning, but Charlie's six is in the evening. The Swan diet definitely works.

Barry Geraghty, the best Cheltenham jockey of all, told us he loves a good chew.

borrowed

Barry is tall for a jockey, but he eats well. Sometimes, though, when he has to make a light weight for a big race Barry chews on a borrowed forkful of steak. The texture and the juices alone sate his cravings. Barry doesn't swallow the meat. It works.

And as the nudists say on sunny days, we will now stray from our briefs.

According to 'Woman's Way', sex burns up 148 calories in half an hour. Divide that by 10 to get the Irish equivalent. Push-ups have much the same effect, but it's not as much fun.

One, and even more than one, must be sensitive when it comes to women and weight.

We got ourselves into terrible trouble here a few years back. There's a hill just outside Listowel and the long, but gradual pull up is the ideal terrain for a good workout.

The official title of the incline is Dromin Hill, but we renamed it Fat A**e Hill. At first the slope was scaled by fast walkers. Now more and more have taken to running.

The hill may be due a change of name. What about Mount Lovely Bottom?

I'm not that sure if running on the road is that good for the joints, especially if you played a bit of football or rugby back in the days when detatched pigs bladders were booted over rope cross bars and Sam Maguire was learning his three-times tables in Dunmanway NS.

Try to run on the grass if at all possible or a trot across a stretch of springy bog is best of all for a bad back.

Spinning is a relatively new non- weight bearing work out. You cycle away on the bike in the gym and the weight falls off like the petals of a dandelion in a wind tunnel.

Our local community centre has had huge success with spinning. It's not for me, though. The thought of cycling a bike going nowhere is too much to take. But it definitely works.

I was at a rugby match in Paris, back in the good and bad old days, and it was apparent, even though I wasn't looking, that the French women kept themselves in far better shape than our girls. It's a fact.

Irish women were inclined to 'let themselves go,' as they say around here. In other words, many ate too much and didn't get enough exercise.

I would estimate there were probably only about 20 properly equipped gyms in the whole country. That stat has changed dramatically. And the Irish are going in their thousands.

This is an important social revolution and it has never been properly chronicled by historians.

The recession helped. We seem to realise at last that the best things in life are free or less expensive. Exercise is the most effective confidence restorer of all and now Irish women are up there with the French.

However, you have to be careful how you compliment an Irish girl.

"You look lovely tonight," I said to the matron in the pub.

"What was wrong with me the last night?" was her reply.

There are times when you just cannot win.

Here is our big New Year prediction – Kerry will definitely win the All-Ireland in 2013.

Irish Independent

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